Monthly Archives: October 2012

Herbal Folktales for Fall!

Blackberry Celtic lore says that blackberries are fairy fruit and may bring bad luck to people who eat them. Blackberries were also considered protective against earthbound spirits and vampires. It is said that if planted near the home, a vampire couldn’t enter because he would obsessively count the berries and forget about the people inside.   Rosemary Rosemary is shrouded in history and folklore. From ancient Greece through the European Middle Ages, rosemary was thought to possess the power to protect against evil spirits. Sprigs were placed under pillows or burned as incense to ward off evil demons and prevent bad dreams. At funerals, fresh sprigs were tossed into the grave as a sign that the departed would not be forgotten. Even today, rosemary is offered as a symbol of love, friendship, and remembrance. In some parts of Europe, it was believed that if an unmarried woman placed rosemary under her pillow, her […]

Salted Rose Walnut Caramels

I absolutely love this time of year. People all over town are keeping warm and listening to the crackling sound of a wood stove, making home-cooked meals, and spending quality time with cherished friends and family. There is something about soft, chewy caramel that conjures memories of this wonderful season. I remember childhood days at the pumpkin patch with my family. These pumpkin adventures always seemed to include handfuls of sweet treats! Along with our pumpkins, my brother and I would carry small, paper bags filled with sweet, chewy caramel delights. To this day, fall just isn’t complete without a caramel or two, wrapped in festive wax paper. This cozy season offers a perfect excuse to spoil loved ones with this creamy, chewy, rosy treat!   Salted Rose Walnut Caramels Ingredients: • 3/4 cup heavy cream • 3/4 cup dried, organic rosebuds or petals • 1/4 cup local honey • 1 cup organic […]

Craft Your Own Fire Cider!

Mmm…mmm…how we love this hot and sweet, zesty, vinegary recipe! Fire Cider is a popular herbal folk remedy. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost natural health processes, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days. Because this is a folk preparation, the ingredients can change from year to year depending on when you make it and what's growing around you. The standard base ingredients are apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, ginger, horseradish, and hot peppers, but there are plenty of other herbs that can be thrown in for added kick. This year there were lots of spicy jalapenos and vibrant rosemary in the garden, so we used those along with some organic turmeric powder and fresh lemon peel. Some people like to bury their fire cider jar in the ground for a month and then dig it up during a great feast […]

Bitter Orange: Three Aromas

Some of my favorite oils are created from the Citrus aurantium or Bitter Orange tree. Three different oils are distilled and expressed from this wonderful botanical, and all three have distinctive aromas. This interesting tid-bit raises the importance of knowing not only the Latin binomial of the oil you are purchasing, but also the plant part being distilled. In the case of Citrus aurantium, the fruit peel is expressed to create Bitter Orange essential oil, the flowers are distilled to create Neroli or Orange Blossom essential oil, and the leaves and twigs are distilled to create Petitgrain essential oil. Bitter Orange: The properties and aroma of this essential oil are very similar to Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil, and makes a lovely substitute for any recipe that calls for Sweet Orange oil. The aroma of bitter orange has a dry citrus note in comparison to the sweet citrus of the […]

Photo Thursday!

What a bunch of cute kiddos! Our dear friends at the Free Tea Party served up some of our delicious organic Mint Tea to students at Friday Harbor Elementary during a “Touch-a-Truck” event last week. How sweet is that tea party?  

Vote Yes on Prop 37!

We are quickly approaching the historic November ballot measure Prop. 37 (The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act) which requires clear labeling and will help consumers make educated choices about what they are eating. Now is the time to act! If you live in California, please remember to vote YES on Prop. 37 on November 6th 2012. The Right to Know ballot initiative calls for mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered foods and would reject the vague, misleading term “natural” which has been co-opted by mega agri-food corporations who peddle products that are anything but natural. This is an important issue for more than just Californians because the vote will set a precedent for the rest of the country. Let’s propel our food industry in the right direction. In a grassroots effort, millions of pro-organic consumers, farmers, and businesses are standing together to defeat agribusiness/biotechnology giants. The undeniable truth […]

