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Blackbury Honey Farm

Our Trip to Blackbury Honey Farm

By Collette 

A Brief History of Honey


Analysis of ancient pottery has led scientists to believe that humans have been harnessing the valuable properties of honey for around 9,000 years. Over the length of history, civilisations have reaped the benefits of the Honey Bee’s hard work, not just for the pleasure of eating nutritious honey – or for their highly prized wax – but also for a variety of anti-bacterial and medicinal purposes and even for paying taxes!
I for one have always been a big fan of the honey bee. They are furry, hardworking little magic makers. So naturally, I jumped at the chance to find out more about them first-hand…

Honey

Blackbury Farm


Blackbury Honey Farm is owned and run by Ken and Maureen Basterfield and their son Dan. It’s a fully functioning honey farm hidden amongst the rolling fields of East Devon. There’s only a little sign to hint at its existence, so you would be forgiven for passing on by, but I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit the next time you’re in the area.
I for one had passed the farm on many occasions, until one weekend my curiosity got the better of me. Taking the plunge, I turned off Seaton Road and headed down the lane following the signs. You approach the farm via a long, recently planted tree lined drive, that deposits you in the ample car park near the café.

Blackbury Honey Farm
The vestibule, on entering the café, is a cleverly put together information area, complete with posters, tools of the beekeeping trade and a must see informative video about the honey bee. Step through into the café and you’ll find an impeccably clean, light and airy dining space, with large windows that are perfect for viewing the lush garden beyond.
The cafe is run by the lovely Maureen herself, together with her friendly team of ladies, so you know that you’re in for a bit of a treat. Keeping it simple, they serve teas, coffees, soft drinks and light lunches such as baked potatoes, toasted sandwiches and quiches. As for the many homemade cakes, well, let’s just say I took home a piece of apricot sponge and a piece of honey flapjack (both were delicious). The apricot sponge was so moist that I wished I had taken two pieces. As well as serving up traditional cream teas, they also offer their own take on this Devon classic, and as the saying goes ‘when in Rome’ you just have to try it with honey rather than jam.

Blackbury Honey Farm

Everything is cooked on the premises by the team themselves, using homegrown produce wherever possible. The soil at the farm is just right for growing all sorts of goodies, including apricots, plumbs, bramley apples and rhubarb (not forgetting the vegetables from their own vegetable patch). This harmony between kitchen and garden assures that nothing goes to waste.

Blackbury Honey Farm

Once you’ve finished your foodie delights you may wish to browse through the shop area. There’s lots of honey goodies on offer and I came away with a jar of lime honey, a lemon and honey marmalade, an orange and honey marmalade and a mead vinegar. There are also soaps, moisturisers, books and takeaway slices of cake.

Head outside for a look at Maureen’s constantly evolving garden. It’s still in its early stages, but it’s full of flowers  (weather permitting) and you can sit and watch the bees going about their busy lives. According to Maureen during the summer months children often stand in awe, watching the bees feast on the ‘Poached Egg Plant’ (that’s a Limnanthes plant for you botanists out there). I took a walk around the meadow field, which was brimming with beautiful wild flowers and grasses and snapped some great photos of the bees and butterflies.

Blackbury Honey Farm

More Information


The farm is open for honey sales only Monday to Wednesday, 10.00am – 16.00pm

The café is open Thursday to Sunday from 10.00am – 17.00pm

Tours of the bees and the farm are available for small parties of 6 x 12 but you must pre-book first.

A variety of Bee keeping courses, are also available.

Call 01404 87600 for more info.

Keep your eyes peeled for our interview with beekeepers Ken and Dan, coming soon….

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