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Premium Harvest Calendula Flowers: Local is Incredible!

August 04, 2020

Premium Harvest Calendula Flowers: Local is Incredible!

Premium Harvest Calendula Flowers: Local is Incredible!

We’ve been posting a few pieces here on our Premium Harvest bulk herbs (Chaparral and Blue Cornflowers—another will follow soon about Yerba Mansa). Each one of these has a special story: organic Blue Cornflowers are really hard to find, and uniquely colorful; Yerba Mansa and Chaparral are lesser known (but very useful) herbs, freshly wild harvested from the desert in New Mexico by an experienced and responsible collector down there.

Calendula Flowers are another story. They're a key ingredient for two of our most popular products, Pure Calendula Oil and Pure Calendula Salve, so we keep them in stock quite consistently. We also use them in our Facial Beauty Topical Skin Oil, Soothing Eye Wash, Tattoo Balm, Talys Whipped Body Butter, Postpartum Sitz Bath, and Toenail Fungus Foot Soak. They're not rare—much appreciated by gardeners, and quite familiar to many people who love herbs, they're invaluable for their gentle, effective antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory actions.

We always prioritize freshness, quality, and local sources for ordering our herbs, and most of the time we’re able to obtain very nice Calendula Flowers from southern Oregon—not too far away.

And we also end up ordering a number of other herbs, including many that can easily be grown in our own region, from distant growers in Europe and Asia, simply because that’s what’s available. Selling herbs shipped from other continents is often cost effective: botanicals produced on large scale organic farms in these areas are typically obtainable at reasonable prices, and our savings means lower prices for you, our customers.

Despite their organic certification, the scale and location of those distant operations may dictate machine harvesting, lower pay for workers, or other strategies that are less than optimal in terms of our values and the sustainable, earth-friendly practices we strive to support. And generally we’re not able to track the time that elapses between faraway harvests and shipping out orders on our end.

Let’s say a batch of some herb is harvested somewhere—maybe in Oregon, France, China, Bulgaria, or another place. It's probably dried close to where it's harvested; someplace along the way, it's likely to be cut and sifted. After it leaves the farm, it’s transported by truck to a town or city, and then it might sit somewhere else for awhile, maybe in the warehouse of a regional broker or an international dealer. Eventually it might be transported on a slow boat to North America, to reach one of our suppliers, on another truck, or three… and wait on a shelf there until we order it. The delivery service picks it up, hands it along for one or more legs of another journey, and eventually it arrives at our shop. We track that arrival date, the day it reaches us, but as a rule we just don’t know exactly when it was cut, dried, and processed.

Any number of delays may be involved; that’s just the nature of global business. Freshness isn’t a big deal for a lot of things you might buy—books, shoes, electronics, and so on—but it can make a tremendous difference when we’re talking about herbs!

In addition, the carbon footprint (the fuel that’s burned in transportation, and its impact on the environment) may not be a huge deal if we’re talking about the 500 miles from southern Oregon, but if we’re looking at eastern Europe or central Asia, that’s a lot of distance, and a lot of fuel, as well as significant lag time to reach you.

 

Now take a look at these two batches of Calendula Flowers, side by side. The ones on the right came from just down the road in Skagit County, 20 miles away, in Emily’s car. They were lovingly harvested by hand, the same day, on a small, family-owned farm, and dried within minutes or hours after their arrival here. The color is spectacular, and I wish you could smell their scent as we spread them out for drying—it’s sweet as candy. The Oregon-grown flowers, on the left, smell good, but they’re faint by comparison. We’re not trained or equipped here to perform chemical analysis for active ingredients, but the concentration of healing phytochemicals in these glorious, super-fresh flowers has got to be pretty spectacular!

Emily discovered this farm when she was dining at a local farm-to-table restaurant, where fresh Blue Cornflowers were featured as a garnish on her plate. When she asked where they came from, she was able to connect with the nearby source of our premium Blue Cornflowers and Calendula.

We pay quite a bit more for these flowers, so we have to charge more. If you’re looking for good Calendula Flowers, at a competitive price, we’ve pretty much always got them. If you’re interested in amazing Calendula Flowers for your tea, bath, potpourri, or for your home-made tincture, oil, salve, or soap, you’re going to be delighted with these choice Premium Harvest blossoms. Available for a limited time—don’t miss out!