The Sequim Bee Farm and Finnriver Farm & Cidery are back to their winning ways.
Buddy and Meg DePew of the bee farm have won their eighth medal, this time for their Dungeness Field Honey, from the Good Food Awards, a national competition with 2,000-plus entries from all 50 states in multiple categories, including beer, chocolate, coffee and more.
Finnriver Farm & Cidery of Chimacum also won a Good Food prize for its Perry, an artisanal wine made from pears of the same name. The fruit for Finnriver Perry came from trees just outside the barn at 124 Center Road, where cidermaker Andrew Byers works with an eight-person crew.
“Perry pears are the wine grapes of the pear world,” Byers said Wednesday.
He added that the Good Food Foundation chooses its award recipients based not only on the end product, but also on its backstory. How it was made, where and how the crops were grown and how other local growers were involved are all factors, Byers said.
Finnriver also landed a Good Food Award in 2015 for its organic black currant cider made in Chimacum; the award brings respect rather than cash, said farm cofounder Crystie Kisler.
Meg DePew, for her part, said the accolade is part bragging rights and part promotion for local food makers and their efforts. The couple had won at least one award for their honeys five years in a row from the competition before taking a year off from applying in 2020. Dungeness Field Honey won in 2020, too.
“It’s a blend from hives all over the Sequim-Dungeness Valley, predominantly from lavender fields,” Meg said.
They entered in August and winners were announced on Jan. 14.
“The honey is very light and floral,” Meg said. “It has a unique taste of herbs that comes in the second wave of flavors. It’s kind of complex.”
This honey partners well with teas and anything lemon, such as cakes and citrus marinades, she said.
Dungeness Field Honey will make its public debut March 4-5 during the Sequim Sunshine Festival at the Sequim Bee Farm’s booth.
The DePews will also tentatively make it available at the Port Angeles Farmers Market in April followed in May at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market until the supply is exhausted.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Meg said they’ve been blessed the local farmers markets have remained open.
“The communities have been supportive of everybody,” she said.
“Our usual festivals and events have not been able to run, so we’ve really found we have more time on our hands. We’re looking forward to a few festivals being up and running this year and returning to the farmers markets.”
For multiple other honeys and products, the couple offers porch drops to anyone in Clallam County, and they accept multiple forms of payment over the phone.
Meg said people should call 360-460-2341 to make a local order. For out-of-area orders and for more information, visit sequimbeefarm.com.
Sequim Bee Farm started in 2014 and continues to be chemical-free in its products.
Along with the Good Food Awards, they won $20,000 from Kitsap Bank’s edg3 FUND small business competition in 2018 to increase efficiency of their products.
Meg said they are “going strong” on finalizing a commercial kitchen in one of their properties east of Port Angeles.
“We’re at a place where we’re right where we want to be,” she said.
Meg continues to work full-time as a nurse practitioner for Peninsula Behavioral Health, and Buddy retired from the Clallam County Sheriff’s Department.
Finnriver, in addition to producing wines, ciders and organic flours from its grainery, hosts live music and other community events in its Cider Garden restaurant. More information can be found at finnriver.com.
A full list of the 2022 Good Food Award Winners can be found online at goodfoodfdn.org/awards/winners.