The streets around Stanford University and Palo Alto, its municipality, tend, like university towns everywhere, to be named after rival institutions--Princeton, Oxford--or historic figures--say, Tennyson and Kipling. Our friends live on Amherst Street, after the college and, presumably, Emily Dickinson. In their large front yard under a venerable oak tree they have raised vegetable beds and an array of beehives (and other hives, with permission, in friends' gardens). A month or so ago we were sitting in their garden talking about the trove of spring honey stored in the garage. The town yard sale was coming up: why not put a table on the sidewalk, a few flyers on the telephone poles and have a pop-up shop while the neighbours sold their cast-off pots and pans, and outgrown Ikea cribs?
And so they did. When I turned up, after lunch, there was a table set with a red and yellow cloth, and enough chairs for passersby to settle down and chat. The honey jars--most had been sold by then--were labelled 'Amherst Apiaries, 2015 Spring Honey.' The label on the top of the jars, designed by Marj, was round with a honey bee in its centre. The honey was, as honey is, translucent gold. I came home with 12-11 ounce jars of '2015 Spring Honey.' The jars, which say, 'Made in USA,' are embossed with grapes, apples, cherries, peaches and pears. The honey is delicious.