The Herbarie

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Happy New Year!

January is a relatively quiet month at the farm so along with our regular responsibilities, we have been indulging ourselves by taking peaceful walks in the woods and reading by the fire. This is also the time to bring out the seed and vegetable catalogs and dream of those roses blooming in the spring! Horizon Herbs, Johnny’s Seeds, and Seeds for Change are my favorite online seed shops. So throughout January, I’ll be making my selections!

We have been gardening organically without the use of pesticides for years and years because it makes sense to me. But we have not pursued any organic certification programs. I am excited to say that we are in the process of applying for Organic Certification through the USDA’s NOP program. We're applying for two certifications: 1) Farm Certification 2) Processor/Handler Certification. The Farm certification for us will be for crops (herbs, veggies, flowers, etc.) The Processor/Handler will be for the products we sell (our farm distilled hydrosols, botanical extracts and complexes, our jams and jelly, and other products.

The certification process requires a long paper trail and the task seems a bit overwhelming. But fortunately the official in charge of this program has been extremely encouraging, helpful, and patient with my many questions which makes it seems much less daunting. I hope we will receive at least one of the certifications this year!

As most folks know, I created The Herbarie from my love of plants and their gifts to us. Since 2000, The Herbarie has grown to include close to 500 products for cosmetics and toiletries. We are fortunate and thankful that our business is flourishing in spite of the current troubled economy. We are thankful for our wonderful and loyal customers, many who have been with us since the beginning – our customers are the best! It’s been exciting for me to see how many of these businesses have grown and are thriving. It’s equally exciting to hear from new customers about new endeavors and plans for achieving their dreams. It’s rewarding for us to be able to play a role in this process.

In addition to the many products we distribute, we also create, process, and sell over 30 of our own botanical products for cosmetics and toiletries. We combine traditional herbal medicine with the latest phytochemical research to create our botanical products. These products include our Botanical Complex line and our Hydrosols, most of which are grown in our gardens or wildcrafted from our woods. As the business has grown over the years, I have found myself spending too much time at the computer and in the warehouse instead of in the garden or my lab. This past year we hired several new staff members and now have four. Now that our staff can assume more of the inside responsibilities, I have resolved this year to Spend More Time In The Garden! So, I am definitely looking forward to “growing” in 2009!

Angie Turner
The Herbarie at Stoney Hill Farm, Inc.

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