dale hofer

Pam Treft Staab at the Eudora Market on MainPam Treft Staab at the Eudora Market on Main

Eudora News & Information ~ www.eudorareporter.com

Downtown Eudora was hopping Saturday morning, and a good part of the foot traffic was due to something new: Eudora Market on Main, an indoor farmers’ market located at 724 Main. The market is the brainchild of a couple of local gardeners, Pam Trefz Staab and Heather McPeek. Its hours are 9:00 a.m. to noon on Saturday morning, but the pair hope to increase the hours to include weekdays.

Shoppers were sipping coffee and chatting while they shopped for vegetables, meat, honey, gifts, and, sweet treats in the historic building that most recently photo-16-500x373housed Cami Cakes. The building has been in the Trefz family for many years, and old timers probably remember Trefz Variety Store that opened at 1915. Pam Trefz Staab is excited to have the space being used in a way that will reach many in the community.

“I wanted to find a place for small producers and artists without a lot of overhead,” said Staab. “We hope to offer cooking classes, and in January we plan to have a pasta bar where people can eat in or carry out.” Local chefs Julia and Eric Ireland will be in charge of the pasta bar.

The vendors at the market this December are diverse. Among them are Dale and Vicky Hofer with their regular honey as well as cinnamon honey (which is to die for, by the way), Jean Reynolds with homemade pies and peanut brittle, and Jamie and Keith Knabe with frozen all-natural beef, sausage and turkey. Meredith and Dan Snyder, who hope to open Grandma’s Magic Kitchen directly across the street before too long, bring a wonderful selection of baked goods. Staab is there with her organic, aquaponic lettuce that she grows locally with her brother Fred Trefz. Heather McPeek has fall squash and lovely flower arrangements. There is truly something for everyone.

“This is just the fourth Saturday for the market and it’s growing every week,” said McPeek.

Stop by the market on a Saturday morning before Christmas, and keep your eyes on this publication so you will know when other events in the building start taking shape.

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Hofer Honey

Eudora News and Informationwww.eudorareporter.com

This is the first in a series about interesting things that retired people in Eudora are doing. While there won’t be a segment every week, you’ll see one every so often.

Those of you who grew up in Eudora or raised your children here probably know Dale and Vicky Hofer as school teachers. Vicky taught 3rd grade in the Eudora school district for 32 years and then mentored new teachers for another five. Dale was the woodworking instructor for junior and senior high students for 30 years. They both retired in 2005. But now the couple has a new title: beekeepers.

Dale became interested in bees nearly 40 years ago but didn’t have more than a couple of hives until retirement freed up his time. Now raising bees and producing honey has become a passion that Dale and Vicky share, and is a project that even involves their family and some friends. Their son Nate designed the “Hofer Honey” label for the jars and the website. Their grandkids love participating in the honey-producing process. In fact, the Hofers hold an annual “Honey Day” at their rural Eudora home with all kinds of learning activities for the grandchildren, as well as an opportunity for them to participate in the extraction process.

Both Dale and Vicky agree that “Honey Day” is the best part of beekeeping as it’s a time to celebrate the hard work that goes in to producing honey all year. Throughout the day Vicky keeps hot biscuits coming out of the oven, the perfect complement to fresh honey. (Is your mouth watering yet?) It’s a day of fun and hard work.

As you can probably guess, getting bee stings is the least enjoyable part of the job, but it goes with the territory. Moving a hive in the spring can be especially treacherous because if you make a wrong move you can have a bunch of angry bees after you. Even though they wear special suits when working with the bees, they still occasionally get stung. When I asked Dale how many stings he had had over the years, he said with a laugh, “I’ve had several.”

The bee suits that are worn during the harvest in late August are very hot, and the heat of the day is the best time to extract honey because most of the bees are away from the hive. Vicky said that you can’t even take a sip of water to cool off because of all the gear. That might be the second least enjoyable part of the job.

Bee suit

Dale Hofer in his protective bee suit

The last two years of drought had made for a small harvest, and last year, much to their grandkids’ dismay, they even had to cancel “Honey Day.” But this year the Hofers produced about 400 pounds of beautiful and delicious golden honey from their twelve hives. Besides regular honey, they also make Creamed Cinnamon Honey, perhaps an even tastier topping to hot biscuits.

“For us, it’s just a hobby,” Dale said summing up their beekeeping experience.  “It’s a learning experience every day,” Vicky added.  It’s also something they enjoy doing together during their retirement years.

For more information about Hofer Honey or how to purchase it, you can email Dale and Vicky at hoferreed@hotmail.com.

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