Sunday, September 18, 2011

Honey, Horses and Hospitality

I've had the pleasure of meeting really awesome and inspiring people...ordinary people that do the extra-ordinary in their spare time.  I want my readers and friends to benefit from these folks' experiences and wisdom, as I have.

My very first installment features the fabulous Kathy and Jim Foster. They are an inspirational couple that lead a blessed and beautiful life. Their story will demonstrate that you can follow your dreams and have the lifestyle you want.
"What fulfills me is providing a warm and wonderful environment in my home, and serving food. Food for me is an expression of my love." Kathy (above right) is well known for the exquisite presentations of her tables and fine cooking and and her warm way of entertaining.  Everything she touches looks like something out of a Williams-Sonoma Cookbook.


She currently manages the Village Bakery in Calistoga, California, at the top of the World-Famous Napa Valley.  Stop in for a delicious sandwich, a scoop of gelato or fresh baked breads and desserts.

In addition to managing one of Napa Valley's finest bakeries, Kathy and Jim market gourmet honey, artisan chocolates bursting with their gooooooey honeys (available Christmas 2011) and raise some of the world's best Arabian horses.
Jim and his baby, Mozart

Jim has been breeding these beautiful horses for over 40 years. "I want to improve the quality of the horses that I'm raising. Having started out over 40 yeas ago, and still having the same blood in many of the mares that we have, gives us an opportunity to see generational improvement.....there is satisfaction in that." Jim says.

I asked them how in the heck they got into these diverse hobbies and businesses (in addition to their full-time jobs and over a dozen grandkids).  When they found themselves at the mercy of the economy, they decided to look back to their roots. "We decided to do what we know and what we do best...which is honey, horses and hospitality." Jim explained. What is now today's Meadowmont Farm Honey started five generations back. Jim grew up in a family that bred (yes, bred) queens and raised zillions of bees.

After talking to Jim at length about bees, I learned how complex these awesome creatures are. You HAVE to do some study of bees to see what flying little miracles they are!
Another inspiration for getting back into the honey business is to expose their grandchildren to their family history. They wanted to have their family legacy live on.
In their first year, they have used all their spare time to secure bottles, design packaging and market their honey to dozens of local wineries, boutique gift shops, specialty grocery stores and online.
Unlike cheaper table honey that we are all used to, the Fosters offer the finest, purest organic honeys available, such as their premium "Legacy Honey" (Montana Clover), Coastal Sage, Orange Blossom and Star Thistle.
Each honey has a unique look and flavor.  When I tried it I thought.."this doesn't taste like honey...it tastes like golden heaven in my mouth!!"...whatever that means.

Something they said really inspired me.  "It's not about overnight success, it's about the journey and about enjoying every step of the process and blessing others along the way. It can take years and years to get to where you want to be in life but its about enjoying the creation of your dreams."

BONUS TIPS FROM KATHY!
I wanted to share a few very simple and inexpensive ways that Kathy styles her food and entertains others. She re-uses old, fancy vinegar bottles from the Grocery Outlet, fills them with water and a long sprig of Rosemary and always has one on hand, chilled for guests. The rosemary lightly sweetens the water and doesn't compete with other flavors on the table.

Instead of throwing a sandwich in a plastic ziploc bag, Kathy wraps her husband's sandwiches in parchment paper and twine to make even a simple sack lunch a special, loving treat.

She says that it is so important to do the small things to show the people you love how much you care.
To order honey, write to: meadowmontfarm@earthlink.net or call 707-291-9815.

Now...go live YOUR dream!



5 comments:

  1. What a wonderful place to visit. I sure wouldn't mind living in the Napa Valley someday! I am going to check out there online shop. I am a sucker for artisan honey!

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  2. The honey is amazing!! I can't stop eating it, and I am supposed to be dieting too lol! They all have such a pure unique flavors! Lisa, you would adore their home and farm, it's stunning!

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  3. Lovely post!!! We need to get together Molly!

    ReplyDelete
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