September Face-to-Face Meeting
September 16, 2023, 5:00 PM
Reserve this date - we hope you will join us! You do not need to be a CIBA member to attend, but we hope this meeting will entice you to join our organization!
Northridge Baptist Church, 3700 6th Avenue, Des Moines
NOTE: Park in the lot on Clinton Avenue but enter the building by the door near the alley (not Clinton Avenue), where there is a wheelchair ramp. Picture below to assist in identifying the church entrance:
Get a Taste for Iowa Honey
We’ll have a business meeting, a light supper provided by the CIBA Food Committee, then Honey Sommelier Katie Flinn, owner of Milk & Honey Orchard Apiary, Indianola, will present “Iowa’s Honey Terroir”.
You will NOT want to miss this sweet meeting where we’ll be learning (and tasting) all kinds of honey! Katie will
briefly cover some of the primary nectar flows in Iowa and review the tasting descriptors of these flows. She
will bring various honeys to sample – black locust, dandelion and golden rod – as well as some cheese
pairings. Bring your own honey for sampling and Katie will have her tasting wheel to help describe the taste
of each honey.
Katie grew up in a southeastern Iowa river town focused on railroad and industry. But she yearned to travel
and had a passion for food, so she joined the U.S. Air Force. This took her around the world, eventually
leading to her bee and honey adventure. Halfway through her Air Force tenure, Katie realized she wanted to
keep bees because she was fascinated with honey. Every tour of duty would end up with a unique jar of honey
from that location. From the bush of Australia, the desert of Saudi Arabia, the oceans of Hawaii ... each honey
had the unique taste of the terroir.
After she finished her Air Force career, Katie swiftly enrolled in the Heroes to Hives program, gaining her
apprenticeship in beekeeping through Michigan State University. She founded her bee business and runs
approximately 60 hives in six locations, practicing nomadic beekeeping. She pays close attention to the nectar
flows and practices of the land keepers.
As Katie started working her hives, she noticed the different smell and taste of the honey coming in. This was
so intriguing that during her research she came across Italy’s study of honey sensory. She enrolled in the
Honey Sensory Education conducted by Italian Registry of Honey Sensory and Beesources. She has
completed the introductory and advanced course work and will test in December 2023. She also volunteers
with the American Honey Tasting Society assisting with the Italian-accredited Intro to Honey Sensory Courses
Katie holds honey tastings, honey pairings and assists with identification of honey in Iowa. She explains honey-
tasting descriptors, nectar flow and plant identification. She also participates as a honey judge nationally and is
part of a honey tasting panel that identifies, gratifies and recognizes differing honeys in the United States.
Follow Katie on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/MHOrchardApiary/