Thursday, December 29, 2011

Rosemary, Lavender, and Basil - Oh My!

"Ah me, love cannot be cured by herbs." ~ Ovid

Destination: Local, organic herb farm in Haddock, Georgia! I got up this morning and trekked through the back roads of Jones County and found a neighbor of sorts.14 miles away there is the perfect little farm - Olive Forge Herb Farm, owned and operated by Darryl and Marsha Herrin.

As most day trip travelers, I typed "Olive Forge" on my GPS tracker, and followed the meandering road to a more remote area.  As I was looking for my turn off of Brown's Crossing, I was so caught off guard by this:.
 I almost missed my turn! If you look carefully, you will see a deer, however, there were several more blocking the road. I stopped and dug through my bag for my camera. By the time I snapped a pic, most of the deer had scurried off into the woods...I did catch one...

I finally made the proper turn and drove on down a dirt driveway, through one of the most beautiful patch of woods I have seen in quite some time.

This picture came out a little blurry...

When I drove up, it was so quiet! I knew someone was home because - 1. Their hours of operation were from 9am until 5pm -Thursday thru Saturday, and 2.  There was smoke coming from a chimney!

The first thing I noticed was several "winterized" green house contraptions out back. I assume this is where they do most of their "gardening" during the colder months.

Their house was a beautiful, rustic abode!

All of the details outside were adorable and welcoming...

As I approached the door, I could not help but smile. There was a sign about Hippies being welcomed (or something to the effect.) I really should have taken a picture. I opened the door and the most wonderful aroma was drifting through the air. *sigh* I could have stayed in there just BREATHING!

After a few minutes, one of the owners, Darryl, came into the store and we chatted for quite some time. Then his lovely wife came in and they shared their story. I asked how long they had been out there, and if memory serves me right, they said they came out to that piece of land back in 1981.

Immediately after we had chatted enough to feel like old friends, Darryl offered some warm, hot cider. DIVINE. I sipped and took my time going through the store. Here is a sneak peek of some of the wonderful items I found:

They even have various local artists on consignment!

The Pain Go Away is a hit among customers. PS - They are certified organic!

This is their own recipe!! One of their most popular items!

After shopping for a bit, Marsha shared with me some of her certified organic ginger chews. They were sincerely divine. Free of sulfates.

Later, they took me on a tour of their personal home! They built the entire thing, and you could tell immediately it was a labor of love. If a home can contain energy and a vibe - this place has a very positive feel, very pure of spirit. Cleansing, perhaps?

I fell in love with this window. Marsha informed me that it was their bird watching window. They actually record their findings for Cornell.

Can I say -fascinating???

She even pointed out high above us, they have a wonderful sleeping porch for the summer. The back yard, which I did not take pics of, had an amazing outdoor patio area. You can only imagine!

One more thing, Marsha will share her lavender cookies with you! ;-)

Two of the most genuinely nice, and definitely most interesting couple I have met in a long time!

Now... want to see what I got??

First of all, Darryl handed me some freshly cut sprigs of Rosemary. The smell is amazing. It was a simple gift for visiting, but one I will not soon forget. He told me Rosemary is good for memory!

THEN - I picked this out, BUT - I was given it for free!!! We had a long talk about the middle east and all of the wonderful, healthy cuisine, and Marsha said this would also be a gift. MY GOODNESS!

I was very excited about this blend! The price - is oh so right!

How could I not try their very own special recipe for dry feet!

You guys know I am CRAZY about soaps - well this is made from a lime, and I believe you can see it inside of this. The rind works as a scrubbing agent. I think I found my new hand soap!!

This photo did not come out clear - but it was the organic olive oil soap. Talk about great skin! (Also - only $2)

Finally - a perfect solution to my neck pain! Smells great too!

Now.. you will be shocked to know, I got out of there with all of this for under $26. Yep! Where else would that happen for organic items. Those soaps alone (in a place like World Market, etc - where they are not necessarily organic, go for $6 etc.)

I am believer and I assure you a return customer.

Everything is grown and created there!

PS - You can order by phone also!

Make sure to "Like" their page on FB. They have recipes, new items and other great info on that page.

Overall - a wonderful day spent with wonderful people!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Clean Living

I would say that living a "clean life" is not an easy task. When I use the word "clean," I am thinking about the purification of it all.

