-posted by Jayne
Today I want to tell you a bit about one of our retail partners, Curly Girl Farm. In this case, “retail partner” is just a fancy word for “a friend from college who sells our honey.” Kristen Baughman, fellow Wittenberg grad, is the “curly girl” referenced in her farm name. At the farmer’s market in Zanesville, she quickly became known as the “farmer with the curly hair” and thus changed her farm name from “Kristen’s Old Fashioned Produce” to “Curly Girl Farm.”
Kristen sells quite a bit of our honey (as you can see by her enormous honey display below). If you ever find yourself just east of Zanesville on State Route 40, you should stop by and check it out.
Kristen is the type of person that is always busy with a new project or a idea. She hosts flower arranging parties at her house, allowing her guests to wander through her fields and select any flowers they want to create their own arrangments.
She grows multitudes of fresh tomatoes using organic methods.
Pumpkins and squash are another specialty. She can tell you all sorts of fun facts about the different varieties and their best uses. (although decorating is always my favorite use for them!)
Kristen throws a pretty awesome “Hoe-Down” each fall, complete with pie eating contests, an apple-butter stir, and the best potluck I have the pleasure of attending.
Since farming slows down by the beginning of November, Kristen finds time to head over to Honeyrun Farm for 3 days a week to help me stay caught up with our holiday orders. Last year, I put her in charge of making the beeswax Christmas ornaments you see here.
If you can’t tell by now, I have a lot of admiration and respect for Kristen. Which is why I felt pretty bad about my “friendship skills” a few weeks ago when Kristen, myself, and my other friends Becky and Angie went hiking in the Hocking Hills. We have this annual tradition of taking a backpacking trip each fall. (pictured below was our inaugural trip to Dolly Sods, WV).
A few weeks ago we were getting started on a hike into the woods near Becky’s cabin, which sits just a few miles from Old Man’s Cave. There was no trail… we were making our own trail, as the land is covered with beautiful waterfalls and rock formations. It wasn’t long after I stepped into the woods that I felt this horrible stinging sensation. My first thought was stinging nettles (but they hurt more than any stinging nettle I had ever felt before). My second thought was that I was in some sort of magical, painful, forest similar to the Hunger Games. (I am not even joking… this thought went through my head). I screamed and ran, because the pain was becoming so intense. I didn’t bother to look behind me and see that Kristen had fell onto the ground. My “flight” response had taken over and I was running for protection. It wasn’t until I reached Becky’s cabin that I realized we had been attacked by a yellow jacket nest! We were a panicked hysterical mess, to say the least. The yellow jackets had even followed us into the cabin and were still attacking us. My grand idea was to jump in the shower with my clothes on… because… you remember… all those cartoons we watched as kids that showed characters jumping into water to escape the swarm of angry insects?! It only kind of worked. Mostly because the majority of yellow jackets were still in the next room attempting to sting Kristen, Becky, and Angie. We decided we had to leave due to the amount of aggressive yellow jackets still in the cabin, so we headed for the local gas station to try to create a poultice of baking soda/water. We brought a new wave of hysteria into a normally very sober gas station environment. The man next to us was casually ordering gas for pump 2 while we frantically explained to the next cashier that we had been attacked by yellow jackets and needed baking soda and ibuprofin STAT. Luckily, none of us had an allergic reaction and we all were fine. We ended our trip with greasy food and drinks at the local favorite, JimBo’s Tavern in South Bloomingville.
The moral of this story? Well…. first of all, if you ever want to know whether you have more of a “fight” or “flight” response to a threat…. you will find out if you stumble upon a nest of yellow jackets. And next time you stumble upon a hive of “bees” in your wall or barn, you can refer to this handy guide before calling us: