Leatherwood Honey – certified organic
Shirl’ Stephens has been farming bees her whole life. The late R. Stephens began the family apiary at Mole Creek, Tasmania in 1920. It had progressed from a pre WWI hobby of a few hives, to a successful apiary business of 2,000 hives in the 21st century. Today, the thriving business produces approximately 35% of Tasmania’s honey crop.
Shirl’ and her team produce two varieties of honey – Leatherwood and Blackberry/Clover.
Leatherwood is an odd one. Normally with honey the lighter the colour the sweeter it is to taste. Leatherwood is light amber in colour but has a strong flavour. If you grew up in Tassie you won’t know any different. For the main landers amongst us you’ll either love it, or hate it! 82% of Leatherwood honey is exported to Germany. The Germans more than any other country in the world, love a strong honey. Leatherwood is special as the Leatherwood tree only grows in a very small pocket of north west Tasmania – a world heritage listed area deep in the rugged rainforest. The area includes the wilderness catchment of the Franklin and Bird Rivers. It’s hard to get the bees and hives in and out of such an area and the Stephen’s have a special licence to do so. They transport their hives and honey on the renowned Wildreness Railway to Teepokana via Strahan.
The remote area has a big benefit for you. The Leatherwood tree thrives in the rainforests, which are entirely free of insecticide and artificial fertilisers. Leatherwood honey is O.F.C. Organic Certified. The tree flowers from January – March, and is a delicate white colour with a pale blush pink centre. It’s a short season for the bees, and too much rain or not enough rain means a poor season. Production of the honey is therefore limited. Sometimes supplies run low,or run out. The 500g jar the Stephen’s family use is unique to them. Patented, no one else is permitted to use this shape jar. It’s another reason why their honey is so unique and sought after.
Their Blackberry/Clover honey is gathered from the lush pastures of the North and North West of Tasmania during December and January, from clover, blackberry and ground flora. This honey is sold mostly in Australia and not exported, as production rarely meets demand – and us ‘main landers’ mostly have a sweet tooth. It’s really light in colour and nice and sweet. A great breakfast/table honey that all the family will enjoy.
We stock: Leatherwood Honey and Blackberry/Clover Honey in 40g, 500g and 1kg glass jars, 400g plastic Squeeze Bottles, Plastic 250g & 500g tubs of creamed honey – both varieties.