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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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Posted by Heidi

A Promise of Permanence

We are living in unpredictable times. This sounds like an obvious statement when the entire world is reeling from two years of pandemic and social and political unrest, and it seems as if everything is spinning out of our control. We are indeed living through precarious times, but what I am referring to specifically in this blog is the nature of business and industry. The herbal products industry has changed enormously over the last few years, and in my opinion, it’s not been for the best. Most of the herbal companies that we have worked with, that we have known and admired for decades, have now been acquired by private equity firms, investment holdings, and venture capitalists. I have never witnessed anything like this in the 22 years I have been at Mountain Rose Herbs. Our community has grown significantly smaller, and the industry is pushing hard towards a profit-driven business model that is the antithesis of everything I believe in. This disturbing reality has made me think a lot about permanence: permanence, and predictability, and being a brand that people can trust.

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Posted by Shawn

10 Tips for Starting and Running a Natural Products Business

As a bulk supplier of organic ingredients, we work with many businesses in the natural products industry. Part of our business relationship with these other organizations includes an exchange of tips and insights about running a company in an always-changing landscape. I want to share with you some of what I have learned about business development in my years with Mountain Rose Herbs. Whether you are considering starting a business, want to grow the one you have, or you’re simply interested in how successful companies thrive, these are some of the most helpful tips I have learned along the way.

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Posted by Shawn

Loose Leaf Tea vs. Tea Bags

I love a good cup of tea and I love that there is literally a tea for any circumstance I may find myself in. Thus, my tea collection is just as varied as the many different experiences that I go through each day. When I first began drinking tea, I knew it mainly as something to ease my cold symptoms. I remember standing in the tea aisle in the grocery store, all stuffed up, staring blearily (and somewhat blankly) at the various tea boxes. Since then, I have learned a lot about the wonderful world of tea. I have tried them all bright and fruity, deep and sultry, and nutritive and soothing, each offering something uniquely wonderful. My biggest tea lesson to date came when I tried loose leaf tea for the first time. There was no comparison in flavor. After that, it was not long before the boxed teas disappeared from my shelves at home and were replaced by meticulously hand-labeled jars filled with all my favorite teas.

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Posted by Maia

Tips for Shopping Green & Clean at the Farmers Market

On Tuesdays in the spring and summer, I step away from my computer and into my own version of paradise. Pulling my car into a bustling central Pennsylvania farmers market, I head directly to the Jade Family Farmstand. These ambassadors of all that is local and delicious fill my bag with bright rhubarb, fragrant sorrel, and oddly delicious kiwi berries—all certified organic and grown by farmers whose growing practices are summed up in four words: First, do no harm.

But farming practices are as broad as pepper varieties, and not all market stands are created equal. Some resell produce bought wholesale: not exactly what we envision when we fill our canvas bags with “local food.”

How does a savvy shopper identify the highest quality farmers market finds while supporting their local food system?

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Homemade Granite and Marble Countertop Cleaner with Essential Oils

A lot of people are discovering the benefits of using natural DIY household cleansers—not only are they crazy-easy to make and dramatically less expensive than over-the-counter cleansers, they also give us the ability to choose ingredients we know are safe for our families and pets, and to customize the scents we’d like to have lingering in our homes. However, not all DIY cleansers are equal. 

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Posted by Jessicka

5 Zero-Waste Recipes for Skin and Body Care

I have been on a big “DIY swap” kick lately. It all started with a growing interest in leading a more sustainable lifestyle, which for me, meant finding ways to eliminate single-use and non-recyclable packaging. The DIY aspect of this project was born out of necessity. I knew the easiest way to avoid purchasing products packaged unsustainably was to just make them myself. There were some growing pains of course. I will be the first to admit that I am not always the best at planning ahead, so adjusting from simply buying an item in a store to carving out the time to make the product did not always go smoothly. However, since I have embraced the process, I’m finding it deeply gratifying to craft my own products, especially my own body-care products.

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Posted by Maia

Did You Know That We Are an Oregon Benefit Company?

You already know that Mountain Rose Herbs is a purveyor of organic herbs, essential oils, teas, and exceptional botanical offerings. And you've probably read that we are serious about putting people, plants, and planet before profit with everything we do: from supporting sustainable agriculture to encouraging employee volunteerism. What you may not have known is that in 2018 these values led us to become an Oregon Benefit Company.

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Posted by Maia

Green Cleaning Recipes for the Bathroom

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how to reduce the presence of plastic in my life. With the recyclability of plastics becoming more and more of a question mark, and a disheartening one at that, the place that I keep arriving at is to just try as hard as I can to remove plastics from the equation altogether. The kitchen was the first place I started with my sustainability makeover. I slowly began to change my shopping habits so that I would wind up with less leftover single-use plastics at the end of the week. It wasn’t easy but it was incredibly liberating; it eased my conscience a bit to know that I was able to take steps toward a greener lifestyle. As my interest in living more sustainably snowballed, I began seeing problems everywhere I looked in my house, particularly with my cleaning products, and especially with my bathroom cleansers.

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Posted by Maia

A Story of Alternative Commute Incentives Propelling Change

Before I moved to Eugene in March of 2010, I drove a car every day, everywhere. Living in the suburbs of Boston, it was necessary. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t drive to work, to the grocery store, or even to the gym. When I arrived, I brought my mindset with me and drove everywhere: to work (ten blocks from home), to the grocery store (twelve blocks), and the gym (just over a mile). In my first three months here, I clocked fewer than a hundred miles and made three car payments—clearly not an economical way to get around! I sold my car that June and bought a used bicycle.

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Posted by Julia

Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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