I had also hoped to get this post published BEFORE the Honeyfest but I had unexpected company and so much going last weekend that it just didn’t happen. My apologies to Jayne and Isaac but the good news is that you don’t have to wait till next year’s Honeyfest to get their scrumptious honey, bee pollen and all of the other wonderful things they make with honey!
So read on and find out how you can connect to these artisan bee keepers…
The Barnes Family
Do you love honey? Well, you better read about Jayne and Isaac Barnes and Honeyrun Farm. Jayne and I initially met through Etsy Team Columbus and then ran into each other several times especially at the Worthington Farmers’ Market. I learned about the advantages of bee pollen and became a convert…I don’t think I have had one cold since I started consuming this every day!!! In addition to the pollen, they have so many different types of honey that are to die for! My fav is their Tulip Poplar but all of them are sooooo luscious! I, of course, wanted to learn even more and interview these young entrepreneurs so here we go…
Super Antioxidant Bee Pollen
Jayne and Isaac have been keeping bees for 11 years, started selling their honey, soap, and candles in 2007 and opened the Honeyrun Farm
Etsy store in 2009. This young couple has a quite an impressive educational background: Jane with a BS in Sociology and Master’s in Rural Sociology and Isaac has BS in Geology and Master’s in Education. All of this education definitely comes to play in their daily lives running a business, raising a family and keeping bees. Their product line includes their artisan honey ,handcrafted body products (soaps, salves, lip balm) and all-natural candles.
Honey Soap Sampler
The decision to pursue beekeeping came after Jayne gifted Isaac with a beehive for Christmas in 2003. Isaac had an insatiable appetite for honey, loved science and hobbies, and she thought beekeeping might be a good fit. I wanted to give him a really creative, useful Christmas present, so I thought a beehive might be a hit. I was right! He really took to it and continually added more hives until our little hobby turned into a business.
They were engaged to be married when Jayne was attending graduate school in Montana in 2004-2005. Isaac was looking for something he could do in Montana for her final year of graduate work, and so he put an ad in the national beekeeping magazine, Bee Culture, saying he was interested in finding a job near Missoula, Montana. Although, she didn’t think anything would come of it, it was in the cards!! There WAS a commercial beekeeper out there looking for some seasonal help. So he worked the bees while until Jayne graduated.
In 2006, they moved back to Ohio to live near Isaac’s family and start Honeyrun Farm. Jayne worked as a case manager at a community mental health center (2006-2008) while Isaac taught high school science for 4 years, and worked on his family’s grain farm until they decided their business was going to “make it” and she had their first child. He quit the other jobs in 2011 and they’ve both been entrepreneurs at Honeyrun Farm ever since.
They now have 4 children, 320 hives and sell their products online (https://www.etsy.com/shop/honeyrunfarm) at Whole Foods, Wholly Crafts, the Greener Grocer, Better Earth and Celebrate Local as well as at the Worthington Farmer’s Market, North Market on Saturdays, Worthington Winter Market and their farm stand on Randle Road in Williamsport.
Continual inspiration comes from their customers who know and appreciate the flavor of pure raw honey. As far as making handcrafted soap, Jayne is always excited to try new soap scents, blending her favorites together to create new combinations. Just recently, she started incorporating clays as a new exfoliant/deep cleanser and loves the results. Keeping her soap scents and exfoliants as natural as possible is critical to the quality of all that she creates and keeps customers coming back.
She also has begun to make balms and salves using their beeswax. She states that it is a very simple craft and can be done at home, infusing herbs from the garden to add scent and homeopathic properties to the finished product. She’s even recently taught a class at Whole Foods about making lip balms using beeswax.
As far as soap making, she believes it is important to always try new recipes, talk to other soap makers, read new books and peruse websites of other soap makers. No matter how long you have been making soap, using a tried and true recipe, there are always new methods to try and new materials to work with… soap makers can always learn something new and be challenged by another soap making method. That’s part of what makes her soap so special!
When asked what direction they would like to see their business go, she states:
We would love to offer more products using beeswax. Using beeswax in our handcrafted soaps, salves, and lip balms is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what can be made with beeswax. There are boot and leather conditioners, lotions, hair pomades, as well as many other types of candles and craft vessels that can be made with beeswax.
In addition to creating honey and beeswax products, she coauthored a book titled, Honey Crafting
, which was released in 2013. She was honored to be approached by a publishing company and asked if she would co-author a book after they had read Honeyrun’s blog. She and fellow beekeeper, Leann Coleman, collaborated to create a book with varied projects such as candles (Jayne’s expertise), salves, soaps, lip balms, and recipes using honey. Needless to say, she was psyched to be asked and honored to contribute!
Every September, they participate in the Lithopolis Honeyfest (this year September 5 and 6). This event is a non-profit with a mission to raise awareness about the importance of the honey bee on the pollination of crops, to increase the consumption of honey and to educate the public about the science and industry/art of beekeeping in addition to the great arts and crafts activities associated with honey and beeswax.