I’m finding joy in my collaborations with other makers of herbal products.
I want to introduce, or re-introduce, them - because they are amazing. And so central to the evolution of Auntie Caryl's Art & Herbs.: Li Schmidt of Li's Botanicals, Davis, California; and Liz Carew, whose farm is in Sonoma County, California.
They are operating in my old haunts -- the farms of Northern California, and so I have met these two young women through my network of growers and artists.
In July 2021 I created a couple of great interviews with Liz and Li.
The first is with my friend Liz of Davis, California, who started Liz’s Kitchen - a maker of hemp, CBD, and other herbal products.
In this brief talk (5 min.), Liz talks about WHY she started growing and foraging medicinal plants in the first place, and how and why she started growing hemp.
“(Hemp) It’s just a beautiful plant, And we've had such wonderful success with it - being able to make products that were helpful.” That was about four years ago. "They have powerful magical medicine."
My neighbor was scheduled for shoulder surgery and needed a pain solution for the post=surgery period.
It’s been a wonderful experience. They’re very majestic plants (hemp). They have powerful, magic medicine.”
Liz got into herbal medicine the same way many of us done. Informally and self-educated till she got to the California School of Herbal Studies to get the book knowledge.
There she learned how to make medicine tinctures, oils, and salves. When she got interested in CBD, she simply just adapted her methods to the new plant. She still prepares the products in the "folk" way, in her kitchen.
The hand sanitizer was a Coronavirus invention. A delicious, no nonsense killer of germs -- without the medicinal smell. And spritzing the hydrosol onto a sparkling clean face is one of her favorite self-care practices.
"Lemon balm is one of the first plants up in the spring, asking to work with me."
Enjoy the lemon balm hydrosol and the hand sanitizer in the Winter Wellness Kits.
This growing body of Auntie Caryl's collaborations has added a loving dimension to creating the Wellness Kits that I know I’m going to cherish and draw strength from for years to come. Listen to Liz’s interview here.
Our Partner, Li Schmidt of Li's Botanicals
When I talk with Li Schmidt I am always struck by the reverence that she has for the plants. And I am in awe of the niche she and a partner have carved out: they preserve rare seeds for Asian vegetables that are not native to the U.S.
The success of this still-young venture has made Li’s Botanicals a steady presence at Bay Area farmers markets, where customers line up to get their plant starts. Besides various herbs, they offer starter plants for variations of sweet potatoes, pumpkins, peppers, and squashes. Asian varieties of the bitter melon are popular favorites.
Customers finally get to grow and enjoy many of the vegetables they grew up eating in their native countries but have had a hard time finding since they left. Li’s Botanicals has become a place to source those rare delicacies. Occasionally, Li sells seeds, but it’s the plant starts that are her biggest draw.
The year-old greenhouse in Davis, California is a vibrant space -- which you can see in this short video from Li that I recorded in the summer.
Enjoy Li’s Chamomile Lemon Body Soap and Mint CBD Anti-Inflammatory Salve in this winter’s Wellness Kit.
Additionally, the Wellness Kit will include a digital music piece from Li, featuring piano, percussion, and voice. The piece is meant to inspire the idea of appreciating your Self as a place to find the healing that you need. What a beautiful spirit!