Charming Calendula

by Cari Balbo


The Bangor Daily News posted my latest piece today, this one on calendula.

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I love calendula for its color (in the garden, kitchen, and dried in the apothecary), its many skin benefits, and its long-blooming season.

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We've just passed the half-way point between summer solstice and autumn equinox. The calendula in my garden began blooming in early June and should continue into the fall. As the days get incrementally shorter and the evenings grow chillier, the calendula will remind me of these warm days of summer. When I begin to worry about the coming winter, calendula will help me remember that summer will always return.

 


Goodbye, June, you only just got here

by Cari Balbo


July already? It feels like June only just began! The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of preparing for and attending farmers' markets in Gardiner and Yarmouth. A huge thank you to everyone able to come out to either. It's been fantastic to see some friendly faces and meet new ones as well. Weather-permitting I'll be at every Gardiner market through the summer (although today isn't looking promising weather-wise) and I'm planning on every other week at Yarmouth, including tomorrow, July 2. I'll post on Facebook if I'll be missing a market for weather or other reasons. If you're interested in more updates and photos from Ridge Pond, be sure to like the Ridge Pond Farm + Herbals Facebook page and follow me on Instagram.

Roses & Honey Salve in 1/2 oz tins, topped with dried rose petals

Roses & Honey Salve in 1/2 oz tins, topped with dried rose petals

The latest product from the Ridge Pond Herbals kitchen is Roses & Honey Salve, packaged in either a 1/2 oz tin, decorated with dried rose petals, or unadorned in a 1 oz glass jar. The rose petals in the tins are really just for the pretty and a little extra fragrance. You'll likely want to remove them before using the salve (they come out easily). I like to remove them all at once when I open the tin and rub them with a little salve in my hands like a fragrant mini scrub and then rinse, leaving my hands soft, exfoliated, and smelling divine. This salve is made from fragrant, organic rose-infused olive oil mixed with beeswax redolent of honey and a little extra rose essential oil. Roses & Honey Salve is great on practically all parts of the body including the face, lips, anywhere needing moisture, and even as a subtle perfume to put on and not feel like you're overwhelming those close to you. Rose softens the skin and its scent can instill happiness. 

Roses & Honey Salve also comes in 1 oz glass jars without rose petals

Roses & Honey Salve also comes in 1 oz glass jars without rose petals

Ready for skin potions

Ready for skin potions

It's been a challenging and rewarding experience learning the ropes starting this small business. Product making, finalizing packaging, attending markets, tending the gardens. I have been fortunate enough to have had a couple of bulk orders to fill over the past few weeks which have been great fun putting together (and thank you, thank you to those customers for your generous and early support!). Weekly product offerings to CSA members of Crooked Door Farm in Whitefield began last week as well. I'm also working on some exciting retail collaborations which I'll be announcing soon. 

I want people buying my product to have the best possible experience, both in using the product itself and in the purchasing process. For that reason I am taking the time it takes, in the time I have, to make the Ridge Pond Herbals Etsy shop the best it can possibly be before its launch. I appreciate the patience of those of you who've been waiting. It's just around the corner!  However, if you're really wanting to order something from me that you've tried or read about in the meantime, please email me at ridgepondfarm@gmail.com and we can discuss your order. If you're willing to work with a clunky, initial process, I'm eager to supply you with Ridge Pond Herbals products! 

Welcome, July! I'm not sure how you got here so quickly but glad to see you all the same.

 


Summer

by Cari Balbo


Yesterday, the first official day of summer, was rainy and cool. Today the clouds stuck around a good portion of the day but by this evening it felt like honest-to-goodness summer out there. I took my shoes off and went barefoot to do some stretching/yoga on the lawn. It was beautiful. Summer frogs on the pond singing their summer love songs. Bright, bright blue sky and white, white clouds. Happy chickens having their mysterious clucking conversations. Lettuce from the garden for dinner. More storms tomorrow but tonight is what the words "early summer evening" mean. 

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No stellar video quality here but this is what tonight sounded and looked like: summer evening 360.