botnia x sonoma bee collab

Botnia x Sonoma County Bee Co. Hydrosol For Humanity

Let’s just be human. How can we love more? How can we help more? What can we do to be more human?

These ideas have been swirling in my mind recently. In this second year of the pandemic, the escalating climate crisis and injustice all around the globe have created a vacuum of cancel culture and judgment of others. But here’s what I believe: you are good, you are worthy, and you are having your own experience. Even as you read this post your thoughts are creating ways to interpret what this post means to you as a human, and that’s a personal beautiful moment you’re having right now in your human experience.

For me as a human healer, and for Candice as an herbalist and healer of earth’s ecosystems, the questions of our own humanity came up when we were harvesting, collecting, making, and naming this hydrosol. Our conversations centered around these questions: 

What does it mean to have this human experience? 

How can I love all people more?

How can I help more humans in any way that feels good to them? 

What can I do to know myself more and let go of ruminating thoughts of judgment of others? 

I realize I went deep here. You might be thinking, geez this is only a hydrosol ladies! But to us, that is what it means to practice self care and heal others. We are asking big questions so we can evolve our way of meeting you with the plants we choose for each formula. We named this blend Hydrosol For Humanity for other humans to be in their experience of humanity. So we can offer our form of healing the world in a tangible experience. 

Our hope is that we can spread a little more love and a moment that you set aside to nourish your own experience when you use our creation. Making personal space and reflection in the world. 

If something came up for you when you read this post I would love to hear it in the comments below, sharing what’s true for you helps us in your human experience.

With love,
Justine 

P.S. Read on for the backstory of Hydrosol for Humanity!

The Story of Hydrosol for Humanity

The story for this hydrosol starts with a friendship, skincare, fires, farming, bees, and love for all humans. 

Let me gush for just a moment. I met Candice, founder of Sonoma County Bee Company, a few years ago. You know when you meet someone really remarkable, and you feel it right away, like a past life connection or a familiarity that cuts through the awkwardness of not knowing someone? Candice is that kind of person to everyone she meets. She is warm, kind, funny, and ambitious. Her business is based on her core values and her passion for the bees she lovingly tends. 

Three years ago we started making a yearly hydrosol together. The first year was 2019, we named it “California Dreaming” because it was a blend of wild-harvested mugwort together with chamomile and lavender from my land. A mix of botanicals to inspire sleep and rest. 

The year 2020 was different, a time of so much change. We all were suddenly awakened to a new reality. We met that need with mugwort from the banks of the Russian river, added in yarrow, a plant for protection and also a styptic, feverfew, a herb for headaches and tension, and angelica, the angel of third-eye opening and expansive thoughts. We named that hydrosol “Awakening.”

And this year, as we came to lessons learned in our lives and talked about what this partnership meant to us, we landed on humanity. For us, it’s a time to be human, to love those around us. To heal our community with the tools we have in front of us. Our goal is to offer support through plants designed to come into our own human experience right now. Turning inward and supporting our bodies and minds. 

So we named our new hydrosol Hydrosol for Humanity. What that means to us is layered. When you spray this hydrosol, you are immediately, sensationally transported into the present experience of the moment. It was created with plants to heal you, open your mind, and create a sense of the moment while being a soothing tonic for winter skin. To Candice and me, it has meant the expansion of our friendship, and the joy of collaboration in our community, the human element of being in connection with others who also create magic in their business. Supporting other humans and bringing their business into the consciousness of the humans that follow Botnia. Because I believe the world should know about Candice and her way of caring for bees and all plants. 

And this is where the fire comes in. Last year the lavender we harvested for Botnia came through dear friends of Candice’s, Horace and Joan. They have a slice of heaven in Healdsburg called Sophie’s Five Acres. This farm is beyond your wildest dream and has been a 40-year project, cared for on every inch of soil. And last year as the fires raged in northern California their area was hard hit, the fire burned all the way to the edge of the property but went around the farm. The bees that Candice tends were also spared. So this year, we returned as a crew to lovingly harvest lavender for this hydrosol. The Botnia team and Candice’s team came together to be witnesses to the flowers that bloomed after the ashes of last year’s fires. And what we found was spectacular. Beyond fragrant bright purple Grosso lavender so soothing and pungent that we were all in awe (and if I’m honest, a little stoned) from the herbal action of the lavender. In my life, I have never seen lavender like this. As a team, we gathered about 50 pounds of lavender, the entire time entranced in our own humanity of the experience we were sharing in that moment. 

A few weeks later Candice once again went to her stand of wild California mugwort and found that it too had grown back abundantly and was spared from the fires. I added in feverfew from Botnia’s farm. Creating a hydrosol that in its herbal action is mind soothing, third-eye opening, and sinks us into our bodies, our humanity. For our skin, this tonic is antiseptic, amazing for those with inflammation, anti-fungal, and also barrier repairing. Please note: unfortunately, this hydrosol is not intended for those who are pregnant because internally ingested mugwort has been used to start menstration and can cause the uterus to contract. Sorry mamas.

Our reason for creating this hydrosol is to be in our human experience with you. Our hope is that you feel connected to yourself and those around you when you use this hydrosol. That you are inspired to collaborate, give, or receive more. Mostly we hope you use this hydrosol in good health as we move collectively toward the humanity we all deserve.

With love, 
Justine, Team Botnia 
and 
Candice, Team Sonoma County Bee Company

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