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Rare honey comes from Thomas Fire burn zone

Phacelia honey
John Palminteri
Phacelia honey has been produced from a plant that is flourishing after the Thomas fire. (John Palminteri/KEYT)
Phacelia Honey
John Palminteri
Phacelia honey has been produced from a plant that is flourishing after the Thomas fire. (John Palminteri/KEYT)

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A unique honey has been produced from a plant that popped up in large numbers after the 2017 Thomas Fire. It was primarily seen in the Santa Paula hills of Ventura County.

Customers are abuzz over it at the Certified Farmers' Markets in Santa Barbara and Ventura.

Where the Phacelia flower came up, the Blue Ridge Honey company set up its bee boxes and nature did the rest of the work.

"With the rains in 2019  the Caterpillar Phacelia flower just enveloped  areas. There was nothing but Caterpillar Phacelia flowers. It is amazing. The bees love it because it is rich in nectar," said Greg Mitchel with Blue Ridge Honey.

He sells the honey on Tuesday and Friday in Santa Barbara at the Farmers' Market and Saturday at the Ventura market.

Free samples are offered at the booth.

Mitchell says it shows just how resilient nature is.

He also says it may only be produced for one year before nature's overgrowth covers the plant. Before the fire the growth made it hard for the Phacelia to grow as freely.

"It was the first plant to come up (after the fire). It was amazing. We placed hives to get the Phacelia flower bloom. It is very floral. It has a wonderful floral aroma to it. It is less viscous and really thin.  It blends into your teas quickly."

For more information go to: https://www.blueridgehoneyca.com/

Agriculture / Environment / Fire / Lifestyle / News / Santa Barbara- S County / Top Stories / Ventura County / Weather News

John Palminteri

John Palminteri is senior reporter for KEYT NewsChannel 3 and KCOY 12 Central Coast News.

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