- Cullman, Alabama


August 14, 2013

A honey of a job: Nancy and Phillip Garrison have turned beekeeping into a business

CULLMAN — Honey has been called one of nature’s most perfect foods. Honey gets its sweetness from the monosaccharides fructose and glucose, and has just about the same sweetness as granulated sugar. It’s great for baking, with a distinctive flavor that leads some people to prefer it over sugar and other sweeteners.  

Flavors of honey vary based on the nectar source, and various types and grades of honey are available. It is nutritious and all natural.

Honey has been around for centuries and is mentioned several times in the Bible.

Nancy and Phillip Garrison, of GoldVine Farms, near Cullman, have turned beekeeping into a business. Phillip is a beekeeper who sells honey, but also makes candles from the beeswax collected from his hives.

Nancy often uses the honey in recipes that she has shared with us. The couple will also be seated with guests at the upcoming Farm to Fork Dinner which precedes the Farm Y'All Festival. Contact Tony Glover at the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service for more details. Tickets are available through the Extension office.

The Garrisons also raise chickens and are very active in the Cullman County farming community.

You can purchased their private label GoldVine Honey in several locations in Cullman, and by appointment from their farm in Goldridge.

Honey Squares

1 3/4 c. honey

2 c. peanut butter

6 c. Rice Crispies or Corn Flakes

6 oz. chocolate chips

Bring honey almost to a boil, add peanut butter and stir until melted. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Spread on top of mixture.


GoldVine Honey Punch

2 c. water

3/4 c. honey

1/8 c. lemon juice

1 1/2 c. orange juice

2 c. Sprite

1/3 c. apricot juice

4 c. pineapple juice

Place honey and water in sauce pan, heat till dissolved. In separate pan, mix all other ingredients, then add honey and water. Chill to serve – can be frozen for later use. Makes 22 4oz. servings.


Easy Caramel Popcorn

1 stick butter

3/4 c. of mild honey

8 c. popped popcorn (1/3 cup unpopped)

1/2 - 1 c. peanuts

Melt butter and honey together. Bring to a boil and let boil for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour over popcorn and peanuts and mix thoroughly to coat. Bake at 400ºfor 10 minutes. Stir, then bake for 5 more minutes or until golden brown.


Honey Bun Cake


Vegetable oil spray for misting the pan

8.25-oz. pkg. plain yellow cake mix

1 c. sour cream

3/4 c. vegetable oil, such as canola, corn, safflower, soybean or sunflower

4 eggs


1/3 c. honey

1/3 c. packed light brown sugar

1 T. ground cinnamon

1/2 c. finely chopped pecans (optional)

Sugar glaze

2 c. confectioners sugar, sifted

1/3 c. milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350º. Lightly mist a 13x9-inch baking pan with vegetable oil spray. Set the pan in the oven.

Place the cake mix, sour cream, oil, and eggs in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat two minutes more, scraping the sides down again if necessary.

The batter should look thick and well blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out with the rubber spatula.

Add the filling. Drizzle the honey on top of the batter, then sprinkle on the brown sugar, cinnamon, and pecans, if desired. With a dinner knife, swirl through these ingredients to blend them slightly. Place the pan in the oven.

Bake the cake until it is golden brown and springs back when lightly pressed with your finger, 38-40 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool while you prepare the glaze.

For the glaze, place the confectioners’ sugar, milk, and vanilla in a small mixing bowl and stir until the mixture is well combined. Pour the glaze over the top of the hot cake in the pan, spreading it to the sides with a spoon. Allow the cake to cool for 20 minutes more before cutting it into squares and serving warm.

*Store this cake, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to one week. To freeze it, wrap in aluminum foil for up to 6 months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving. Serves 20/Prep time 10 minutes/Baking time 38-40 minutes

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