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About Herbal Products & Freshness

Using herbal products instead of the more commercially available products that we've all become used to can be a really big change in many ways. We aren't just talking about the way your skin, hair and overall health can improve. We're talking about the actual using of the products.

Most herbal products sold in American stores are more of a commercial product than a true herbal. Reading the labels can be confusing and a little intimidating. At smittyslittlefarm, Jen has a policy of "If I can't pronounce it, it doesn't go in," and as the creator-in-residence, she's the one that gets to decide. 

Nearly all of our products start life in our garden somehow. We grow a fine assortment of flowers, herbs and good old fashioned weeds. What we don't or can't grow we're sure to responsibly source. A good friend of ours is a great grower of beautiful flowers and we have another friend who routinely forages on The Grand Mesa and elsewhere for us. We have Prickly Pear from the Escalante area, we have pine from the highest forests and willow from the gloomiest gulches. We search for the best, the brightest, the purest and the most hardy. Our goal is to use as many LOCAL plants as possible. Plants that are local to Delta County, the Western Slope, the Grand Mesa & the Black Canyon area. This is a vast, abundant area and we've found far more than we ever thought possible. We've become adept at searching for any possible way these plants can benefit us. From those plants we start the infusing, extracting, expelling, pressing and grinding and finally the mixing, mashing, measuring and blending and all the other processes to make our finished products. 

What we don't do is add unnecessary fillers, detergents, binders, petrochemicals or plastics, which are, unfortunately quite common in many mass marketed bath & beauty products. These chemical ingredients hide behind a lot of different (sometimes non-sensical) names, but the intent seems to be to extend the product, regardless of quality. It's easy to make a product that's just good enough and then add cheap, chemically derived fillers, binders or liquids. And it works. Many manufactured chemicals are very good at making a product creamy or foamy or colored just so. Some customers love that. That's not us.

The only real advantage to any of this that we will concede is that many chemical preservatives (there are SO many!) do an excellent job of keeping their product "fresh", if fresh means "It's fine".

Is that the same as using a product because you want to use it or because it will probably smell useable after the coming Alien Invasion? Our products rely on natural preservatives, which are usually plant based. What this means is that while they are shelf stable and creamy, or foamy, or silky, or goopy and wonderful, they might not survive through the Zombie Apocalypse. 

All of our products should be used within THREE to SIX months of purchase. 

Read that again. USE within 3-6 months. Why?

Because they're awesome, wonderful, nutritive, beautiful products? 

Well, yes. But that's not it. If you can avoid using your fingers to dig into the creamy pots, that would be good. (Less bacteria) Using fingers in the salves is usually fine. Creams are different. They're well, creamy. And creamy means air and water. Air and water can mean bacterial growth & decay.

If you can store your products in the fridge, that can be good. (Slows bacteria growth). Not usually necessary, but some of them feel nice when they're cold, too.

If one of our products separates, shake it or stir it. These are rich, healthy oils and they will compete for space and to reclaim their own molecules. While the plants might initially be willing, we find the oils to be argumentative and bossy at times. Beautiful. But crazy. Am I right?

And PLEASE keep them out of sunlight.

Moonlight is fine.

We package our products to try to get as much mileage out of them as we can. The advantage to being a small operation is that we can make changes. If a bottle or package proves to be detrimental to the product or in using the product, we can change that. If the product is too thin or too thick for a particular package, we can change that.

What we can't change is how you take care of these beautifully scented, wonderfully useful, highly moisturizing gifts from the ground. (Our products, that is)

My suggestion. 

USE IT. This stuff DOES NOT get better with age! Unlike you. And me.

While you are aging to golden perfection, our Golden Emollient will become a perfect mess if left to fend for itself for too long. How long? That depends. How was it stored. Was it opened first? Did any water get inside the jar? Was it being used regularly or left to sit and separate? All of these things are real considerations when using real natural products. And if you are already using natural products and nobody mentioned this, then be advised. This isn't just true for our natural products. It's true for nearly ALL natural products, even if no one told you (except for honey, apparently it's good for thousands of years - most natural products are not so lucky). Nature has a pretty good habit of reclaiming her own. Including our very useful, very pretty, wonderful creams, oils, lotions & more. No matter how effectively we try to trap them in glass

So use them.

They are beautiful and they smell nice and they'll help your skin and they're hand crafted and all that great stuff. But these products are so much more. They are products born of nutrition, intent and service. Let them nourish you.


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