I know it’s been a while since I wrote my last blog. We’ve been busy with Fall Festivals, and increasing our inventory for the holidays. But, things have settled down for the time being, and I have carved out a precious niche of time this bright Sunday morning, to write, drink my cinnamon-flavored coffee and absorb the ambiance of topaz-colored trees in the midst of their autumn swan songs.
I harvested the last of this year’s herbs yesterday…peppermint, spearmint and bayberry. I’ve already selected them, washed them, and placed them in the drying racks. Mints, are my favorite herbs. Bayberry is a close second, but the mint family offers a wide variety of medicinal and culinary benefits, that allow me to tailor the attributes I’m looking for when I create a soap or lotion recipe. Not to mention the unbelievably wonderful smell that wafts from the plant, even when dried.
As I plucked the leafy herbs from their stems, I was reminded once again of the fragility of peppermint. Its delicate leaves are always a bit of a surprise to me. It’s quite diminutive next to its very sturdy cousin spearmint. Peppermint essential oil is so pungent. It just doesn’t seem to match its fragile origin.
As I worked my way to the end of the herb row, I reveled in the simplicity and timelessness of the activity…harvesting herbs. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of making my own personal care products. I love the idea and the reality of using my farm-grown, nutrient-rich herbs in my soaps and lotions. I love having control over the quality and amount that goes into my recipes, and I love the results.
And, as one might surmise, I have a significant line of mint soaps and lotions that I’ve developed. All of them pay homage, in one way or another, to one of the mints we’ve grown and harvested. In fact our signature soap, Starry Night, bears the scent of peppermint, and it’s our best seller. Apparently, I’m not the only one who loves mint.