Raw Honey: what sets ours apart?
RAW IS BETTER
If you are planning to buy honey for its health-benefits and flavour then it must be raw honey! Much of the honey on grocery store shelves has been excessively heated, filtered and pasteurized, which effectively eliminates many of the benefits of the natural and amazing product bees produce. True raw honey is different because it has not been pasteurized, heated or fine-filtered, and therefore contains many valuable benefits. Raw honey contains a host of minerals, vitamins, enzymes and powerful antioxidants. Most importantly, it is absolutely delicious and full of body and overtones from the variety of flora it stems from. We believe that honey is better the less you modify or process it!
DIVERSE PRAIRIE FLORAL SOURCES
We take great pride in selecting what we consider suitable locations for our bees to forage so that the honey we harvest is the tastiest and most nutritious as possible. It is also very important for bees to have access to a diverse ecosystem for foraging and for their nutrition. We place our hives as strategically as possible to limit their access to monocultures (which is where most honey is sourced) and instead provide them with access to perennial pasture and hayland, as well as diverse annuals such as cover crop mixes. Our bees have access to hundreds of diverse prairie acres where they can harvest nectar from a huge variety of native and tame flower sources, including dandelion, caragena, and willow in the spring; alfalfa, clover, milk thistle, cicer milk vetch, sweet trefoil in the summer.
Meet Our Regenerative Honey Partners
In addition to our own pastures and hayland, our honeybees need to be spaced out into different ‘yards’ where they can forage for nectar and pollen during the Summer. We are proud to say that all of the landowners who we partner with for hosting our bees also happen to be employing regenerative agriculture practices on their land – and that is no mistake! We chose these friends, neighbours and family because we want to support what they do, which is good for the soil, plants and wildlife (including pollinators) and the bees also benefit from healthy land that is diverse in species and floral source options.
*Note that these families are not the beekeepers, they are simply allowing us to keep our bees on their land.*
Check out who these fine folks are, below:
Maple Meadows Farm
Maple Meadows Farm is a small family farm owned and operated by Riley and Lee-Anne Kemp, along with their three children, Lexi, Elliot and Halle. In addition to farming, Riley is a school principal and Lee-Anne a physiotherapist in our community of Cartwright. Their regenerative farming practices, while raising grass-fed beef, pastured chickens and pastured eggs promotes a more natural habitat for our animals and ensures the health of the environment they live in. Their animals move through fresh pastures daily which maintains healthy land, animals and ultimately people. Working with nature has positively impacted the farm. In the end, these impacts are their motivation.
Soon after moving back to Cartwright, we got to know Riley and Lee-Anne better through taking the same Holistic Management course, where we gained much of the knowledge, skills and insight that informs each of our farms’ practices. Maple Meadows Farm neighbours our own and we can always count on their bee yard to have prolific alfalfa stands, on which our bees forage to produce our signature honey taste and texture.
The Dogs Run Farm
Colin and Katie raise Dorper sheep, pigs, chickens, turkeys, laying hens, geese, miniature donkeys, a horse, as well as a few cats and their dogs. They sell free-range pork, lamb, poultry and eggs, as well as handmade soap, and spray-free garlic. They grow a large garden for flowers and vegetables for their own consumption.
McDonald Farm is a 4th generation family farm owned and operated by Wayne and Maria, along with their kids Emma and Ethan. Their goal is to combine behavioural and conservation science (Wayne has a MSc degree from the University of Alberta) with Holistic Management techniques to create a sustainable, diverse farm that can raise healthy, happy animals. They produce grassfed beef, grassfed lamb, pastured pork, and poultry.
McDonalds were some of the first in Manitoba to find success with grassfed meat production and direct marketing, and have been invaluable mentors to us in our own similar journey. Their lush pastures and haylands host quite a diverse variety of legumes, grasses and other native plants that our honeybees can forage on, in addition to many native pollinators. You will be able to find some of our ‘McDonald Farm’ regenerative honey jars offered at their local deliveries.
Schram Cattle Co.
