Roses and Rhubarb

by Cari Balbo


It's full-on production mode here at Ridge Pond Herbals in preparation for an official launch online and at two local Farmers' Markets in what I'm hoping will be just a couple weeks. I will write about all the products I'm making (including two variations on a body oil for moisturizing and/or massage that I made last night and can't get enough of!). Today I wanted to share a very happy accident that is going to be a limited edition, luxurious cream for face and hands for any rose lovers out there. I'm calling it Roses and Honey Decadence Cream. It has the same ingredients as my Roses and Honey Salve but with more precious rose essential oil and a creamy, almost liquid-y consistency from being whipped into a beautiful tizzy. The results weren't exactly what I was expecting but in the end I'm so happy with how this came out. For sale soon when my Etsy shop opens.

 Roses and Honey Decadence Cream

Roses and Honey Decadence Cream

 Such a pretty, buttery yellow. It feels amazing on the skin and, if you're a rose lover like me, you'll be crazy about the intensely rosey scent.

Such a pretty, buttery yellow. It feels amazing on the skin and, if you're a rose lover like me, you'll be crazy about the intensely rosey scent.

 I am borderline obsessed with roses. I took these jars of roses infusing in olive oil out for a sun bath.

I am borderline obsessed with roses. I took these jars of roses infusing in olive oil out for a sun bath.

 Roses are good for the skin (anti-inflammatory & moisturizing for starters) and their scent provides aromatherapy benefit. 

Roses are good for the skin (anti-inflammatory & moisturizing for starters) and their scent provides aromatherapy benefit. 

 Rose sugar scrub. More about this later.

Rose sugar scrub. More about this later.

 We planted rosa rugosa, eglantine, and scotch briar roses in a couple spots around the farm all courtesy of a generous former colleague who let us dig them up for free. So looking forward to smelling roses around the property!

We planted rosa rugosa, eglantine, and scotch briar roses in a couple spots around the farm all courtesy of a generous former colleague who let us dig them up for free. So looking forward to smelling roses around the property!

We're always aspiring to live more self-sufficiently whenever possible. As part of that I've been trying to take advantage of fleeting spring foods, particularly those that can be foraged or had for low cost. Spruce tips are a new favorite foraged food (I just discovered their bright, lemony flavor last year) and I picked a couple baskets full from around the farm. I'm writing about that harvest and some things I'm doing with them for the Bangor Daily News and I'll post the link to the article when it's published. Rhubarb is another spring food I love and like to harvest a lot of when it's in season. We've planted several rhubarb crowns and transplants in the same general area as our purple raspberries (we're planning on blueberries there as well next year so that we can call the area The Pie Patch) but it will likely be a couple years before we get much to harvest. In the meantime, my mother-in-law has a happy, vigorous patch in Augusta, and we benefit from her rhubarb largess.

 Rhubarb, or roobub

Rhubarb, or roobub

 I love rhubarb's tart beauty.

I love rhubarb's tart beauty.

 Trying a new recipe - rhubarb refrigerator pickles.

Trying a new recipe - rhubarb refrigerator pickles.

 Making rhubarb sauce with 3 ingredients: rhubarb, local raw honey, and a little water in the Vitamix

Making rhubarb sauce with 3 ingredients: rhubarb, local raw honey, and a little water in the Vitamix

 The beginnings of rhubarb liqueur and rhubarb cordial: rhubarb soaking in vodka (left) and brandy (right).

The beginnings of rhubarb liqueur and rhubarb cordial: rhubarb soaking in vodka (left) and brandy (right).

 Rhubarb custard for dessert.

Rhubarb custard for dessert.