Some of the best loved products in our personal care and supplement departments come from Wild Seed Apothecary, a local producer of organic, herbal health and beauty products, based just minutes from the co-op in Rosendale, NY. Wild Seed is owned by the talented and knowledgable Erin Domagal. Erin is a long time member of our HFFC community, and we are so very proud to carry her creations.
Recently, we sat down with Erin to talk about Wild Seed and winter wellness. She gave us some wonderful information and a few very helpful tips.
First, we wanted to know the history of Wild Seed, and Erin graciously obliged. “I’ve been involved in the plant world for about ten years,” Erin says, “gardening, farming, you name it. I’ve always loved plants, and when I had to opportunity to take Dina Falconi and Rosemary Gladstar’s herbalism classes, I jumped at the chance. I learned so much and I was really inspired. I decided that I wanted this to be my focus.”
Erin continues, “I took some time to figure out how to make herbalism my business, all the while making and perfecting my recipes.” Then, as it has so many times in the Hudson Valley, inspiration hit Erin while hiking. “I had a vision of creating a seasonal share of herbal products that come out once a season. That’s still a big part of my business.”
Erin went on to inform us on where she grows her herbs. Of course, it’s right here in Ulster county. “I have a big garden in New Paltz. I’m so lucky. When I started Wild Seed, I was living above the Rosendale Café, they were kind enough to let me grow a small garden there. When I moved from there, the garden had to move. I needed to expand. A chance meeting at a farmer’s market helped take me to the next level.” Erin met a woman named Helen Coyle Bergston, and after talking a bit, Helen agreed to let Erin grow all of her perennials on her land in New Paltz. “It’s a good setup for me. I’ve got some plants over there, some in my home garden, and some I forage locally as well.”
“I started this in 2013, and I’m so proud of what Wild Seed has accomplished since. The Seasonal Wellness Shares are still going strong. We’ve been written up in prominent magazines, and now Wild Seed is available in many stores throughout the region. From NYC boutiques to the High Falls Food Co-op.” We are so happy to be a part of Erin’s journey.
Since we’re well into cold and flu season here in the North East, we asked Erin for some tips on how to stay well. First and foremost, she recommends acting quickly. “You know your body. The earlier you respond to feeling under the weather, the better. Start fighting. Drink tea, use our Dragon’s Breath Tonic. Don’t ignore the symptoms and signs.” Dragon’s Breath Tonic is an immune-boosting tonic based on the old folk remedy Fire Cider, it’s available at HFFC. We asked Erin how she recommends Dragon’s Breath be taken. “As a preventative, a tablespoon a day with food works well. If you are already sick, take less more often. Maybe half a tablespoon every four hours. I like to take my Dragon’s Breath as a cordial, splash some DB in a whiskey cocktail at the end of the day. That’s the fun way to stay well.”
Something else Erin recommends is the use of sage. “A really simple home remedy for a sore throat is sage tea. You can drink it or gargle it. It works really well. Sage is also very easy to dry if you are using some from your garden. Sage will dry well just sitting on your counter top.” Another way to sooth and aid a sore throat is with Wild Seed Mouth Rinse, also available at the co-op. “I use the mouth rinse all the time,” Erin says, “aside from sore throats, it fights gingivitis and infections. It’s not super sweet like many mouth rinse brands, but it tastes GOOD! Earthy and refreshing.”
Aside from Dragon’s Breath and Mouth Rinse, High Falls Food Co-op also stocks Wild Seed’s Tick & Bug Repellent Spray. If you’re a history buff, you’ll want to head over to Wild Seed’s website to read all about it’s recipe’s legend involving the bubonic plague!
We thank Erin for her work creating these great products which help to keep our staff, members and shoppers healthy and fresh! We hope you all try a Wild Seed product if you haven’t already, and we hope to be carrying more from Erin in the future.