Monday, 16 January 2012

Producer Profile - Wishfield Honey

Name and Business Name:

Matthew Noakes - Wishfield Honey

Tell us a bit about your produce and business:

I am based in Horsmonden and currently run about 40 hives, with a view to increasing. My main reason for keeping bees, is for the bees. I produce nucs (half a hive) of bees between April-June. During the rest of the year I make honey, lip balm, hand cream and polish and I am always looking into producing other bee related products such as candles.

How long have you been selling at Cranbrook Farmer's Market?

18 months.

What is the best thing about Cranbrook and the local area?

Cranbrook is an old market town and the Farmers Market is appropriate for it. The surrounding area also has several attractions as well as being a picturesque part of the Kent countryside.

Which other markets and fairs do you show at?

Aside from Cranbrook Farmers Market I also attend Horsmonden, Yalding and Penshurst Farmers Markets. I also sell at The Hospice in the Weald Summer and Winter Fairs, Finchcocks Spring Fair and a few others, time allowing!

What is your busiest time of year as a producer and why?

The busiest period for me is March-October as this is when the bees are at their most active. March-August I'm busy with the bees and September-October is harvest time followed by preparing everything for the winter.

Top tips for using honey & your favourite honey recipe:

At this time of year honey is excellent for coughs and colds and during the summer, it is good for allergies. I also use honey in cooking, as a subtle sweetener on chicken, duck and fish.

There are also several cakes which honey complements well. My favorite of these is a Deluxe Honey Fruit Cake, here is the recipe:-



100g Honey
300g Self-raising Flour
125g Demerera Sugar
200g Butter
200g Mixed Fruit
25g Chopped Almonds
50g Chopped Glace Cherrys
4 Free Range Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk


1. Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees C/ 275 degrees F/ Gas Mark 1 and grease and line your cake tin.

2. Put all the ingredients except the self-raising flour into a bowl and mix

3. Once well mixed sift in the self-raising flour and again mix well.

4. Bake in the oven for about 1 hr 45 min and cool in the tin for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

This does make a large cake, but if stored in an airtight container it will keep well. Enjoy!

Contact details, phone, website etc:

Matthew Noakes
Tel:   01892 722682

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