Come see our little slice of herbal heaven tomorrow at the Florence Farmers Market, 2-6 pm!
We’ve got tons of tasty garden goodies for you like fresh-cut spearmint, garlic chives, sorrel, spinach, and radish. And we have fresh greens for your furry companions too- “Pet Grass” is nutritious wheat grass growing in leak-proof Chinese food take-out containers. Our indoor kitties are crazy for it!
If you’re looking for plants to add to your garden, we’ll have the medicinal herbs st. johnswort, echinacea, yarrow, and motherwort, plus lots of heirloom tomato and hot pepper starts.
Last but not least, you’ll also find my handmade vegan bodycare there: eye cremes, moisturizers, baby balm, baby powder, and olive oil soaps. Stop by and say hello for a free sample!
Down with deadheading! “Lazy” gardening has much to recommend!
Common wisdom tells us to not allow Arugula (aka Salad Rocket) to flower and go to seed. But look how beautiful Arugula’s flowers are! And they’re edible too.
Not only do you and the insects get to enjoy the flowers, this lets the plants plant themselves. Arugula, lettuces, and many herbs will naturalize in your garden if you let them. So you get more plants with less work.
It’s actually almost embarrassing how in love with Lettuce I am….
One of the first things I can eat out of my garden in the Spring, Lettuce’s amazing variety of colors, textures, and flavors is enough to put me into a swoon.
And more than just a pretty face, Lettuce is rich in vitamin A and potassium plus has some vitamin C, calcium, iron, and copper.
(*except Iceberg Lettuce, which is very low in nutritional value)
Lettuce fits into my small-space garden rule which requires plants to do double-duty: Besides eating it, you can wear it
A lettuce face mask helps restore skin’s natural pH, soothes rough skin, and can help heal pimples.
Put lettuce in a blender to pulp, then massage onto skin. For a fancier version, add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Olive oil is a great moisturizer, and lemon juice a gentle astringent that cleans and refines pores.
A sneak peek at some new gear for the Florence Wednesday Farmers Market: Our table banner!
Opening day is April 24, which is right in-between Earth Day and a full moon. Auspicious timing, wouldn’t you say?
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita) is one of the first signs of green in my Springtime garden, and a very welcome sight it is!
A member of the Daisy Family, Chamomile contains calcium, potassium, vitamin B2, flavonoids, coumarins, and salicylates. The flowers are used for their antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, sedative, and vulnerary properties.
The flavor is described as both sweet and bitter. You’ll notice its appley aroma which is just how it tastes, but if you make the same mistake I did and steep your tea extra long (medicine-making style), it becomes really bitter!
Chamomile is used in skin care to soften dry skin, clean pores, clear acne, and reduce puffiness. It’s also a key herb to use for healing wounds and inflammations such as burns, itches, and bug bites.
Try using Chamomile in a steam to ease nasal congestion. Used as a bath herb, Chamomile can relieve stress and calm cranky children.
I also like to use Chamomile to make a massage oil that soothes sore muscles and aids relaxation. This oil is wonderful on sore, swollen feet!
* If you are sensitive to Ragweed you may be allergic to Chamomile. Be careful when you first try it. Otherwise, it’s considered very safe.
After a long, cold, dark Winter, it always feels so good to throw open the windows, shake off the cobwebs, and do some serious Spring cleaning!
I’ve had this “cleaning itch” about my online store too. You may remember that I used to offer different fun things that changed with the season. This dwindled as I moved from craft fairs and farmers markets into selling primarily through retail shops.
Having a more limited, “fixed” set of bodycare products made it easier for me to make them in greater numbers (I still do almost everything by hand) while helping trim losses from spoilage (fresh and natural spoils so much quicker).
But the downside is, well, it gets boring! So I’m taking a cue from the renewal happening out in the garden and reinvigorating my crafting (and therefore, my life)!
Being back at a farmers market this year gives me a little space for experimentation. I’ve been collecting so many fabulous recipes- I can’t wait to share them with you!
Along with new recipes, I’m excited to be working more with a wider range of herbs, including Sage, Elder Flower, Linden Leaf, and Pine Needle. You’ll grow to love them as much as I do
I’ll be doing a bit of remodeling in the store too, so please pardon the dust over the next couple weeks….
Ever have the experience of discovering something you never knew existed- which you then were dying to possess- only to find you couldn’t find it anywhere?
This is me – and this is Watermelon Seed Oil.
Aromaweb.com turned me on to Watermelon Seed Oil, which is described there as ” …a very nourishing yet light oil with good absorption. It is a good choice for use with oily skin but can be effective with all skin types.” Its aroma is “slightly nutty”.
I’m crazy for watermelon and always on the lookout for new oils to try, so I began researching….
Commonly known as “Ootanga Oil” and “Kalahari Oil”, Watermelon seed oil is rich in essential fatty acids, making it highly moisturizing, while being completely non-greasy. It is said to actually help balance oil production.
It also makes hair shiny and strong!
And I just can’t seem to locate a source. If you know one, please let me know!
Did you hear the “WOO-HOO!”? That was me, getting the news that our new vendor application has been accepted at the Florence Farmers Market!
Florence is a village of Northampton with a proud and colorful history. Home to a utopian community of Abolitionists in the early 1800′s, it was a stop on the Underground Railroad as well as being former slave, abolitionist, and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth‘s hometown from 1843 to 1857.
Today, Florence’s old manufacturing mills have been filled with artist studios, yoga/massage/acupuncture centers, day spas, vibrant ‘local food’ cafes (including a vegan cafe!), and it even has its own vineyard and winery.
The Florence Civic Center hosts the popular Wednesday afternoon meetup spot that is the Community Farmers Market. We’ll be there every other week from 2 to 6 p.m. with our handmade vegan bodycare, olive oil soaps, fresh-cut herbs, heirloom vegetables, and log-cultured mushrooms.
Hawkeye and I are so excited to be joining the fun!
On Thursday evenings from 8 to 9pm ET, the Indie Business Network (IBN) hosts #HandmadeChat, a Twitter talk show to help handmade and creative entrepreneurs sell more products, have more fun, and be more successful personally and professionally.
While the show is aimed mainly at business owners who make and sell handmade consumer products, the topics and discussions can empower and encourage the growth of any small business.
I had the immense pleasure of being interviewed at last night’s chat by the lovely Donna Maria Coles Johnson, IBN’s founder. We talked herbs and micro-farming and how my lifestyle influences my business and the skin care products I make.
You can read a transcript of the interview at Donna Maria’s blog. She says she’s inspired “to go outside and dig around in the dirt”. I couldn’t ask for better
Every Thursday at 8pm ET, the Indie Business Network (IBN) hosts #HandmadeChat, a weekly Twitter talk show to coach, inform and inspire handmade and creative entrepreneurs. I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be next week’s guest!
Indie Business Network is a niche community of small and independent business owners in the handmade and artisanal health, beauty and lifestyle industries. I’ve been a member since 2006 and honestly can’t imagine how anyone like me survives the challenges we face without having IBN in their corner.
If you’re currently working as an Indie and or want to transition to Indiehood, join me and my fellow Indies at #HandmadeChat on Thursday nights for real world tips and actionable ideas you can use to grow your business.
Have a question for me you’d like answered at #HandmadeChat? Submit it here.
Not sure how to participate? Here’s a post from IBN’s founder, Donna Maria Coles Johnson, explaining how it works.
Connect with me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ParadiseHerbal.