Ready for Christmas?!?! Sponsor Giveaway

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One of our sponsors, For the Love of Dandelions, is offering a great giveaway and discount code just in time for Christmas!   Read through to learn more about the founder-Marisa, her business, and herbal crafting.

Then don't forget to enter the giveaway for a soap pack!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

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My name is Marisa Harder-Chapman, and I'm a homeschooling mama to 3 girls.

I've enjoyed gardening for as long as I can remember. I started paying more attention to wildcrafting plants and mushrooms when I went to school in the Pacific Northwest, where not a millimeter lacked something growing on it.

I attended St. Catherine University to obtain my MA in Holistic Health, where I completed the herbology track as well as research on storytelling and childbirth education.

Now, with each passing season, I strive to learn more about plants, incorporate more of them into our daily lives and I look forward to sharing what I've found with others. Starting an herbal business has allowed me to combine my passions for gardening, plants, bio-diversity, sustainability, holistic health, creating, and localism. I love that I can model passionate life-long learning to my daughters.

How did you become interested in herbal crafting?

I like how you worded this "herbal crafting". I love creating things and I love working with herbs - creating with herbs was the obvious direction to go. There are a lot of different ways to be an herbalist - there are clinical herbalists, researchers, growers, community herbalists, family herbalists, formulators, etc. With my herbal CSA, I get to do all the things I love the most. I grow my own herbs in my garden, I sustainably wildcraft for other plants (a.k.a. wander through the woods with a basket), I get to mix and blend things in the kitchen, I get to do chemistry when I make soap, I get to taste delicious formulations, I get to learn more about herbs and try new things with them, I get to incorporate plants in to my everyday life and help others do the same.

What is an herbal CSA?

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CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. It is a model most often used by vegetable farms: you purchase a share at the beginning of the year and then receive a share of the produce on a regular basis. My herbal CSA is a bit different in that shares include not just fresh herbs, but other herbal products (such as herbal tinctures, salves, syrups, soaps, vinegars, and pestos) as well. Shares are available on a monthly basis (rather than weekly, like veggie csa's) throughout the growing season. Joining a CSA is a great way to support your local food system, explore new herbs and foods, know the people who grow and produce your food, and live more sustainably.  Herbal CSA shares are available for local pickup or can be shipped.  To see what is in a typical share, click here.

Do you have a favorite starter project or starter herb for someone just getting started with herbs?

A really great starter project is to infuse oils with dried herbs and then to make lip balm. This is completely customizable - but I recommend starting with infusing calendula in a carrier oil such as apricot or almond oil. After the oil has infused, strain, heat with beeswax, optionally add your favorite essential oils such as lavender, sweet orange, or peppermint, and pour into a tube or tin. Check out this PDF for more information including a recipe and also a formula to make your own custom lip balms.

You can also use infused calendula oil straight, as a massage oil, bath oil, in salves, body butters, lotions, etc.

Calendula is a wonderful plant to grow in your own garden - it has beautiful yellow and orange flowers that bloom and bloom throughout the summer, info the fall, and even are fairly frost tolerant. You can pluck off the blossoms and dry in a basket to use in your infused oils which are especially soothing to the skin, or put in your freezer for a  soothing poultice in case of kitchen burns.

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What is your favorite/go-to herbal resource?

For the absolute beginner, I really like

They have so many resources available and make learning about herbs very accessible. They also created the Wildcraftboard game, and the Herb Fairies book series - both of which are great for learning about herb​s with your kids.  Another great resource for learning about herbs with your kids is the Herbal Roots Zine - each issue is focused on one plant, and has songs, stories, projects and puzzles to help you lean all about each plant in depth.

What was the inspiration for For the Love of Dandelions?

A friend was telling me about another herbal CSA several years ago, and encouraged me to think about starting one. She was right - the herbal CSA is just the right blend of growing/creating/making, etc. As my kids are getting older, they like to help with counting, sorting, packaging, and even weeding. Occasionally.

Do you have a favorite product?

My favorite product, this time of year, is elderberry syrup - hands down.
​As an amazing and tasty anti-viral, it is my go-to remedy during the cold and flu season. If anyone starts to get sniffly in our house, they take a bit of elderberry syrup as often as every half hour, and typically they are on the mend the next day.  Happily, it is delicious, so no one complains, and usually everybody else wants a sip even if they are feeling completely healthy.

Readers-  Ready for more dandelions?!?!

Check out For the Love of Dandelions on various social media.  In addition to the giveaway, Marisa is offering a code for $5 off of an order of $30 or more in her Etsy shop (link below).  Enter code: WAPDBD, valid through December 31st.

Now enter to win your own soap pack! This pack includes one of each of the following bars of soap:  peppermint coal, carrot honey, charcoal facial, woodland scrub, ylang ylang, patchouli, snowdrift, and lemon basil!  Leave a comment on this post for your mandatory entry, but be sure to check out the other ways to earn entries.  You can share this post up to once/day for additional entries!

US entries only, contest ends on Monday at 5:00 PM CST.  Winner will be announced on Tuesday!  Be on the lookout for notification so that Marisa can ship your item right away.

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Sara said...

Hands down - I love the soaps!! Excited for the giveaway! :)

Angie said...

These soaps sound wonderful! What a need post to feature Heidi!

Rachel Lam said...

I'd love to try the elderberry syrup!

Pamela LaBelle said...

Hands down. Forearms down. Elbows down! In LOVE with 4 the Heart of dandelions' soap!!!! I found the soap that is super uber natural and gives lather so I can shave with it. PLUS, it's so beautiful with it's whipped top. This is one of those awesome things you don't want to share because you want to keep it to yourself!!!

Samantha Kelley said...

These soaps look delicious enough to eat! Nom nom nom. :) But seriously, not only are these babies beautiful, they are all-natural...a true treat indeed!

Meredith said...

I've heard a lot about these products from Heidi and love this post. Those soaps are right up my alley! I make elderberry gummies with gelatin that my kids love, and we dose daily, but I hadn't thought of upping consumption when sick. We'll try that...

Brandi said...

Definitely the soaps! I always want to try natural soaps but don't know where to start!

T said...

I love homemade soap.

Anonymous said...

I would love to try some natural soaps!

Wynne said...

I would love to try!

Unknown said...

My daughter-in-law, Meredith, who also posted on this entry, has been teaching me a bit about natural remedies, and especially about adding elderberry to our diet. She has also taught me to enjoy hand made soaps, so I would love to win this give away.

Merry Christmas!

Unknown said...

Okay, "unknown" is Grandma Claudia.
Not so savvy.....

sandyhills x said...

The carrot honey soap really looks like something I would purchase - love this already - shaunie