Garden, Plant, Cook!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Cyber Shopping - How About The Local Kind?

Dear Folks,

I am going to share some of my friends locally produced products and services. Keep them in mind and other locally owned businesses when you shop not only for the holidays but year-round.

Jean Groen with her partner Don Wells is an expert in the edible and medicinal plants of the Sonoran Desert. Together they have written 6 books:  "Foods of the Superstitions Old and new","Plants of the Sonoran Desert and Their Many Uses", 2 children's books-"The Adventures of Flat Cactus Jack" and "The Second Adventure of Flat Cactus Jack...the Mystery Mound", Cat's Claw to Cow's Tongue and Other Lesser Known Plants of the Sonoran Desert", "Grazing the Sonoran Sonoran Desert" (a loose leaf recipe book).

Jean is also a dedicated foodie and loves making jellies from all the wonderful variety of desert edibles - last count about 20 flavors.  She also produces pickles and BBQ sauces.  Jean conducts tours at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum.  The books can be found at Superstition Mt. Historical Museum, Tonto Visitor's Center, Tonto Monument, Casa Grande Ruins, Besh Ba Gowah, Book Bank in Miami, AZ,  or you can contact them at

Kathy Marshall has her own dairy goat herd -- along with the 'cute' portion of the farm, Kathy gets to create her wonderful lotions and soaps using goats milk.  Goats milk is good for you both inside and outside.  Kathy's lotion customers have reported relief from dry skin, eczema, psoriasis and even diaper rash.  Double Blessings started in 2003 when Kathy wanted a soap that would not dry out her skin and a lotion that actually worked.  Find her on the web, at farmers markets around the valley and check the website for stores carrying her lotions and soaps.

Alice Nelson harvests dried flowers and leaves creating some of the prettiest bookmarks and pendants with them.  Every flower, leaf and petal is handpicked, trimmed and pressed by her.Each are unique and no two are ever the same.

But her main creative talent is her unique earwrap earrings suitable for those with and without pieced ears.  You can purchase through Alice's website, or find her at Fairs in the valley.  The wrap base is hypoallergenic 302 grade stainless steel, adjustable to fit any ear.

Coming up Alice will be at a fair at Greenway High School December 10th and 11th.

Jim Pipkin is a songwriter, story teller, and musician.  It literally runs in his veins -- Jim Pipkin carries on a family tradition of music and storytelling dating back to before the American Revolution.  Jim is a direct descendant of Revolutionary War Patriot Jesse Pipkin, and the grandson of Clifton White Pipkin, a Carolina roadhouse musician during the Great Depression. The Pipkin family has been writing and singing folk and gospel music in America since arriving at Jamestown in the late 1600’s.  Jim has 6 albums out and is working on his 7th.  You can purchase and download individual songs or whole albums.  OR, catch one of his shows around the valley and purchase the CDs.  Got to his website, or if you are on facebook his music shop.
Jim's show schedule is here.

Susan Decker is "Always A Little Behind Crafts" and I can totally understand that Susan could be always a little behind.  It is almost impossible to describe Susan's creative offerings in one little news piece here.  If there is something which can be hand made, Susan has probably created it!  From hand-made greeting cards, to aprons, toys (cloth to wood), home decorations, lunch box options, and purse accessories, you will find Susan's creative touch for every part of your life.  She is frequently at some valley farmers markets but you can easily order from her website  At my request, Susan came up with a 'toy' for my Homemade Kids Meals challenge (a homemade option to fast food meals).  Be sure to check out her crafts for all the gifts you need this holiday season.

To say that the holiday season can be stressful is to woefully understate the experience!  Give a gift to family or friends or yourself of a session with Rolfing Resources and regain your literally and figurative balance.  Rihab Yaqub is a certified Rolfer, Rolf Movement practitioner and Somatic Experiencing practitioner.  I know Rihab as a friend who just radiates positive energy.  Rihab's new studio in Scottsdale is hosting an open house.  This Sunday, November 20th  2-5 p.m. -- Historic Cattletrack Studio Compound -- 6207 N. Cattletrack Rd. #8, Scottsdale, AZ 85250 -- (480) 735-8875  -- stop by for conversation, refreshments and an opportunity to win a free session.  Visit her website for more information about Rolfing.  Gift Certificates are now available.

Patricia is "Feather Wolf" another creative friend who designs websites, beautiful precious stone jewelry and these unique fragrances shown here.  Find her at Mesa and Ahwatukee farmers markets in the valley or go to her website.  News fragrances just added are:  Lavender and Sunshine, Key Lime Pie, Eastern Treasure, Evening Rose,  Flower Mountain, and The Carpenter - I really liked the Lavender and Sunshine!  Click here for a description of each.

Last of my friends - but certainly not least - is Sue Harris a gifted musician but also a handmade soap specialist with a knack for thinking 'outside the bar' for scent inspirations.  I confess to giving Sue some ideas for soaps honoring the upcoming Arizona Centennial but she is the crafting wizard to actually figure out how to make them into cool soaps! My soaps are made in small batches, overflowing with such wonderful oils as olive, shea butter, almond, avocado, cocoa butter, and many others. I specialize in products reflecting the beautiful southwest desert where I live.  Find Sue at local farmers markets or visit her website to order direct.

Find more locally owned businesses and support your neighbors at

Find Farmers Markets around Arizona here 

Put together an ultimate gift basket with soaps, lotions, books, bookmarks, music, fragrances and lunch box accessories all local, all Arizona, all Great! 

-- Catherine, The Herb Lady
My Books


Patricia McNaught Foster said...

This is absolutely wonderful Catherine! Thank you so much for putting together such a wonderful newsletter!

Jean said...

What a great blog! You are above and beyond! And I'm so blessed to call you "friend"!

Alice said...

Thank you for all that you do to help raise awareness, not only of herbs and their uses but of all of our local products and handmade creations.

Rihab said...

This is such a great idea, Catherine. I was very happy that you introduced me to Kathy's wonderful goat's milk products. I'll have to try some of your other recommendations. Happy Thanksgiving.