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One rule of cooking is that a finished dish is only as good as the quality of the basic ingredients with which you start, and that’s why I’m always on the lookout for high quality ingredients. I recently learned about a business that sells farm fresh herbs and spice blends of the highest quality, that I’m really excited to tell you about.
I have a soft spot in my heart for small businesses, and especially for businesses that are owned by women. That pretty much goes double when it comes to any business that was started by a homeschool mom. (The homeschool sisterhood runs strong!)
Jackie LeDuc is one of those business owners, and her business, Sunnyside Farms, started out as a homeschool project she was doing with her very entrepreneurial son, Cameron, when he was only eight years old! Cameron is an entrepreneur who loves growing things. Jackie encouraged Cameron to pursue both of those passions in his daily studies. (Just one of the the advantages homeschooling can offer: more freedom and time to allow kids to pursue their interests.) The result was that Cameron began marketing his organically grown herbs at a local Farmer’s Market.
From that beginning, Jackie dove deep into researching herbs, and discovered some of the amazing God-given properties of herbs. They not only make our food delicious, they also help heal our bodies when they’re not functioning as well as they might.
Sunnyside Farms is a business that is local to me, here in Middle Tennessee. They sell their products at the Farmer’s Market on the Square in Murfreesboro. But don’t despair if you’re not from around here, because Sunnyside Farms has their own website. And they really do ship their products everywhere. Sunnyside Farms offers not only those herbs I mentioned, but also hand-crafted luxury products of the highest quality: spice blends, organic herbal teas, organic insect repellent and a bath and body line for both men, and women. She calls her bath & body line Sunnyside Essentials.
My husband and I became acquainted with Sunnyside Farm’s owner’s husband, Scott, at church. Scott told me about his wife, Jackie’s, business. Because Scott is the cook at his house, we first talked about the spice blends that Sunnyside Farms offers, but the more he shared, the more interested I became in Jackie’s other products as well.
Jackie takes the herbs she grows and dries, and infuses them in almond oil to make a product she calls Muscle Rescue. Scott was suffering pain in his feet due to plantar fasciitis. He began using the product Jackie had developed through her herb research, and experienced relief from the pain in his feet. Since I’ve had that issue myself, I couldn’t wait to try give Muscle Rescue a try.
My husband and I LOVE Muscle Rescue. It’s almond oil, infused with rosemary, eucalyptus, peppermint, chamomile, lavender and orange, so you can imagine how good it smells. We use it as a massage oil, and love its scent! I can’t say for sure that it helps with other issues, but I will say that many of Sunnyside Farms customers use it with their own issues like fibromyalgia, arthritis, and muscle soreness, and have come back time and again as repeat customers, saying how much it has helped them. Muscle Rescue is one of Sunnyside Farms’ best-selling products.
Fly Away All Natural Insect Repellent
Another product of Jackie’s that I haven’t tried, but that I am completely dying to try, is her Fly Away All Natural Insect Repellent. It’s made with lemon eucalyptus and catnip, and is an all-natural alternative to DEET. I live in the woods, and I’ve been outside a lot more this spring than usual, throwing the ball for my new dog, Gus. I’ve been CHOMPED on, a lot, by some type of insect (haven’t figured out WHAT yet) that I appear to be somewhat allergic to. I don’t wear insect repellent because *I* am so repelled by the scent! So, I’m eager to try Jackie’s “Fly Away” to see if it helps me avoid whatever it is that’s been “bugging” me.
Jackie became interested in goat’s milk, and what she could do with it. So Jackie also began researching goat’s milk soap, which – no surprise – she now makes herself! And, of course, Sunnyside Farms carries her soap line, as well. Let me tell you more about her bath & body line, Sunnyside Essentials.
No, “Hippie Love” is not a counter-culture manifesto. It is, in fact, a scent, that undoubtedly smells a heckuva lot better than the non-bathing hippies of ’60’s did. Let me explain.
Hippie Love is probably her most popular scent of all the soaps Jackie makes. It is scented with lavender and patchouli, and Jackie also uses that scent to make a lotion, spray, body linen mist, and a body wash. But she has other scents available as well, if you’re not into Hippie Love.
How about Cedar and Lime, or Honey & Fig? And there are more scents to choose from, with scents varying seasonally (How about blackberry…or pear…or apple cider? Mmmmm!)
Her men’s line – Handsome Jack – is also doing quite well. I know a lot of you ladies like a man with a well-groomed beard, and Handsome Jack even has a face and beard oil.
In regard to her pet products, Jackie has a dog shampoo that is vanilla scented. Now, you know that’s BOUND to make your dog smell better than your average wet dog! Am I right? Plus, her products are not laced with chemicals. I know there are pet owners who care about that!
Spice Blends and Organic Teas
In my next post, I’m going to tell you about one of the ways I used one of her cooking spice blends, and share with you a recipe that I developed for it, so watch for that! In the meantime, I’ll just mention that Jackie has developed her own Herbes de Provence Blend with Sea Salt, as well as a Pizza Seasoning Blend, and her own signature Tennessee Valley Blend, among other spice blends.
And I haven’t even TOUCHED on her organic herbal teas, that I’m longing to try. Sweet Dreams sounds like something I need to keep in stock in my pantry.
Jackie has a couple of goals for Sunnyside Farms. She wants to provide a product that is superior – a product that is a better choice. And she also wants to educate her customers about the benefits of herbs. She wants us to understand that our bodies can become depleted in certain areas. Herbs, she believes, can actually help our bodies heal.
As far as I’m concerned, she is well on her way to reaching those goals!