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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

Philanthropic Giving from the Inside Out


Author Timothy Pina once said, “Philanthropy is not about money…it’s about feeling the pain of others and caring enough about their needs to help.” In other words, philanthropy, to effect real change, must go deeper than throwing funds at the surface of a problem; it must attempt to address the roots of an issue. But how does someone—whether an individual, a small business, or a corporation—find the act of giving that makes sense for them and effects the kind of change they would like to see in the world? 

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Posted by Heidi

Hibiscus Flower Hot Pepper Jelly with Homemade Pectin

If you’ve scoured the pandemic-hit canning section at your local store for supplies this year, you know the pickings are slim. My favorite low sugar dry pectin, which was readily available and selling for just a couple dollars a box six months ago, is currently impossible to find here in Eugene, and when I finally turned to online options, I discovered it selling for between $8 and $15 a box…that is madness! And it’s terrible timing, too, because I was recently gifted with a whole pound of organic, dried hibiscus flowers, and I really wanted to make hibiscus hot pepper jelly. What’s a girl to do? Hearken back to the old days!

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Endangered White Sage: Procuring Organic Cultivated Salvia Apiana

Mountain Rose Herbs has been in a years-long process of shifting our procurement policies steadily away from wild-harvested botanicals. This policy shift is in direct response to the increasing impact of overharvesting on wild stands of some of the most beloved herbs and spices around the world. White sage (Salvia apiana) is one example. In the past few years, white sage has come under a dual attack. The arid regions that are home to wild stands of Salvia apiana have been badly impacted by climate change, which has caused wildfires and other devastation. At the same time, there has been a meteoric rise in the commercialization of smudging, which has created a lucrative market for illegally harvested white sage, much of it taken from public lands. It is for this reason that Mountain Rose Herbs made the decision in 2019 to procure 100% of our loose-leaf white sage from a special cultivation project in the rocky hills of San Diego County’s North County region. We consider ourselves fortunate to have the opportunity to support such an important project.

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DIY Herb-Infused Witch Hazel

When Europeans arrived on the east coast of what was to become the United States, they found that the indigenous people regularly made an astringent decoction by boiling the leaves and twigs of a particular deciduous, flowering shrub. These Native Americans were making the decoction from Hamamelis virginiana, or American witch hazel, and they used it extensively for a wide variety of health supporting applications and skin irritations. Today, high-quality witch hazel, distilled as an extract, is still beloved as a gentle skin toner and astringent. It is a key ingredient the best DIY and over the counter toners, cleansers, makeup removers, after sun sprays, etc. Additionally, the extract’s naturally low pH helps balance the typically high pH of soap, so it makes a wonderful after-wash refresher that is suitable for most skin types and can be used alone or incorporated with other ingredients. And, best of all, because witch hazel takes on the properties of whatever herbs you infuse it with, you can customize it for your skin’s specific needs!

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What is Sustainability in Business & Why is it Important?

We work hard here at Mountain Rose Herbs to be an example of a business that puts people, plants, and planet before profit. You’ve heard of “the bottom line,” which in business parlance means thinking about profitability. But in our changing world, business leaders are considering whether there is a better, more sustainable model than a purely profit driven one. The “triple bottom line” model brings social and environmental impact into play. It insists on corporate responsibility and sustainable development, it prioritizes people, plants, and planet. We strive to raise the bar for ethical business practices and to model how to integrate sustainability into business strategies in a way that drives company success.

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Catnip: Beneficial Herb for Humans and Cats + DIY Cat Toy Ideas

Nepeta cataria, commonly called catnip, is an ancient member of the mint family. It has been used in western folk practices for millennia, and is loved for its gentle, calming properties. Herbalists and parents often brew this child-friendly herb into a soothing tisane, but it can also be taken internally as a tincture. For topical use, catnip can be infused in oils, or used as an essential oil or hydrosol to bring an herbaceous, relaxing scent to body care products. Perhaps, however, catnip is best known as the herb most loved by our feline friends.

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Summer Cookout Menu: Recipes & Inspiration

When the thermometer starts to register in the 80s and 90s, my mind takes up residence in the shade of my patio, situated near the grill and not too far from the drinks’ cooler. For foodies like the folks in my family, backyard cookouts mean long lazy days brushing a perfect protein with a tangy sauce over a slow fire. It means tossing together colorful, herby appetizers and barbecue side dishes, imbibing in a newly invented icy drink, and whipping up a batch of homemade ice cream to go with pie. Other than a loose plan of when we want to eat, we let the day guide itself. We just sink into the mindful, soul nurturing process of preparing a meal to eat outside. I think of this time as some of the very best summer medicine.

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Mint Chocolate Body Butter

With the dog days of summer stretching out before us, it’s time to think more seriously about hydration. Every organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies requires water—it is essential for us to keep a steady temperature, to lubricate our joints, to eliminate waste, etc. Because we lose water through sweating, digesting, and even breathing, it’s important to regularly rehydrate, particularly when it gets hot and we’re doing more physical activity outside. And while you’re responsibly drinking plenty of fluids to rehydrate your internal organs, tissues, and cells, don’t forget about the largest organ in your body: your skin. Now is the perfect time to whip up a super-hydrating, cooling body butter!

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Our Bioswale and Rain Garden: A Triple Bottom Line Approach to Facility Landscaping

In 2010, when we moved to our current facility in Eugene, Oregon, we knew we needed to address some landscaping issues on the 3.5-acre campus. From a sustainability point of view, there was a lot to love about the new Mountain Rose Herbs facility and grounds, but we were extremely aware of the impact that businesses have on water quality and habitat in their watersheds and communities, and how company decisions regarding landscaping, rain runoff, and storm water management can affect river habitats further downstream.

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Mountain Rose Herbs: A TRUE Zero Waste Company

In 2015, Mountain Rose Herbs became the first company in Oregon to receive a TRUE Zero Waste Facility Certification. The TRUE program is part of Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in global green business industry performance and practices. TRUE is a whole systems approach aimed at changing how materials flow through society and encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused.

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