Fireweed or

Homesteader's Honey

Blue Ribbon Alaska State Fair

In Alaska, if you want honey, you have to import your bees from the lower forty-eight states in the springtime. Honey bees just cant survive the long, cold winters. As a result, early settlers in Alaska had a hunger for honey which was always in short-supply. Although bees may be in short supply, the summer brings forth flowers and blossoms in glorious abundance. Clover and fireweed are the blossoms selected for this honey. Fireweed is a cold climate plant. Some even grows in Washington and Oregon. The Indians watch the growth of the blossom and say they can tell that winter is about here when the blossoms are fully developed. Enterprising settlers learned they could make a substitute honey from the blossoms and sugar. Sometimes called blossom honey, it is not restricted to Alaska. I have even seen roadside stands in Tennessee selling cottage-industry blossom honey. People with sensitivity to bees find this artifical honey a nice way to safely savor the flavor of honey.

Preparation: 45 minutes Life Experience Recipe
Makes about 4 pints Margie Galinski
  • 10 cups sugar
  • 18 red clover blossoms
  • 18 fireweed florets
  • 2 1/2 cups boilng water
  • 30 white clover blossoms
  • 1 teaspoon alum
  1. In large pot with boiling water, sterilize canning jars, lids and rings. For up-to-date information about safe home canning practices, see for approved canning methods .
  2. In a large saucepan, bring water to a boil. Add sugar and alum whule stirring. Continue to boil and stir until mixture is clear, may take up to ten minutes.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat and add the blossoms and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  4. Pour through multiple layers of sterilized cheesecloth into the prepared jars. Allow -inch head space. Apply lids and bands immediately. Snug bands and invert jars, allow to cool.
  5. Use as you would regular honey. If crystallization occurs, carefully warming uncapped jars in the microwave can liquify the mixture.

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Latest revision done March 2006
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