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Heidi

Heidi is a native Oregonian and an award winning freelance writer with a passion for urban homesteading. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and has been honored to receive a number of literary prizes including the esteemed Pushcart Prize, and an Individual Artists Award in Creative Writing from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. When she isn’t working in the garden, cleaning the henhouse, preserving food for winter, pruning the fruit trees, or writing and editing content for really fantastic small businesses, you’ll find her in her quilting room, or somewhere with her nose in a book, or up in the mountains alongside her husband and her terrier pup, Gracie Cakes.

Recent Posts

DIY Cutting Board Oil: Maintain Your Cutting Boards & Wooden Utensils

I am a wooden utensil and cast iron kind of cook. These reliable, wonderful tools don’t require electricity and they last a remarkably long time if cared for correctly. I especially love the butcher block, cutting boards, and wooden spoons my husband has made over the years, and it’s important to me to take care of them so they last. My dilemma for a long time was how to condition them. Vegetable oils like olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc. are wonderful, but are not shelf-stable and can experience “rancidification” over time, which can make wood smell funky and leave a bad flavor on chopped foods. The standard go-to oil is food-safe mineral oil, sometimes called liquid paraffin. But mineral oil is generally a petroleum product and I don’t care how “food-safe” it is; I don’t want to cut my home-grown vegetables on a board coated with a petroleum-based oil. So, obviously, I had to figure out a DIY way to get around this dilemma and take proper care of my wooden kitchen utensils.

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DIY Herbal Bath for Babies

Baby bath time can be a wonderful bonding experience that offers both parent and child the opportunity to relax and focus on the circle of love between them. Adding gentle, skin-nourishing herbs to baby’s bathwater is a beautiful way to bring not just the soothing comfort of warm hydrotherapy to bath time but can also add scents that your child will come to associate with safety and peace. Organic calendula and chamomile are gentle and skin-nourishing, and when combined with the aromatics of soothing, calming lavender or roses, they make a perfect herbal bath for your precious child.

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Fungus-Fighting Nail Oil with Tea Tree

Nail fungus is a common condition and people who struggle with it know that it is difficult to treat and requires consistency and perseverance to manage. Many medications will seem to clear it up, only to have it come back shortly after. I wish I could say there was a miracle cure. However, since I am obligated to tell the truth here, what I can say is that by committing to some simple daily nail care that involves a good fungus-fighting nail oil, you can make steady progress and, if you stick to your daily care, you can ultimately keep nail fungus at bay. This DIY nail oil recipe brings the fungus-fighting powers of roses and essential oils to the battle and simultaneously delivers vitamins and essential fatty acids to strengthen and moisturize your nails and cuticles.

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How to Make Natural Dog Shampoo with Soothing Tea Base

The 4-leggers in my household are not entirely pro-bath. Our terrier mix loves life after a bath; she runs madly about the house with pure joy. During the bath, however, she looks like we’re torturing her. We’re just grateful she stands still for it because her “little brother” is a corgi-mix built for escape. He is slippery and wily when wet and groans out his woes the entire bath time. And then there is the big queen-to-rule-them-all kitty who needs regular brushing and occasional “spot cleaning” assistance with her thick double coat because one cat tongue is simply not enough to manage it all. This crew loves to sleep on the foot of our bed, so whatever dirt and smells they’ve tucked away throughout the day end up on my handmade quilts. Simple answer: regular baths, right? The double-conundrum is that good pet shampoo is ridiculously expensive, and I am also on a quest to stop buying plastic packaging (apparently, there is a rule somewhere that dog shampoo must be sold only in plastic bottles that I cannot recycle here in Oregon). Fortunately, it’s easy and inexpensive to make good homemade dog shampoo with gentle, sustainable ingredients I always have on hand.

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Smoke Cleansing Around the World

Smoke cleansing—burning botanicals, resins, wood, etc. for health and/or spiritual purposes—is an ancient practice that is common in a wide variety of cultures and faiths around the world. For instance, I was introduced to smoke cleansing through the practice of “fire saining,” a Celtic tradition that resonates well with my cultural and personal history. However, the form of smoke cleansing that most people are familiar with today is “smudging.” The commercialization of smudging is unfortunate on multiple fronts—it is cultural appropriation of North American indigenous practices, it has created serious issues around illegal and/or irresponsible wildharvesting of traditional smudging herbs, and it disregards the wealth of other forms of smoke cleansing that are just as ancient and powerful. Many times, looking to our own culture, faith, community, or heritage in our relationship to the botanical world can help us identify herbal allies that are particularly aligned with us as individuals. Our ancestors had personal relationships with these plants; they have been part of our people—our DNA—for time immemorial. Smoke cleansing can be a powerful, renewing, and healing practice for many people, particularly when they are embracing a form that resonates with their genuine self.

