McDonald Orchards Makes Life Sweeter

By Nina Andres

Mike and Anne McDonald of McDonald Orchards grows walnuts, almonds, and are well known beekeepers in the Capay Valley. The honeybees on their farm in Capay collect nectar and pollen in the nut orchard and beyond during the flowering season in this area, usually from March through late summer. Bees travel as far as 10 miles looking for sources of food, collecting from and pollinating both wildflowers and agricultural crops, making the McDonald’s honey polyfloral (aka wildflower honey). The bees in the 100 hives at McDonald Orchards can produce 10,000 pounds of honey in a season (a hundred pounds per hive). The raw wildflower honey produced by the McDonalds is only sold locally and is sweet, rich, and a deep amber color.

In our home we have mainly used honey on buttered toast and in tea, or sometimes the kids just want a spoonful. Have you ever tried drizzling honey over apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon? Or adding honey to plain yogurt? Now, on another note, have you ever used honey to heal a cut or burn? Honey’s antibiotic properties have put to use for over 2,700 years. Researchers have recently explained these properties through chemistry. Sugars in honey draw out moisture from a wound, reducing the chance of infection.

Some people use honey to help with coughs and respiratory infections, others for allergies, and still others for better blood sugar control. In addition honey has been found to have many health supportive substances, including antioxidants. Mike and Anne don’t tout the benefits of honey, but their loyal customers at both the Davis Farmers’ Market and the Palo Alto Community FarmShop (Wednesdays, 4-7pm in July) know that high quality, local honey makes life a little sweeter.


We are a network of over 40 small, family farms that offers 100% local, seasonal food.


Our pick-up locations.
We currently serve the San Francisco Bay Area through public and private pick-up sites. Our public sites include: San Francisco Avedano's and Cheese Plus, Palo Alto Calafia Cafe, Redwood City The Grind.