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Thursday Snapshot: Fresh Honeycomb

Maroniya's beautiful and delicious honeycomb.

There are many wonderful things to be found at the Earthday Market in Tokyo, and I can always count on finding them at Maroniya's stall. She is one of the first farmers I met at this market, and her patience over the years as my Japanese improved has been an inspiration. Her plum jam is the best thing in the world, and her honey is utterly brilliant. Every month, I am grateful to find her cheerful presence, good conversation, and her wonderful treats at the market. I learn something new every time.

In June, Maroniya offered her homemade salve. Combining her beeswax with a bit of olive oil, she made one of the best lip balms and hand salves I've ever used. (Well, it runs a close second to Nakee Natural, at least.)

"One second," she said, and crouched down to look under the table. After rummaging a bit, she pulled out a plastic bag with honeycomb in it. "Here, try this. It makes a nice gum, and you can eat the comb if you want."

"Wow," I said, slightly dumbfounded. "Really? I can just chew it?"

"Yes. It's lovely and sweet."

I took her word for it and added it to the top of a bag already full of goodness from her and other vendors. Maroniya has never steered me wrong, and surely today would not be the first time. She cares for her hives tenderly, and I know that recently she lost a large number of bees. Whether it was a cold snap or disease, she didn't want to say, but she was devastated. The hives are a love of hers, and she loves telling how the bees move about with the seasons. I've tasted honey flavored by visits to clover, nira and other members of the allium family, mikan blossoms, and more. Every time it was amazing, and so why not this time, too?

I nibbled on bits and pieces over the next week or so, although I did get a surprise at one point to find a wee larvae peering out me. (I've left it in place, figuring it needs the honey more than I.) It was delicious, although I never managed to swallow the wax. I simply added it to the compost when the time came.

Who know what treasures I will find in September?

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