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Meet Our On-Staff Certified Aromatherapist

In the past few years, interest in aromatherapy has skyrocketed. More and more people are looking at alternative ways to manage their own wellness, build resilience, and create a peaceful, clean space to rejuvenate and renew. Increasingly, people are reaching out to us with questions, and inevitably we look to our Director of Product Development and Certified Aromatherapist, Christine, to provide us with guidance. Having a talented aromatherapist on staff and continuing to invest in her ongoing professional development has been one of the best decisions for both Mountain Rose Herbs and our wonderful customers. Christine brings remarkable expertise to both product creation and quality control, keeps us in close touch with the aromatherapy community and trade associations, and is the mastermind behind our new lines of oil blends and essential oil kits. She also has excellent insights for others who are interested in pursuing aromatherapy personally or professionally. We love her story, and we want to share it with you, along with her tips for those who have discovered their own passion for essential oils and want to learn more.

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Berry Summer Mocktail Recipe with Cooling Herbs

My husband recently went on a summer-mocktail quest. It started because he made homemade ginger beer, which was good, but lacked some important refreshing element; it was a bit “much” on a hot day. Still, it was inspirational. The delicious, summery, layered mocktail that my honey ultimately came up with utilizes ginger beer (homemade or store-bought) and some of the most refreshing, cooling herbal allies. It also celebrates both summer berries and the beautiful roses of the season with a berry and rose simple syrup. Make tea and simple syrup the evening before so all you have to do is find some shade and settle in for a revitalizing, enjoyable day. Bring on the sun, we’re ready!

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Homemade Diaper Cream with Herbs

My grandbaby is now officially a toddler: talking up a storm, climbing everything, and making all day every day an adventure. I am realizing that this little sweetie might very well be the last baby in our family for a long time, so I am being extra conscious to appreciate every moment of development and growth. Last week my son stopped by to pick up a few more jars of homemade diaper balm to take home with him, and I made a mental note that I’d better start infusing some more olive oil because they’ll need another batch of ointment before this little one is potty trained. As we were waving our boy out the door, my husband asked me, “How much diaper salve do you suppose you’ve made in your life?” Three children, a grandchild, and a lot of friends’ babies later, I can’t even begin to guess. Gallons upon gallons I suppose.

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Organic Nipple Cream for Breastfeeding

When I was having my children, folks used to say that women forget the pain of childbirth and also the pain that can accompany the first days or weeks of nursing a newborn. Having had and nursed three children, I will attest that this “halo effect,” as it is sometimes called, is not true, at least for me. My youngest child is 30 years old, and I still remember those long, hard hours of labor and the first tender days of nursing my babies. Yes, those memories are colored by the beautiful remembrance of the enormous wash of love and protectiveness I felt for those brand-new little beings, but to this day I still cringe when I remember the sensation of a days-old baby latching on to nurse, and how nipples that started out tender quickly became painfully sore from the near-constant attention of a new infant with super-suckle powers. I said it then, and it still holds true: a baby-safe nipple cream is a lifesaver.

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Gluten-Free Everything Bagel Recipe with Vegan Bagel Option

I remember the first time I ate a bagel. It was 1982 and I was teenager from the mountains of Oregon on her first trip to the East Coast. I saw Amadeus on Broadway, I ate Cuban food for the first time, and I went to a wonderful outdoor marketplace that was populated by a fascinating mix of locals, Amish farmers, and Orthodox Jewish craftspeople. While the farmers hosted an auction of horse-pulled buggies and farm equipment outside, I wandered the home-goods end of the event, where I discovered a man making handmade bagels. He had a steaming pot of water at his elbow, and a big catering oven at his rear, and was hand-forming rings of wheat dough as he chatted to passersby. I got sucked in by the smell and bought a perfect bagel accompanied with a side of herby cream cheese. And then there were arias, and the heavens opened, and a great light shown down… which is to say, it was amazing!

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Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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