Julia Cameron’s famous book on creativity, The Artist’s Way, explores the concept of taking yourself on an artist date as a way to devote time to your creative self. It should be done solo, and the time is just for you. For a few of us at Team Botnia, Sunday is our favorite day of the week. It’s when we get to roam around our local farmers’ market for fresh veggies, fruits, and artisanal goods! How does shopping at the local farmers’ market relate to skincare? Not only do we get to feel a sense of community by connecting with the farmers, but we’re also choosing a smaller carbon footprint, connecting with the cycles of the season, and nurturing ourselves with delicious organic foods that help heal our bodies. We care deeply about the health of the botanicals we use to make your skincare, so you know we’re all about sourcing the most beautiful produce for ourselves, too!
Here are the top five reasons why we love to shop local, plus resources for you to find farmers near you!
Conventional vs. organic farming
We care for every petal on our Sausalito micro-farm, and we love farmers who share the same values! It all starts with healthy soil and creating a good microbiome for produce and plants to grow. Organic farming practices do involve more laborious methods of pest control, planting, and harvesting, but wouldn’t you rather spend more money to have your farmers hand-remove bugs from your veggies than for them to spray pesticides all over them? (I know I would!) When conventional farmers use pesticides and fertilizers to maintain their crops, it destroys the natural biome of the soil, therefore killing all the good nutrients needed to keep plants alive. The result of these poor farming practices further increases the vulnerability of the harvest, requiring even artificial fertilizers to try to keep crops alive and more pesticides to keep the pests at bay. A terrible cycle to be in! When you buy local, you’re also not supporting large corporations with poor farming practices that continue to destroy our earth’s natural resources.
Food tastes better – better for your body
We get our nourishment from the foods we eat to build healthy bodies, and when we’re eating foods that have been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals, we’re also feeding our body poisons that over time turn into potentially dangerous diseases. Have you heard of the dirty dozen? It’s a list of the top 12 types (and more) of produce that you should ALWAYS buy organic because of their high levels of pesticide residue. You’ll want to stick to the clean fifteen if you’re not shopping organic.
Have you ever purchased a tomato from your local grocery store and it tasted totally bland? That’s because produce for big-box grocery stores is modified for its hardiness for traveling on the road and keeping its shelf appeal. The result? Pretty-looking fruit and vegetables that lack flavor. When farmers pack their produce for local markets, some even harvest in the morning, so it’s freshly picked that day! Fruits and vegetables are harvested at their peak ripeness, so they are ready to eat right when you buy them, no ripening time needed.
Shrink your carbon footprint
I have a funny personal story I want to share. I needed mushrooms for a recipe, and unfortunately, used up all the ones I had purchased from the farmers’ market. Reluctantly, I went to my closest discount grocery store thinking it’d be okay to purchase some, assuming that most of our produce comes from California, right? Wrong. The mushrooms I purchased came all the way from Canada! No wonder they’re always mushy. They’ve traveled so far to get to me! Not only were they the same price as those at the farmers’ market, but the darn things also went bad on me within a day. Lesson learned.
You can shrink your carbon footprint when you purchase locally. It’s a good feeling.
Dollars back into your community
The power of the dollar is so much stronger when you put it toward supporting businesses that share your values. Convenience makes it easy for us to overlook quality for quantity when purchasing from big-box stores. What you’re really compromising is your community and health in the long run. Purchasing from small businesses and your local farmers helps keep your community alive and full of diversity. It supports the livelihoods of farmers, makers, and artisans who have a passion for their work and continue bringing their goods to their communities.
Know your farmer
We really love talking to our farmers and getting to know them as people! They’re some of the most dedicated hard-working humans you may ever meet. They’re willing to work throughout the year through harsh conditions to provide food for their community. How much more gold-hearted can you get?
Next time you head to the market, try asking your farmer for their advice on picking produce at its peak ripeness. They’ll be more than happy to share their tips and sometimes even offer delicious recipes to try! It’s also really fun to learn the cycles of the seasons and get in touch with nature!
We’ve found that when we know our neighbors, some of the most amazing collaborations can happen. Building community is one of our biggest values, whether it’s with our local community, our spa community, or the connections we make with our online community!
How Botnia supports our local farmers
As a sustainable skincare company, we’re always thinking of ways we can shrink our carbon footprint through sourcing. Not only do we shop at local markets throughout the week, but we’ve also been so lucky to partner with some of the best farmers in Marin and Sonoma counties and the west coast to source raw ingredients for your skincare!
From Marin Roots in Marin County, they help us grow rose geranium, chamomile, sweet annie, meadowsweet, comfrey, and more calendula.
We harvest lavender as a team from Joan and Horace’s secret garden in Sonoma County.
We have dried calendula, yarrow, and rose geranium from Freckle Farms in Northern Healdsburg.
Lavender, borage, chamomile, comfrey, and plantain come from Oshala Farms in Southern Oregon.
And of course, we work weekly with our non-profit partner ICS/GEM who continue to bring us fresh botanicals like borage, chamomile, rose geranium, and calendula from their urban farms in Marin County.
Our partnerships help us grow in a steady and sustainable way. We’re so proud to support our farmers and their passion for sustainable farming practices that enrich the land in our communities.
Taking care of your skin starts on the inside. When you purchase local, organic food, you’re benefiting in multiple ways that also benefit the world as a whole. We hope that you feel more connected to the people in your neighborhood when you support the efforts of these amazing hard-working people in your community. Feel free to check out the links below to find a farmers’ market near you and other resources to connect with local farmers.
Peonie, Botnia Customer Care
National Farmers Market Directory – (AMS) administers programs that create domestic and international marketing opportunities for U.S. producers of food, fiber, and specialty crops. AMS also provides the agriculture industry with valuable services to ensure the quality and availability of wholesome food for consumers across the country and around the world.
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition – NSAC advocates for federal policy reform for the sustainability of food systems, natural resources, and rural communities
Local Harvest – LocalHarvest provides online tools that help small farmers thrive.
Environmental Working Group – EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to help them make the best choices for their families and reduce their exposures to toxic pesticides.