Harvested and hand crushed on Telegraph Hill, Heslet Honey is created from the millions of flowers that cascade San Francisco's prominent east facing slope. The hill hosts a wide diversity of plants that bloom during different times of the year, the qualities of which are represented in each harvest that begins as early as March, and runs through September.
Supply varies according to season. Honey is harvested by hand and strained over the course of 3 days. No heat is used in the process. When possible, no smoke is used during honey extraction. We use these methods to ensure the honey remains in its purest form.
This lovely short video by Eric Wolfinger documents our honey harvesting process: https://vimeo.com/67446207
Heslet Honey takes its name from Valetta Heslet. Commencing in the 1940s, Valetta with her mother Grace Marchant created gardens in the right of way adjacent to the Filbert Street and Greenwich Streets steps, between Montgomery and Sansome Streets. Pictured above with her husband Desmond Heslet, Valetta removed debris alongside the steps and transplanted plants from Golden Gate Park to create the diverse flora we see today. Desmond was an illustrator and created the logo for the SF Examiner newspaper and for Challenge Butter. The honey label was created in the style of Desmond's Challenge Butter label.
Heslet Honey was created in 2010 by Kate McGee along with her two boys when they established a few wooden beehives and started to harvest sweet, golden honey. The project became a pilot project to provide urban agriculture in a public right of way. Heslet Honey thanks the community members who continue to tend to the gardens, who built a platform for the beehives, and who make sure the bees always have a fresh source of water during dry spells.
Eating local in the San Francisco bay area is a treat. Having access to Heslet Honey, a Telegraph Hill based small production honey, is a very special treat. I garden near Telegraph Hill, so when I eat Heslet honey, I get to taste the flowers in my garden, as interpreted by local honeybees. Getting to try each month's honey (in the months that the bees have enough honey to spare) is amazing. May and June honeys are floral and smell like the plum and cherry trees that have been in bloom. July and August have a light citrus scent, which reflects the variety of citrus our area sustains. September is amazing, with a savory, herbal quality that reminds me of rosemary, oregano and thyme. All of these honeys taste wonderful with cheese (you knew we were getting to cheese, didn't you), as well as tasting delightful in tea.
If you want an alternate way to experience and taste San Francisco's gardens, try Heslet Honey.
Want Honey? Text us! 415.298.5219
San Francisco, California
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