Mark Schram is the owner of the Schram Cattle Company, a 1400 acre ranch near Cartwright, MB where he lives with his wife Sarah and son Sawyer. As both market and climate forces have continued to become more erratic over the past decade, Mark’s goal has been to continually build more resiliency into his ranch and its soils through practices like diverse forage mixes, a reduction in fertilizer and pesticide use, and grazing management that’s beneficial for all livestock–from the kind that moo to the ones that buzz.
Mark is Michelle’s brother, and their pasture and hayland neighbour ours. Our bees have been foraging on the alfalfa and sweet clover on his land. We are so glad to have family like them nearby and are grateful that our sons get to grow up together.
Joe Gardiner Farm
Joe and his family manage 17 quarters of land near Clearwater, Manitoba and roughly 250 beef cows. (Also, be sure to ask him about his pigs.) His passion for soil has led him to become one of the leading cover crop and soil health educators in Manitoba. Joe is a co-founder of Covers & Co., selling cover crop and forage seed and providing consultation to help farmers transition into farming more regeneratively.
Joe is a great partner, both because of his really interesting cover crop blends that gave the bees a smorgasbord of floral sources to collect from, but also because it’s further away geographically and this season they received more rain than we did in our area (which equals better nectar flow)! Check out the amazing sunflowers that bloomed nearby (pictured). The Gardiners have a true family farm with parents, siblings and partners pitching in. (Fun fact: Joe’s mother Jo-Lene was one of the first people to introduce Troy and Michelle!)
Our honey can also be found in the following retail locations in Winnipeg and across southwestern MB (500g and 1 kg jars only):
If you are interested in larger quantities (ie 3kg, 5kg, 15kg pails) you can order these directly from us, on our online store.
- Aviva Natural Health Solutions (1224 St. James St.)
- Black Market Provisions (550 Osborne St.)
- Cafe Postal (202 Provencher Blvd)
- Dino’s Grocery Mart (460 Notre Dame Ave.)
- The Forks Trading Company (1 Forks Market Rd)
- Hollow Reed School of Arts & Herbals (100 Rue des Ruines du Monastere)
- Kenaston Wine Market (1855 Grant Ave.)
- La Grotta Mediterranean Market (1360 Taylor Ave.)
- Organic Planet (877 Westminster Ave.)
- The Pennyloaf Bakery (858 Corydon Ave.)
- Prairie Health Apothecary (Unit 120 – 600 St. Anne’s Rd)
- Scout: Coffee + Tea (859 Portage Ave.)
- Vic’s Fruit Market (1038 Pembina Hwy)
- Verde Juice Bar (887 Westminster Ave.)
- Chez Angela (1228 Rosser Ave)
- Lady of the Lake (135 17 St. N)
- Well Local (191 Reimer Ave, Unit B)
- Carman Home Hardware (14 1 St. SW)
- Charlie’s Coffee Co. (359 Main St.)
- Sam’s Food (338 Main St.)
- Park’s Food Market
- Pembina Co-op
- Clearwater Country Market
- Northfork Ranch Supply
- Cartwright Fine Foods
- Iron Rail Convenience Store
- Killarney-Cartwright Co-op
THANK YOU for supporting our farm, business and livelihood!
“I love love love the tubs of honey I get from Michelle & Troy at Fresh Roots. I know there will be no shortcuts to quality and you can taste that in the product. I go through a lot of honey and Fresh Roots is my go-to number one.”
“I was fortunate to receive a jar of Fresh Roots Farm honey as a gift. I eat a LOT of honey and this is by far the most amazing tasting honey I have ever eaten. It has an incredible range of floral flavor notes and never seems too sweet. Absolutely wonderful!”
“Fresh Roots honey is my favourite thing to gift to others. We love it at our house, and love to share it with others! Go get yourself some. Seriously. Go now.”
– Johanna F.
“I use [Fresh Roots Farm honey] while running to give me the energy to complete my workouts. The simple nature of raw honey digests easily and is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. Much better than the expensive and dextrose-laden gels that dominate endurance races. Your raw honey is what I used for fuel when I competed in the Triathlon World Championships this past fall.”
– Scott K.