Carmel Valley, California. The name alone evokes images of rolling golden hills, 100 year-old oaks, and roaming vineyards as far as the eye can see. With such stunning scenery and rich artistic history, this coastal city is indeed a sweet place to stay.
Adding to the sweetness is Carmel Valley Ranch, which is buzzing with summer activities. An up-close-and-personal beekeeping experience and five different culinary workshops make for an interesting, informative, and unforgettable vacation.
Your honey bee adventure begins even before you enter the apiary. Sip on your complimentary lavender and honey lemonade as you observe the busy bees collecting pollen and nectar from the Ranch’s brilliant flowers. With 60,000 Italian honey bees foraging the flowers of 7,000 lavender plants, this truly is a sight to behold.
Become a beekeeper when you slip into a bee suit and actually step into the hives. Observe the magic of this productive and endangered community as the expert staff performs such duties as: honey harvesting, feeding new colonies, inspecting colonies’ health, and removing supers (the chambers in which bees store excess honey). This intimate experience allows you to connect with these creatures as you see the parallels between the colony and your own life.
“The Bee Experience is simultaneously fascinating and exhilarating,” Carmel Valley Ranch Director of Sales and Marketing, Brian Gipson said. “Each and every person will learn something new about our natural world and about themselves during this program.”
After an unbelievable beekeeping experience, savor a taste of Ranch honey directly from the hive and take home a parting gift in a travel-size lavender beeswax balm. And you’ll make life sweeter for these amazing insects, as a portion of all proceeds are donated to the Help the Honey Bees charity.
But there’s much more than honey to sample at the Ranch. A summer serving of culinary workshops spices up your stay starting with the Garden-to-Grill Series with Chef Tim Wood and farmer Mark Marino. Running throughout July and August, this event unites farmer and chef in the Organic Garden for a tour, a talk about organic farming and ingredients, a lively cooking demonstration from the chef, and (of course) a scrumptious lunch.
Mouth-watering food workshops continue month by month with summer berry jam in June, pickles and ferments in July, and an ingredient-loaded August of sweet summer tomatoes, salsas, spicy juice, and more. When the the honey and lavender harvest arrives, create lavender-infused ice cream and sauces, honey chili barbeque wings, and much more in weekend classes. The fresh summertime gourmet treats continue with Happy Girl Kitchen.
“Our culinary workshops are intended to marry the flavors of the Ranch to our mission of helping our guests experience things in the first-person,” Gipson said. “We want you to play and enjoy your stay with all five senses.”
Your five senses will receive five-star treatment at Carmel Valley Ranch, where the interactive Bee Experience and a cornucopia of culinary workshops ensure a sweet stay.