Community Supported Apothecary (CSA) ~ October 2015 to February 2016

April 1st CSA Offering:  Spring Zing Tea Blend, Dandy Blend Tincture, and Poke Root Salve

April 1st CSA Offering: Spring Zing Tea Blend, Dandy Blend Tincture, and Poke Root Salve

As the last Herbal CSA draws to an end on August 1st, I have to say that it’s been such a pleasure to harvest, prepare, bottle, package & send-off all of this herbal goodness to the participants each month.  I so deeply appreciate their interest in plant medicine…as well as their support of Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary and my work as an herbalist.

It really means a lot to me.

I am now moving onto preparing for the FOURTH Herbal CSA (Oct 2015 to Feb 2016), and I’ve gotten some great feedback over the years!  One thing that really pulls at my heart-strings is that so many people have told me that they look at plants differently.  They begin to see plants (and weeds) as medicine and as allies for their health & well-being.  To me, this is just profound and a dream come true.

Participants have also told me about the shifts in their personal lives, their health, and their family culture by incorporating some of the herbal preparations into their daily life.  While others simply expressed a keener interest in whole foods, plant medicine, and other holistic approaches to life and wellness.  To me, no matter which way I spin it, I do feel that the Herbal CSA is having a positive impact on people’s lives and that feels good.

Of course, I am just a small piece of a much bigger movement happening in the USA.  There simply is a growing interest in how to cultivate health, community, and sustainability.  It’s happening!  And for those who are interested, it’s good to keep our minds open and fuel our curiosity with wholesome things.

My interns helping me prepare CSA boxes and bags to deliver and ship.

My interns helping me prepare CSA boxes and bags to deliver and ship.

As opposed to large companies, I have my simple instruments, the depths of traditional literature, my teachers, and my own awareness and insights.  I use these things to prepare herbs in a traditional manner, making simple and effective preparations like it’s been done for thousands of years.

So, to the 30 individuals/families that participated in the April-Aug CSA, THANK YOU for going on this journey with me!

Like I mentioned, August 1st will be the last month of the 5-month Spring-Summer Herbal CSA program.  I will take a month off in September and the next will go from October 2015 to February 2016.  The Fall-Winter Herbal CSA focuses on herbal preparations for the chillier months and of course cold & flu season.

So, for those of you new to the CSA concept, you may be asking what is a Community Supported Apothecary (CSA)?  Basically, we’ve taken the term CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and given it a new spin!  In our CSA, you’ll receive seasonally-appropriate, herbal preparations in the mail or you can pick-up at certain MS farmer’s markets.

A newsletter from our last CSA offering.

A newsletter from our last CSA offering.

Our CSA members prepay for the 5-month program at least one month before the CSA begins.  Each month you’ll receive your herbal preparations along with a newsletter high-lighting certain herbs and their uses as well as describing how to use the preparations we send you!

Check out this link to get an idea of what we have offered participants in the past.  We typically send out preparations that make sense for the season that we are in.  Here’s a sample of some of the herbal preparations we sent out last Fall/Winter:

Cheater Chai
Winter Warmth Tea Blend
Flu Fighter Formula
Elder-Sumac Elixir
Evergreen Body Rub
Autumnal Oxymel
Pine Pitch Tallow Salve
Cold Sore Care Lip Balm
Cold Care Tea Blend
…and more!

I harvest mostly wild plants from Mississippi as well as some cultivated plants from my garden.  I do sometimes supplement with organic suppliers in our network of herbalists and plant lovers.

Here’s the basic info for our 5-month program (Oct 2015 to Feb 2016):

– you will receive $40 worth of seasonally appropriate, herbal preparations (we are known for lagniappe, as well)
– you will be sent a newsletter describing each preparation, their seasonal relevance, and information high-lighting the herbs we used

The cost is $250 (if items are shipped) and $225 (if items are picked up in Starkville, Columbus, Meridian, Oxford, or Jackson via Beaverdam Farms drop-off).  It is best that we are paid in one lump sum as it can be difficult for us to track monthly payments.  However, if you are not able to pay this way, we can make arrangements for monthly payments.

Payment must be received by September 1st!

The May CSA offering consisted of Bugs Be Gone Herbal Bug Spray, Pine Pollen Tincture, and Bee Beauty Breast Balm (a salve for fibrocystic breasts and actually a great wound & scar healer).

The May CSA offering consisted of Bugs Be Gone Herbal Bug Spray, Pine Pollen Tincture, and Bee Beauty Breast Balm (a salve for fibrocystic breasts and actually a great wound & scar healer).

I only have the capacity for 35 participants.  Please email me at sweetgumsprings@gmail.com to let me know you are interested in participating.  I will send out an email with payment information and a few questions to answer once we reach the 35 participant mark (probably sometime in mid-August).

Finally, our CSA program runs in two 5-month chunks:  April to August and October to February.  Many of our members participate in both programs!  Members who have participated in previous programs get priority over new members.

Testimonials from previous CSA participants:

We have enjoyed both offerings of the Herbal CSA and have learned a great deal over the past year+ about herbs and tinctures because of their helpful explanations and directions. I think what I like most is that each month they supply you with a product that is useful to the season you in or are entering into. Bug spray in the summer months, cold and flu tea and tinctures in the colder months as a way for you build your medicine cabinet. They are not handing off their products that have not sold or are just sitting on the shelf; the CSA products are relevant to that month and therefore, to us. We are really thankful for SGSA and the CSA. I encourage you to become a part of it!” ~ Christina in Starkville, MS

Being involved with the Herbal CSA Program has been fun, education, and enlightening.  Receiving the package each month has been a real treat and knowing that each item was chosen for a reason – mainly seasonal.  The most important thing is that each item is so good for you and your health!  And, we all want to be healthier!” ~ Melody in Oxford, MS

I have been very pleased with the monthly shares. The information that is emailed every month with the share about the months preparations is fantastic. It explains what the offerings are, and how they can be used to improve our life. The emailed newsletter filled with information means that I can go back and reference the plants used, and why they were selected. The offerings also help me focus on my surroundings as the seasons change, allowing me to see plants in another light than I have in my previous education.” ~ Evan in Starkville, MS

“I have enjoyed herbal medicines for years but now the CSA has really allowed me to get up close and personal with the plants in a way that I never thought possible. It was so exciting to open each package and find out what was in the box! It amazed me that each time the box was filled with preparations that I needed exactly at that moment. It was a perfect fit. I also loved the information sheet and referred back to it many times. Thank you Sweet Gum Springs Apothecary!” ~ Brandy in Atlanta, GA

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Community Supported Apothecary (CSA) ~ October 2015 to February 2016

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s