• Natural Skin Care

    Good skin food.

    It’s been awhile since I had this old girl workin’! Stand mixers have many uses, I’m guessing. I’ve only ever used mine for whipping body butters. Had some Cocoa butter to use up so I thought I’d give it a whirl. This blend is about 1/3 Cocoa butter to 2/3 Coconut oil. Cocoa butter + Coconut oil + Whip = Good skin food. Et voilà! The finished whipped body butter. Has a light texture but is very rich and deeply moisturizing. Apply copious amounts whenever desired.

  • photo of sheri & Hawkeye
    The Latest News

    The Enplantae story (so far)

    It started with essential oils and a desire for clean, natural products. It grew into a herb garden that took over the backyard and a desire for real connection with the world. Today, Enplantae.com is the new incarnation of work that began in 2007. Back then, I was making perfumes, salves, soaps, and face creams under the name ‘Paradise City Herbal’ (Paradise City being the nickname of my hometown, Northampton, MA). As the love affair with plants grew, my husband Hawkeye and I expanded our backyard garden to a ‘micro-farm’ with a rented field in a neighboring town (about a 15 minute drive, 30 minutes with traffic, not ideal but…

  • The Latest News

    Waiting is the hardest part

    Where are we at with the move from Massachusetts to North Carolina? Waiting… Plans are made but the start on our new path has been delayed. We thought we’d be there by now and dragging out the anticipation of leaving my garden has been brutal. Can’t help thinking as I work in the garden that everything I’m doing, I’m doing for the last time. It’s heartbreaking. I really don’t know how I’m going to say goodbye to this space and these plant people that I’ve loved for 20 years. The upside is the wait has given me the chance to be in the garden until the very end of the…

  • bowl of fresh lettuce
    Natural Skin Care,  Recipes & How-To's

    Lettuce face mask, a favorite Summer treat!

    A lettuce face mask helps restore skin’s natural pH, soothes rough skin, and can help heal pimples. Any lettuce will do, but it’s a bit more thrilling using lettuce you’ve picked from your own garden 🙂 It’s quick and easy –> Put a handful of lettuce in a blender and gently pulp, then massage onto clean skin. Leave on for 5-10 minutes. Rinse off with cool water. For a fancier version, add a little olive oil and lemon juice. Olive oil is a great moisturizer, and lemon juice a gentle astringent that cleans and refines pores.

  • farmhouse and garden illustration
    The Latest News

    Our 10th Season: Hello, Goodbye.

    Funny thing happened on the way to the farm’s 10th anniversary year- We decided to quit. (Half my brain is excited, the other half is threatening to throw itself off a cliff.) So there we were, getting seed orders prepped for the start of a new farm season, when a sweet little cottage walking distance from the water and a marina pops up for sale- 700 miles away in North Carolina. Hawkeye and I JUMP at it. The Story: Our “get closer to the ocean so we can sail” idea has been brewing for awhile, but we’re only in the middle of our 5-year-transition plan. I am nowhere near ready…

  • cucumber and oatmeal with mortar and pestle
    Natural Skin Care,  Recipes & How-To's

    DIY Antioxidant Face Mask

    Besides eating them, the best way to benefit your skin with antioxidant vitamins is to use them topically as facial treatments. Masks and scrubs made with antioxidant-rich fruit and veg can help give you a brighter, smoother complexion. Mash the fruit or veg and use alone or with a little olive oil as a facial mask, or add oatmeal, cornmeal, clay, or rice powder to make it a scrub. Look for: vitamin A: Encourages healthy skin cell production. Smoothes wrinkles. vitamin C: Evens skin tone and contributes to collagen production. May help prevent and treat ultraviolet (UV)-induced photodamage. vitamin E: Moisturizes and softens. Try these: Banana: Emollient, cleans pores. Vitamins…

  • Tea bud and leaves. Tea plantations, Sri Lanka
    Herbs & Ingredients

    Tea, before the cuppa

    Have you ever seen Tea (Camellia sinensis) growing? I never realized the Tea plant is an evergreen shrub (to small tree) that can be harvested for 40-100 years, depending on the variety. The young shoots, leaves and buds, are usually picked by hand as machinery is too rough on the tender leaves and may damage them. There are four basic categories of Tea- white, green, oolong, and black-  and each uses a different method of processing after harvest for its different qualities. For green Tea, the leaves are quickly heated, either steamed or pan-fried, then dried to prevent oxidation of the leaves. This allows the Tea to retain its green…

  • closeup of jerusalem artichoke flowers
    In the Herb Garden

    Perennial sunflowers you can eat

    Our last harvest of the year, Sunchoke (Helianthus tuberosus, also called Jerusalem artichoke). A species of sunflower native to eastern North America, Sunchokes were originally cultivated as a food source by Native Americans. Their tubers can be dug until the ground freezes and with proper storage can last through Winter. Europeans must’ve really taken to Sunchokes after trying them during the colonization of the east coast. They were shipped back home and are now more commonly eaten there than they are here in the states. Normally tan/brown-skinned, we grow a variety that was bred in France to have red skin with fewer bumps. “Tompinambour” is the French name for Sunchoke-…

  • ripe mangoes on a tree
    Herbs & Ingredients,  Natural Skin Care

    The answer? Mango butter.

    When you want one effective, natural bodycare ingredient that can be used many different ways, most people think of Shea butter, right? But if you have nut or latex allergies, you probably steer clear as Shea butter has been known to cause reaction. A perfect substitute is Mango butter, the fatty acid that’s expeller-pressed from the seeds of mangoes. Similar to Shea butter, it’s semi-solid at room temperature and melts on contact with skin, quickly adding moisture to soften and soothe without feeling greasy. (–> here’s a cool video showing a woman breaking open a mango seed and scooping out the butter- unfortunately, I don’t see a way to get subtitles…

  • clawfoot bathtub
    Herbs & Ingredients,  Natural Skin Care

    Immerse Yourself in Plant World

    Guess we need reminding, since life can be so distractingly busy: To be healthy, we need to spend time outdoors. Nature is good for you, and many studies have been done to lend scientific proof. This article, “How Nature is good for our health and happiness“, explores a 30-day study where people felt better both physically and mentally after being outside every day. It also talks about how feeling that connection to Nature motivates people to protect it, helping the health of the environment. But what can you do when you’re stressed, frazzled, grumpy, overwhelmed or burnt out, and seriously do not have the time or energy to get out…