Posts Tagged: Amina Harris
The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology is showcasing insects in the Floriculture Building, where displays include a bee observation hive from the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, butterfly and other specimens from the Bohart Museum of Entomology, and arts and crafts from the Honey and Pollination Center.
In Today's Youth Building, six-year-old Mieko Heiser of Dixon is displaying "My Bug Exhibit," telling fairgoers how to catch, identity and pin insects. Her pinned insects include a honey bee, lacewing, field cricket and ladybug larvae. And, oh, yes, a spider (not an insect, but an arthropod).
"It's an amazing exhibit," said Sharon Payne, building superintendent and president of the Solano County 4-H Council. It won a best-of-show award, spotlighting the fair's theme, "Best of Show."
Here's what's "buggy" in the Floriculture Building, headed by florist Kathy Hicks:
- Entomologist Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum will let fairgoers pet and hold a 22-year-old rose-haired tarantula from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., both Saturday and Sunday, May 10-11. He also plans to bring along Madagascar hissing cockroaches and walking sticks. Those are a few of the live critters, permanent residents, in the Bohart Museum's "petting zoo." The UC Davis-based museum, directed by Lynn Kimsey, UC Davis professor of entomology, is home to nearly eight million insect specimens.
- Billy Synk, manager of the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, is scheduled to answer questions about bees from 11 to 4 p.m., Friday, May 9.
- Cameron Jasper, bee scientist with the Brian Johnson lab at UC Davis, plans to share bee information with fairgoers from 4 to 6 on Friday, May 9.
- Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, headquartered in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, will show youngsters how to make bee/flower puppets from 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 10.
- You can also expect to see native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, there, too, schedule permitting.
Meanwhile, over on the UC Davis campus, a special event will take place on Friday, May 9 in the department's bee garden, the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. The occasion: National Public Gardens Day. The open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and includes a guided tour from 6 to 6:30. Haven manager Christine Casey says "We'll also be giving away sunflower plants along with information about how to monitor them for bee activity."
The half-acre bee garden is open daily from dawn to dusk. Expect to see lots of bees and other pollinators, plus the amazing work of the UC Davis Art/Science Program.
Sharon Payne, superintendent of the Today's Youth Building at the Dixon May Fair, stands by a 6-year-old's bug exhibit, which won a blue ribbon and best of show. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, will engage youngsters in arts and crafts. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Entomologist Jeff Smith of the Bohart Museum of Entomology will show fairgoers his rose-haired tarantula. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's the taste of honey AND mead--coupled with a gourmet dinner on the UC Davis campus.
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is sponsoring the Mid-Winter Beekeepers Feast: A Taste of Mead and Honey on Saturday, Feb. 8 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the foyer of the Sensory Building, Robert Mondavi Institute of Food and Science, 392 Old Davis Road.
It's like "Bee My Valentine."
"The air will be redolent with the sweet smells of roasting lamb and flavored honey," said executive director Amina Harris.
It's billed as a Valentine's Day event and a celebratory meal benefitting the Honey and Pollination Center.
The main course features roasted lamb shank with rosemary infused sage honey, polenta squares with mushroom ragout, oven-roasted brussel sprouts with thyme butter, and Musqee de Provence with walnuts and a lavender honey glaze
The guests will start with these appetizers: Cracked Dungeness crab on Belgian endive and shitake mushroom soup shots. And the drinks, of course, will feature mead from Heidrun Meadery, along with sparkling water and a wine selected for each course. Salad is next: navel and blood oranges over winter greens with a tupelo honey vinaigrette.
Following the main course, a cheese course with honey comb will be served. For dessert: Häagen-Dazs Honey vanilla ice cream with old-fashioned butter cookies.
And then, a mead flight with three meads.
Harris says the printed menu will be something folks will want to take home. Vicki Wojcik, a member of the Honey and Pollination Center Advisory Committee and the research director at Pollinator Partnership, will add pollinator notes to the printed menu--indicating which foods are pollinated by bees.
The dinner, designed by Ann Evans and Mani Niall, will be catered by the Buckhorn, Winters. Evans is the founder of the Yolo County Slow Food, the Davis Farmers' Market and the Davis Farm-to-School Program. Niall is the author of numerous cookbooks including "Covered in Honey" and "Sweet." He describes himself as the "chief cupcake froster" at his newly opened Sweet Bar Bakery in Oakland.
Darrell Corti, an international wind judge, will lead the mead flight tasting.
Also planned: music and a silent auction. "Prizes are still coming in," said Harris, who can be reached at email@example.com. Tickets for the one-of-a-kind event are $125 per person, or a table for eight for a $1250 sponsorship.
It sounds like a bee-utiful evening, made possible by the bees!
Bee on honey. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
How about “A Taste of Mead and Honey?”
That’s even better!
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center is planning a "Mid-Winter Beekeepers Feast: A Taste of Mead and Honey" on Saturday, Feb. 8 in the foyer of the Sensory Building, Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The gala, one-of-a-kind event will take place from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. and will include appetizers, drinks, salad, main course, cheese course with honey comb, and dessert and mead flight.
Amina Harris, executive director of the UC Honey and Pollination Center, teases us with: “It is early February. Pink and white buds are peeking out on the burnished branches of the almond trees all over central California. Bees come out to bask in the warmth of the afternoon sun following the dark, cool days of winter. They gather pollen and nectar to begin building their strength and their colony for the coming year. Each evening they return to the warmth of the hive.”
Wait, there’s more.
“Our night will begin with sparkling mead cocktails and end with a mead flight, guided by Darrell Corti. Music, a silent auction, and great food will fill the evening.”
