Southall, one of Tennessee’s most innovative and sustainable farms, will unveil its extensive grounds along with a luxury inn, spa and cottages in 2021 but its apiary and its 2.5 million bees are already being recognized as a key player in the larger agricultural and native biome.
The Good Food Foundation, known for its dedication to the elevation and continued reform of American food culture, has named Southall Farm’s Wildflower Honey a winner of the 2020 Good Food Awards in the honey category. Dedicated to the ethical production of clean, healthy food, the Good Food Awards showcase honeys most distinctive in clarity and depth of flavor, produced by beekeepers practicing good animal husbandry and social responsibility.
Head beekeeper Jay Williams manages the millions of bees that populate the apiary at Southall, utilizing the property’s native flora to produce the highest quality honey. Williams not only leads the apiary program but also educates and inspires anyone who is open to listening about the power and importance of bees through his company Williams Honey Farm.
Williams attributes the success of Southall’s Wildflower Honey to the diversity of native plantings featured throughout the 325 acres of flourishing land and the team’s dedication to cultivation and innovation. The greenhouses at Southall use native leafcutter bees to pollinate 365 days a year and Williams is pioneering Bluetooth technology to monitor hive health on the property.
“We’re a little different in that we don’t harvest until July, so we capture the flavor profiles of a full season’s worth of nectars. Our great spring weather last year delivered an incredible bloom – the black locust, tulip poplar and basswood all just exploded,” said Williams. “The team at Southall has planted hundreds of native trees and shrubs, while maintaining plenty of wildflowers for the bees. It’s just a perfect scenario for making amazing honey.”
Wiliams also shared the good news on Instagram, “We are over the moon excited to announce that our amazing Southall Farms honey became a Good Food Awards winner tonight! This is a big day for our bees and for #Tennessee. None of this would have been possible without the constant support from the staff at Southall especially @willietbrown. The bees and I am forever grateful. Cheers to the future!”
Southall’s award-winning honey is available seasonally for purchase at The Farm Stand, a specially curated retail space located on-property at Southall in Franklin, Tenn. Visionary chef and farmer Tyler Brown oversees a culinary and agricultural team dedicated to his lifelong dream of marrying agriculture, hospitality and cuisine into a unique and memorable experience at Southall.