Travel Journal: Visiting Hungary

Elvira Guelzow, our world traveling International Farms Manager, crosses oceans and continents each year to meet with our organic herb farmers and tour their processing facilities. Here are some stories and photos from her exciting trip last month to Hungary and Bulgaria! This summer I had to exchange my expired passport for a brand new book, and took the occasion to initiate it with a trip abroad. The friendly Eugene airport security lady sent me off with these words, “You put this new passport to good use and go someplace great,” …and I did! I went to Hungary and to Bulgaria to visit with Mountain Rose Herbs’ medicinal herb farms and essential oil distillers. Here is my report from the beautiful country – Hungary!     Hungary is located in Central Europe and is blessed with an ideal growing climate due to its special geographical location. The terrain ranges from flat to gently rolling […]

Guide to Growing Sprouts!

Growing your own "baby plant garden" is easy and provides a wealth of concentrated nutrients – something we can all use when the weather turns chilly! Sprouts have been grown by civilizations around the world for more than 5,000 years. Considered "super foods" today for their dense nutrient content, sprouts are really easy to grow and quite economical; one pound of sprouting seed can generate about five pounds of sprouts! I love to watch these little seeds push out their twisty green cotyledons and sprout into tasty microgreens. There's deep satisfaction in knowing that my sprouts are freshly homegrown with love and free of pesticides or more plastic waste from the grocery store. Sprouting at home can be done all year long, with just a few jars, sprouting screen or cheesecloth, and a nice spot on the counter with indirect sunlight. There are some wonderful tools out there like the Sprouting Kit and Sprouting Bag you might want to […]

New! Natural Room Sprays

We are excited to bring you these natural Clean Air Room Sprays from our friends at Way Out Wax! This powerful mist electrostatically attaches to odor particles and neutralizes them, rather than just covering them up, making a wonderful natural alternative to some of the harsher room sprays available on the market that are filled with synthetic fragrances that wreak havoc on our respiratory systems. Each spray above contains a proprietary blend of over 30 natural plant extracts and botanical oils including lavender, citrus oils, and pine! Choose from two scents in a 4oz mister bottle: Lavender Sky – Scented with refreshing lavender and lemon oils Tropical Citrus – Scented with uplifting and cleansing citrus oils These natural odor removing sprays are ideal for the kitchen, bathroom, living spaces, and more!

Photo Thursday!

 Check out this gorgeous marshmallow leaf grown by an organic farm in Eastern Europe! Elvira, our adventuring International Farms Manager, just returned from a trip to Austria, Hungary, and Bulgaria where she visited with several of our farmers and essential oil distilleries. More photos and stories from Elvira’s travels will be posted soon!  

Rosemary's Remedies Now Open!

We hope you’ve been enjoying the amazing kitchen remedy videos from the wonderful Rosemary Gladstar as much as we have this week! It’s been so inspiring to watch Rosemary create healing syrups, teas, and fire cider in her element at beautiful Sage Mountain – and we’re so excited to share more videos and recipes from the series with you! When we first partnered with LearningHerbs and Rosemary to create this first time ever collection, we knew it would be a true gift to herb lovers everywhere, but we didn’t know just how incredible it was going to turn out. After seeing Rosemary’s Remedies in full, our hearts swelled with joy. We are so proud to offer this beautiful and educational series to you, filled with Rosemary’s deep wisdom, energizing spirit, favorite recipes, stories, and more, from her mountain home to yours.   Get all of Rosemary’s Remedies now! Join us […]

Back from Breitenbush!

Mason is our Events & Outreach Coordinator at Mountain Rose Herbs. Eugene born and raised, he found an early interest in nutrition which eventually brought him to the world of herbalism. Mason attends fun events in the community and brings back the stories so we can experience them too…   A few weeks ago I had the fortune of attending one of the classic herb gatherings of the Northwest, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference. Not only did Mountain Rose Herbs sponsor the event, we also had an info table complete with free herbal goodies and the popular tincture bar! It’s always great to connect with so many herb enthusiasts, and to get their feedback in person. I was accompanied by our Domestic Farms Representative, Mary Woodruff. She was great to have around because she’s tons of fun and super knowledgeable about our organic herbs, especially the locally grown ones. This year was the 26th annual […]