If I had my way, I would only eat organic, locally produced food. If I have a choice- that is what I buy. One of my projects for January is to seek out locally produced, preferably organic, food sources in Middle Georgia. While living in Alabama, the egyptian and I were totally there. I shopped at a local farmer's stand less than 1/4 mile from my home. We also frequented Whole Foods and from time to time would take off to the country for fruit and veggie stands. More importantly, we began to eat Halal meat, cheese, and yogurt. It's a passion of mine, always has been.

One of my goals in 2012 is to return to that "pure, clean" living. I think it will be both good for my health and for my soul.

I went out to pick up some groceries for my family last week, and of course, milk was on the list. I chose a carton of organic milk. My mom immediately asked, "Why would you buy that expensive milk?" I just look at her and said, "Because it is good for you."

My niece drinks a cup of warm milk a night. I figured, at least for a few nights she would get a taste of something good for her - less hormones, and happier cows!

Tomorrow I plan to travel a few miles up the country roads here and visit Olive Forge Farm. I found an organic herb farm literally just up the road. I can hardly wait to check this place out, and of course, I will share all my experience with you here. I don't know about you guys, but herbs are just divine in my eyes!! They make everything taste so much better, and if there is a local, organic farm just up the street, well... I think you know I am going to be in heaven.

Unfortunately I was unable to find a website for these guys, I think it is more of a little secret to the area (or maybe they need good marketing people! ;-) ) I did find this story by The Union Recorder, a newspaper in the neighboring town of Milledgeville - Olive Forge ( you can click on the words to see the article.)

Simply cannot wait!

I suppose, this is one of the "New Year's Resolutions" I have for 2012 - return to Clean eating and living.

Have you considered the benefits of eating locally and organically?
Here are a few tips you should consider:
According to the Organic Trade Association -
Organic products meet stringent standards
Organic certification is the public’s assurance that products have been grown and handled according to strict procedures without persistent toxic chemical inputs.

Organic food tastes great!
It’s common sense – well-balanced soils produce strong, healthy plants that become nourishing food for people and animals.

Organic production reduces health risks
Many EPA-approved pesticides were registered long before extensive research linked these chemicals to cancer and other diseases. Organic agriculture is one way to prevent any more of these chemicals from getting into the air, earth and water that sustain us.

Organic farms respect our water resources
The elimination of polluting chemicals and nitrogen leaching, done in combination with soil building, protects and conserves water resources.

Organic farmers build healthy soil
Soil is the foundation of the food chain. The primary focus of organic farming is to use practices that build healthy soils.

Organic farmers work in harmony with nature
Organic agricultural respects the balance demanded of a healthy ecosystem: wildlife is encouraged by including forage crops in rotation and by retaining fence rows, wetlands, and other natural areas.

Organic producers are leaders in innovative research
Organic farmers have led the way, largely at their own expense, with innovative on-farm research aimed at reducing pesticide use and minimizing agriculture’s impact on the environment.

Organic producers strive to preserve diversity
The loss of a large variety of species (biodiversity) is one of the most pressing environmental concerns. The good news is that many organic farmers and gardeners have been collecting and preserving seeds, and growing unusual varieties for decades.

Organic farming helps keep rural communities healthy
USDA reported that in 1997, half of U.S. farm production came from only 2% of farms. Organic agriculture can be a lifeline for small farms because it offers an alternative market where sellers can command fair prices for crops.

Organic abundance – Foods and non-foods alike!
Now every food category has an organic alternative. And non-food agricultural products are being grown organically – even cotton, which most experts felt could not be grown this way.

Organic Trade Association

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011

My sister celebrating Yule, or the Winter Solstice

Autumn's Yule gift from her Mommy (PS It's almost 70 degrees, and they lit a fire.. *sigh*)

Crazy Yule gifts!

Finishing up the Yule gifts

On the 23rd - she sat in front of the door for 2 hours waiting on the egyptian to arrive

For my more crafty friends - my mom painted and created a doll house for Auttie. Its a beach house theme.

She even painted mini canvases for the interior and used textured scrap book paper for the flooring...

Waiting to open presents on Christmas Eve

The egyptian getting an original piece of calligraphy for Christmas from my dad..

Christmas Eve brought Zombie Stomach Guts kit for Autumn. YUCK!

My favorite gift!

Goodies the egyptian brought me!!!!

Let's just say - it was love, respect, and healing!

My importantly - forgiveness. And that my friends, it what love is all about.

Christmas morning - Santa comes.. and Autumn is wearing her PJS from Uncle Egyptian

Merry Christmas to all!


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