Two Sisters Natural Soap & Farmers’ Market April 7th

Today I’d like to share about my new acquaintance at the Clermont Farmers’ Market: Aurora from Two Sisters Natural Soap. Not only is Aurora one of the kindest, friendliest souls I’ve met, she is an artisan soap maker and a wealth of knowledge about anything relating to natural body care. All this, and her soaps are absolutely FANTASTIC! They smell out-of-this-world, don’t dry my skin, and I know they’re all natural and made with love and care. Since the showers in our house are piped to drain into the garden and we finished our outdoor garden shower, it’s important for us to use biodegradable, natural bath products. You can now find Two Sisters on my local Resources page!

Two Sisters' Gardener's Helper soap is one of my favorites!

Two Sisters’ Gardener’s Helper soap is one of my favorites!

There are at least four reasons why I insist on what I’ll call “real” soap (simple ingredients, biodegradable, homemade).

  1. Better for the Earth: Natural, biodegradable ingredients are so much better for the Earth. They won’t damage water ecosystems with phosphates or pollute with chemicals.
  2. Better for us: You may have heard of sodium laureth sulfate, phthalates, parabens, formaldehyde and diethanolamine being present in our body products. This article from the Washington Post explains the dangers associated with the body care products of our industrialized civilization. When you make your own or buy body products from trusted sources, you can rest assured that there’s no formaldehyde or other creepies in it!
  3. No animal testing: Not only is it wrong, but there is no need to when you know the artisan soapmaker, trust their ingredients and promise to not test on animals.
  4. Support local producers: Instead of giving your money to large multinational corporations whose products might be made by wage slaves on the other side of the world or at least in a large laboratory or factory, provide someone in your locale the opportunity for meaningful work by supporting what they do! Plus it’s going to be a more personal, better product; you can talk to them about how they make it, what’s in it and where the ingredients come from.

I learned in my herbal classes that what you put on your skin is just as important as what you eat. Our skin is our largest organ and readily absorbs whatever comes into contact with it. With this sentiment in mind, I am mindful to use totally natural body products whenever possible. Another great thing about real soap is that it is naturally emollient – it moisturizes the skin. Two sisters also incorporate medicinal herbs like calendula and lavender into their soaps, which not only help heal the skin, but smell amazing too,  not with artificial fragrances, but with homegrown herbs.

Sure, you might have to deal with a little more soap scum by using real soap, but that’s what the baking soda is for! With all of the vital reasons to stick with real soap, there’s no reason to support industrial soaps or products. And if you’re in Central Florida come out to the Clermont Farmers’ Market to support Aurora (and me!). Her sister, Sierra, is near Umpqua, Oregon, so if you’re there you can find their soap. If you’re somewhere else, see if there’s a small-batch natural soap maker near you, or support these lovely sisters and order from them online. If you’re really getting into the local, diy spirit, make your own soap. I’ve heard it’s not that hard, and it’s definitely on my crafty to do list!

The market April 7th was wonderful. The weather was finally cooperating and gave us a glorious sunny day. I sold or bartered all of my produce and came home empty coolered! And that’s what I love to see! Thank you to all my regulars (and new folks) who came out to get your kale and support me doing what I love – growing delicious, fresh, nutritious vegetables!

March 24th Clermont Farmers’ Market

The market on March 24th was certainly an eventful one! The day started off normal enough; although, we were worried about a rainy day due to the overcast skies. Our wwoofer, Liane, and I decided to go to the market together and leave the boys at home to work on farm activities. It seemed as soon as we had everything set up, looking good, and the delicious kale salad samples she made on the table… the winds started picking up.

Our usual array of kale: red Russian, curly, Ethiopian, and dinosaur (aka: Lacinato, Tuscan)

Our usual array of kale: red Russian, curly, Ethiopian, and dinosaur (aka: Lacinato, Tuscan); broccoli and broccoli greens at the far right.

And then picking up even more!! Finally, we were literally holding down the fort from blowing away. When we got a break in the gusts, we took down our tent. The winds continued. Our tray of kale samples flew to the ground and down the street, as did some fliers and business cards and kale leaves. Our neighboring vendors lost breakable items which the wind swept off their tables. Things were flying in all directions Dorothy-style and getting a little scary. Luckily, our friend, Greg, came by and suggested we move about a block down and across the street, where somehow the wind couldn’t reach as mightily. We did and were able to stay much more anchored down; although, our display was not as impressive with our single table and wind-whipped-looking vegetables.

Our swiss chard and let

On the positive side, we were glad to be able to supply our  steadfast customers with fresh-picked veggies, and I was SO immeasurably grateful to be well enough to attend market for the first time in two weeks! We were delighted to see our neighbors from Lake Catherine Blueberries at the market! Their farm is just under four miles down State Road 19 from ours! The blueberries they brought were just picked the day before, and absolutely delicious! I see a tradition of blueberry snacking at the markets in the making. I told Lake Catherine to definitely expect us for their U-pick this year… at least a few times.

Thank you to all of you who braved the wind yesterday to come out to the market! And if you didn’t make it out last week, you can always buy fresh from the farm at 18404 SR 19, Groveland, FL 34736. Right now, we have tons of red Russian kale, curly kale, dino kale, lettuce, bok choy and BAMBOO!

Farmers’ Market March 3rd

Our second farmers’ market went well. I was lucky enough to have our first two wwoofers, Liane and Anthony, with me to help out this week. Setting up was a breeze once we had the tent set up with the additional help.

Anthony and Liane keeping warm behind our table.

Anthony and Liane trying to keep warm behind our table.

This week we brought more kale (red Russian, Ethiopian, curly Siberian), bok choy, arugula, broccoli, Swiss chard and beet greens. It was great to see repeat customers and hear “See you next week”s. Though it was very cold, we had a great market! We met a couple into food fermenting who were interested in coming to my next fermentation class and two ladies interested in my kitchen revamp. Making new connections and networking is working out better than expected at the markets – I was just expecting to share some delicious fresh veggies! With continual improvements to our set up, I’m already excited for next week’s market!

Our red Russian kale and bok choy. <3

Our red Russian kale and bok choy. <3

First Farmers’ Market for the Food Forest at Beautiful Bamboo

The Food Forest attended our first farmers’ market in downtown Clermont last Sunday. I’m excited to report it was an exhilarating and fun day! I was positively beaming to share with my Lake County locals the fresh veggies from our farm. The best compliment we received, I believe, was from a man buying kale and broccoli for himself and his daughter. When I told him, “I just picked these this morning,” he replied, “I can tell!” It was wonderful let the veggies speak for themselves and to see the pleased faces on my customers who had been looking for a source of local, organic vegetables. I believe I had a smile on my face all day, despite the torrential downpour that happened mid-way through the market.

Tim and I in front of our table at the market.

Tim and I in front of our table at the market.

Meeting the market customers was an uplifting experience, as was meeting the other vendors. The woman vending next to me was selling her homemade, all-natural soaps and cosmetics. She was so inspirational with her non-toxic body care items and so giving of product and inspiration. I hope everyone who bought from us is more than pleased with the food, and I hope I can earn regular customers for a long time to come!

Our table at the first Clermont farmers' market.

Our table at the first Clermont farmers’ market.