At my favourite market, amid the many food stalls that offer a tempting array of healthy produce, there is a little stall that offers a range of locally-made creams and balms that are lovingly prepared to nourish the skin. Many of these lotions are formulated with a golden, calendula-infused oil that the stallholder produces herself.
Calendula blooms in olive oil.
Lise, who runs this little stall, is the qualified, passionate herbalist who makes this range of cosmetics that feature her own soothing, softening calendula oil. On her family's certified organic farm, about 2hours from the market, Lise grows the calendula plants, harvests and dries their flowers and infuses them in biodynamic olive oil. After many weeks, this golden oil is then filtered, bottled and incorporated into batches of Lise's cosmetics.
Lise with some of her own products.
While one could walk into a department store and be dazzled by the wide range of lotions on display, I doubt if there would be many creams among them that listed ingredients I could easily recognise. I doubt there would be many that feature an ingredient that was produced not far from where I live. And I have no doubts that many would be much more expensive than Lise's lovingly prepared formulations.
Lise's Calendula Soap.
Lise's certified organic Calendula Cream.
I think that the real beauty of visiting farmers' markets lies in the opportunity they offer for a consumer like me to connect directly with a producer. As I wander leisurely around the market, I get to talk to some of the most hard-working and inspiring people. And, in talking with them, I learn so much!
Did you visit a market on the weekend?