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Partnering with 'The Herbal Gardener'

In partnership with our good friend Lise Racine, founder of The Herbal Gardener, Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm is proud to offer 100% Australian Made herbal skin care products. The Herbal Gardener specialises in hand made products containing pure Calendula Oil and sourced from certified organically grown calendulas. The Herbal Gardener only offers natural skin care products that are certified Organic and chemical free, using the biodynamic Demeter Method. At Mudbrick Cottage, we believe that these are the best herbal skin care products available in Australia.

Calendula is an herb that most people know ‘just’ as a type of marigold, a delightful yellow flower growing in garden beds. Historically, the botanically named Calendula officinalis was used in European herbal medicine for many centuries as a ‘skin specialist’. Calendula oil revitalises the skin, helps to sooth irritation and promote healing. Using Calendula oil, in combination with essential oils from other herbs, allows The Herbal Gardener to provide a unique organic herbal skin care range.

About The Herbal Gardener

The Herbal Gardener is a small family owned farm established by Lise Racine over 10 years ago. Lise moved to Australia from Quebec, Canada in 1989 and in 2003 she settled with her young family on a rural property, on the Gold Coast in Queensland. With Chris Piper, Lise began preparing her property for organic certification using bio-dynamic principles of land management. In 2008, full certification under the Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Method was achieved. This enables The Herbal Gardener to use the prestigious Demeter mark of quality on all their products.

As Lise’s four young daughters grew older, she developed an interest in providing them with high quality, natural skin care products. While her small organic farm continued to grow, Lise began to explore her interest in herbal remedies by developing natural skin care solutions using Organic Calendula Oil. In 2013, Lise completed a traditional herbalist course to add to her earlier nursing qualifications. She is now pursuing studies in botany to further advance her herbal studies program.

The Bio-Dynamic Demeter Agriculture Method

The Australian Demeter Bio-Dynamic Agriculture Method is a hands-on practical method of working land that is responsive to the cycles and complexities of nature. To achieve Certification from Demeter requires adherence to the strictest standards of certification in the world and incorporates the Australian National Standards for Organic and Bio-Dynamic Produce. This best practice model requires absolute commitment and dedication to understanding the role of nature in producing a high quality natural harvest.

At The Herbal Gardener, this means that absolutely no chemical input is allowed and all weeding is performed by hand. The soil structure is maintained with bio-dynamic processes to support high quality humus, which is the life support for plants. They use crop rotation, green manure crops, soil aerating cultivation techniques and bio-dynamic compost that all assist to develop soil structure. The end result is high quality plants that produce high quality oils.

Ingredients

All natural ingredients grown at The Herbal Gardener are Certified Demeter Organic. Whenever possible, additional ingredients used in this skin care range are sourced from other Australian suppliers who are also Certified Demeter Organic. When this is not possible, the preference is for Australian ingredients and finally, some may be selected from the South Pacific region, close to Australia which minimises the carbon footprint.

The Process

Lise Racine oversees the production of the Calendula skin care range, ensuring that all parts of the process are handled with care and commitment to quality. Calendula is an annual flowering plant, so each year the Calendula flowers are handpicked, carefully dried at low temperatures and infused with Demeter certified organic Australian olive oil for 8-10 weeks. The infused oil is hand poured and combined with other ingredients to create The Herbal Gardener skin care range. New products are always in development, as this small family farm adds new herbs to its range.

The key steps in the production of the Calendula Oil skin care range consist of processes designed to respect natural cycles and acknowledge the bio-dynamic calendar.

  • Organic calendula seeds are sown when the bio-dynamic calendar favours the flower element.
  • Seedlings are exposed to the sun gradually over one month, before being transplanted on the best bio-dynamic date. Blossoms appear one month later, usually lasting from April to September.
  • Handpicking occurs every 2-3 days in the middle of the day, after the dew has dried and the energies of the flowers at the highest.
  • Flowers are dried in a custom designed herb drier to preserve the therapeutic properties of calendula flowers. Herbal Gardener flowers retain their bright colours after drying indicating the high quality.
  • The therapeutic properties of the flowers are extracted and transferred to Organic olive oil by a cold infusion process over 8-10 weeks.
  • The oil is filtered and bottled in amber coloured glass to preserve the high quality of the Calendula Oil.
  • Each batch of skin care products is hand poured as required using only high quality oils and natural ingredients.
  • There are no petroleum products, synthetic preservatives or artificial fragrances in any product made by The Herbal Gardener.

Mudbrick Cottage Herb Farm is pleased to offer 100% Australian Certified Organic natural skin care products from The Herbal Gardener.

Products containing calendula are especially beneficial for those with sensitive or reactive skin, people with conditions such as eczema, treating minor burns and those prone to dry or irritated skin.

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