Our Blog

Botanical Traditions and Innovations in Bulgaria

United Plant Savers' Susan Leopold and Mountain Rose Herbs' Jennifer Gerrity travel into the Balkan mountains at the peak of the autumn harvest to visit our organic farm and harvest partners in the Bulgarian countryside.

Amidst the stunning foliage of a golden autumn, I journeyed into the lush valleys and mountains of Bulgaria to seek out the wild plant collection sites where our regional partners harvest an array of our botanicals. Accompanying me on this trip was my esteemed colleague, ethnobotanist Dr. Susan Leopold, Executive Director of United Plant Savers. We wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the horticulture of Bulgaria, meet the people who harvest these plants, observe their traditional methods firsthand, and learn about the culture surrounding plants in the Balkans.

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Posted by Jennifer

Pioneering Organic Rhodiola Cultivation in Alaska

Our farm liaisons travel to America's northernmost state to visit the pioneering farmers working to cultivate organic rhodiola in Alaska's rugged landscape.

Arriving at a property that looks across the water to Kachemak Bay State Park, we have our first rendezvous with a group of farmers engaged in a bold agricultural experiment: cultivating organic Rhodiola rosea in the rugged Alaskan countryside. These folks have staked years of work on the hope that this much-prized adaptogen hailing from Siberia and northern Asia can thrive in the challenging agricultural conditions of their wild home state. For us, it has already been a long day of travel that’s left us more than ready to cozy up with some hot tea and take in the incredible views. But we are here to help with the harvest, and there’s work to be done.

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Posted by Katheryn

Organic Chaga From the North Woods of Canada

Mountain Rose Herbs farm liaisons travel into Canada's north woods to visit the harvest sites of our certified organic, wildharvested chaga mushrooms.

The late January landscape of northeastern Canada is stunning, but brutal. This snow-covered expanse presents an imposing front that challenges all who would enter its wild recesses, but our local harvesters know this ground and hike on, undeterred. We follow behind, spurred onward by the promise of encountering an elusive and treasured resident of this hibernating land: Inonotus obliquus, the chaga mushroom.

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Posted by Jacob

Organic Passionflowers on the Adriatic: An Italian Love Story

Verdant fields of our certified organic passionflower flourish on our Italian farm partner's land. Gianfranco's family has passed down its agricultural wisdom through the generations while inspiring other farmers to embrace organic growing practices.

Gianfranco's kind eyes gaze lovingly at the single passionflower blossom he clutches in his hands. He buries his nose deep in its vibrant purple petals and inhales. “I could have made more money growing other crops,” Gianfranco says through a translator, “But I have a big love—I am in love—with passionflower.”

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Posted by Raychel

Scent Stories from the European Countryside

Our Mountain Rose Herbs farm liaisons regularly travel to visit our family farmers. On a recent trip to Europe, David (one of our farm liaisons) met Frank (a fourth-generation farmer) and got to see his fields first-hand.

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Posted by Raychel

Why Our Pacific Northwest Farms Grow Organic

Near the snow-capped peaks and pristine glacial streams of Cascadia lies a Pacific Northwest family farm. A gravel road winding up an arid canyon leads to the small plot of land where our certified organic milky oat tops are grown, harvested, and dried.

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Posted by Raychel

Supporting Heritage Herbalism in Appalachia

 Overlooking the ancient and herb-rich landscape of the Appalachian Mountains.

From the hills of eastern Kentucky to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, there exists an ancient yet vibrant tradition of folk herbalism. The mountains of Appalachia are among the oldest in the world, and their immense botanical diversity hosts an astounding number of useful plants, hundreds of which are found nowhere else on earth. Read More
Posted by Jana

A Still Life: Hydrosol Distillation with Our Organic Growers

Hydrosols are produced by distilling fresh leaves, fruits, flowers, and other plant material, creating aromatic waters. Hydrosols have similar properties to their essential oil counterparts but with a subtler (and often greener) scent. They are lauded for their ease of use and versatility in aromatherapy and body care formulations.

During the brief lull between distilling season and planting season, the lovely husband-wife team who craft our certified organic hydrosols took a moment to tell us more about how they create these delightfully fragrant waters.

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Posted by Jana

Why We Go Out of Stock

We know there’s nothing more inspiring for our customers than a fully-stocked apothecary or spice cabinet. Here at Mountain Rose Herbs, we pride ourselves on providing herbal enthusiasts with a veritable buffet of botanical bounty. Our organic farmers across the world do their very best to support us in that mission, and we are constantly inspired by their ability to provide harvests of such exceptional quantity and quality.

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Posted by Jana

Why Our Traditional Chinese Medicine Herbs Are Cultivated in China

Organic panax ginseng plants thrive under shade cloth.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has been in existence for thousands of years. Although there are a variety of theories and different applications in TCM, they are based on the same principle—in order to have good health, people must cultivate and balance their Qi (ch’i). Qi, which translates to “life force” or “vital energy,” is thought to circulate through channels or meridians in the body in a dynamic manner. Practitioners of TCM believe that particular herbs are a powerful tool in creating “life force” balance.

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Posted by David