The changing of the seasons is here: it’s definitely still summer, since the days are long, the flowers are in bloom, and the sun is hot. But, the first rains of fall are arriving, the winds have begun to blow, and change is in the air. As the season begins to change, our bodies become more vulnerable, and need more care to stay healthy.
Summer is a wonderful season for all things botanical, and our in-store apothecary is in peak shape. While most people think of winter as the time that it’s easiest to come down with a cold, summer wellness can be just as tricky to maintain, especially as the season begins to change. During this time of year, we turn to locally made products like honeys and tinctures to support our seasonal health, and as part of our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’ve connected with Oregon’s own Sweet Honey Farmacy to learn more about their products and how they can help support seasonal health.
Sweet Honey Farmacy on Seasonal Health and Summer Wellness
Pistils Nursery: What’s the story of Sweet Honey Farmacy? What inspired you to start your own business?
Sweet Honey Farmacy: The story of Sweet Honey Farmacy started in the fall of 2013. I (Jme) was living and working at a farm in Sandy, OR near Lili Tova’s farm, Flying Coyote. We were new friends and excited about all of our shared interests and our mutual passion for farming. In the end it was our love for plant medicine, and the alchemy that happens in the kitchen, that truly connected us.
I suggested to Lili that we should vend at the NW Plant Medicine Gathering. I left things at “let’s both think about a menu and get back to each other.” A week or so later, when we met to discuss the menu, we discovered we had the same exact lists!: Bone Broth, Gomasio, Fire Cider, Love Elixir, Sauerkraut and more. At this point we realized that we had the same sensibilities around herbal medicine and food-based medicine. Living on a farm, we are surrounded by so much abundance. I love capturing that abundance and transforming it into products that out- live each season: tinctures, tonics, body oils, pickles and fermented foods. The night before the conference while putting together some brochures Lili chose our name, Sweet Honey, on a whim and I loved it. From the very beginning people have been super responsive to our products. They love that our products are farm based, that we focus on nourishing products, and of course we try to make things as delicious as possible.
PN: Your product offerings are quite diverse – from tinctures and tonics to raw infused honeys, to skin and body care. What unifies your line? Where did you get the know-how to create such a wide line of products?
SHF: Lili and I have each studied with different herbalists here in the NW and have been experimenting in our kitchen for most of our adult lives. And yes, we have many products! We can’t resist sharing everything that we love. Plus we have so much fun making all of these things. And because the thread that ties our line together is simply the story of farming, each product that arrives on your shelves has some essential component that comes directly from our fields. Our sauerkraut and goat milk soaps come from our cabbage and our goats! Once you know our background, those products no longer look out of place next to our tinctures and tonics.
PN: It's been really hot in the Northwest (and around the country) this summer. People normally think of winter as the time to bolster their immune systems and ward off sickness, and it's easy to forget that the sun, allergies and dehydration can take as intense a toll as the cold. Can you share some of your favorite tips for summer health and seasonal wellness?
SHF: During the summer, sleep can be one of the first things you neglect. It stays light out so late, and yet we here at the farm still need to get up early. To catch up on sleep, I have been taking mid-day naps. Lately I have found this to be incredibly helpful to reboot my system and keep my attitude fresh. I generally suffer from adrenal fatigue come Fall because I tend to push myself too hard through the summer. Slowing down this year and incorporating naps and solid nights of sleep I know will create a different outcome this Fall. In addition to napping, my 'go to' medicine lately has been our herbal sipping vinegars added to bubbly water. The vinegars help curb my sugar cravings, aid in digestion and are delicious! Additionally, I have been using our Grounding Elixir to calm my nervous system and my mind in order to stay focused and grounded while still enjoying all the fun these months offer.
PN: What are three things that you think people can change in their daily routines for a healthier lifestyle and healthier world?
SHF:Sleep, Water, Food, and Poop. These things support a healthy body and mind, which leads to healthy decisions. I know that I make better choices when I am hydrated. One of those better choices I make is choosing to eat healthier foods. Healthy food choices create healthy poops, and healthy poops make everybody feel good! We have products that address each of these areas to help us all thrive. We have a tincture and a body oil called Sleep Well that we created for a nourishing sleep. And our digestive bitters are great for keeping our digestion moving and feeling healthy!
Creating healthy space for ourselves is also key. It’s important to know that it’s okay to take time and space to make sure your body and mind are getting the care they need. I think the more rested and nourished we are the more we will operate from our best selves. And that best self, given the chance, usually chooses health. A huge goal of our business is to make it easier for folks to make healthy choices by creating healthy daily rituals. Whether you start off the day with our Mineral Tonic, use our digestive bitters during meals, our take a bath using our bath and body products, each one of these daily rituals is a way to get in touch with you own bodies health and happiness. It’s like everyday you get a chance to say YES to yourself, which is pretty exciting! Have any of your own tips for seasonal health and wellness to share? Tell us about them in the comments!