Great food? Indeed! Check out the menu, the kind you’d find at a five-star restaurant.
Cracked Dungeness crab on Belgian endive, and shitake mushroom soup shots.
Sparkling mead, sparkling water and wine pairings with each course
Navel and blood oranges over winter greens and tupelo honey vinaigrette
Roasted lamb shank with dried fruit and rosemary infused sage honey, polenta squares with tomato and mushroom ragout, and oven-roasted Brussels sprouts with thyme butter
Cheese Cream with Honey Comb:
Honey comb paired with Laura Chenel Orange Blossom Chevre, and Point Reyes Blue and Manchego cheeses
Dessert and Mead Flight:
Three select meads, Häagen-Dazs Honey Vanilla Ice Cream, and old-fashioned butter cookies with pistachios
Designing the menu: Ann Evans, nationally known consultant in consumer food and agricultural education and founder of Slow Food Yolo County, and chef Mani Niall of the Sweet Bar Bakery, Oakland, and author of “Covered in Honey” and “Sweet." The Buckhorn of Winters is catering the event.
Tickets will be available Ded. 2 at http://rmi.ucdavis.edu/events. Single tickets are $125, and table for eight, $1250. (Contact Amina Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tracy Disslin at email@example.com)
Is it February yet?
When February arrives, honey bees will be out pollinating the almonds. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
There also could be a "u" in mead, as in "you."
There's definitely a honey bee, as without the bee and the honey, there's no mead.
The UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headed by executive director Amina Harris and headquartered at the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science, is planning a mead-making short course, billed as "the first of its kind in the country."
The event, "Mead-Making Short Course: From Honey to the Shelf," will take place Feb. 6-8, 2014 at RMI.
What is mead, you ask?
It's the world's oldest alcoholic beverage. "It's a fermented blend of pure honey and water," Harris says. Sometimes mead makers also add fruits and spices to produce a dry, semi-sweet, sweet or even a sparkling mead.
Mead, says Harris, is "the golden libation of the Norse gods, a staple throughout the Middle Ages." It's now making a comeback in the United States. More than 150 meaderies belong to the American Mead Makers' Association, according to president Chris Webber.
The UC Davis short course has engaged the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology and some of the country’s leading mead makers and experts.
“I met, Frank Golbeck, a fledgling mead maker, at a conference this past spring," Harris recalled. Golbeck asked if she could "put together a seminar of some sort could be put together for mead makers like him." Harris began pursuing the possibilities as soon as she returned to campus.
Since then, Harris has worked with Professor Dave Block, chair of the Viticulture and Enology Department, to create a program that will take participants from tasting and buying honey, right through the process including fermentation and filtration." Specialists will present the sensory aspects of mead: smells and taste, defects and texture. Also planned is a tour of the world’s first LEED Platinum winery at RMI.
“Once we had the program fleshed out, I began to contact the movers and shakers in the mead industry," Harris related. "With their help, we tweaked the initial plan and added some special tastings, educational panels and information about the current state of the honey bee and beekeeping.” International wine expert and local personality Darrell Corti will help lead a mead tasting to teach what to look for in a finished product.
As of mid-October, 20 persons have registered. They span the United States: Alaska, New Hampshire, Florida, California, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, and Colorado.
The Honey and Pollination Center's mission is to showcase the importance of honey and pollination through education and research. The Center works with the agricultural, beekeeping and food service industries. The stakeholders include growers, grocers, chefs and students.
Meanwhile, the year-old Center continues to be quite active. On behalf of the Center, the UC Davis Bookstore is selling Northern California wildflower honey and pollinator note cards.
Another project is to develop a Honey Tasting and Aroma Wheel. “As more and more people become interested in artisanal and varietal honeys, it is believed the Center could help them understand the depth and flavors of honey," Harris said. "The wheel will be a terrific education opportunity."
Additionally, the Center plans to develop a Master Beekeeping course offered through UC Davis.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn how to make mead, you can register for the short course for $425 before Dec. 1, 2013 and $500 afterwards. The program includes classes, tours and most meals. To enroll, access rmi.ucdavis.edu/events or email Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to friend the Center on Facebook? Go to https://www.facebook.com/UcDavisHoneyAndPollinationCenter.
Mead! It all begins with the honey bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Amina Harris, executive director of the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, displayed honey and note cards at the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' 25th annual College Celebration. The photos on the note cards were donated by Kathy Keatley Garvey.
The buzz around UC Davis is about "The Wings of Life."
The Disneynature film, narrated by Meryl Streep, will be part of the "Evening of Inspiration" on Wednesday, July 24 at the UC Davis Conference Center, 550 Alumni Lane.
Sponsoring the event, to be held from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., is the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center, headquartered in the Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science.
The film, a French-American documentary about the precarious relationship between pollinators and flowers, is billed as a "Davis premier." It will be shown starting at 7:30 p.m. at the UC Davis Conference Center, said Amina Harris, executive director of the Honey and Pollination Center. A discussion by filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg will follow. The conversation promises to be lively, inspirational and educational as the film focuses on such pollinators as bees, butterflies and bats.
Prior to the showing, guest will gather at 6:30 for honey tasting; music by Terry Press-Dawson; and education by pollinators.org. The UC Davis School of Education will co-sponsor the event.
The cost is $5 per person, with online registration encouraged. For online registration and more information, go to https://registration.ucdavis.edu/Item/Details/83.
That's the buzz around UC Davis!
Oregano is a favorite of honey bees. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)