Dec 16, 2008

Now available in "eco-friendly".

The biggest thing about 'going green' is that it's actually a lot of little things, like the printing on the goats' feed sacks being done with soy ink or our recent 20% reduction in label paper. Wild Heaven Farm is proud to announce yet another teeny, tiny effort to help the planet and reduce our carbon footprint - an eco-friendly version of the website. Available on all browsers except Internet Explorer, you can select Eco-Friendly from the View drop-down (in Firefox, it's under Page Style) and the attractrive vertical stripe background goes black, thus using less electricty in your monitor. Brilliant! Thanks again, Web Penguin.

Dec 14, 2008

Unapologetically cute

Normally, I keep this blog very business-oriented, but here's a little foray into the realm of cute for the sake of cute, my two oldest newphews, whom I call Rieley and Biscuit, singing their favorite Christmas song.

Dec 3, 2008

Holiday Market at 17th St Farmers Market

After the Grand Illumination, once you've marveled sufficiently at the stoic herd of electrified deer, head straight over to the 17th St Farmers Market for another Richmond tradition. There you'll find hand-crafts, decor and gifts that simply don't exist in the mainstream retail world.

Here's what Linette Bond, assistant manager at the Farmers Market, told me about some of the other great things that are planned for the Holiday Market:

"George [the manager] is going to be dressed up as Santa with another associate of ours from the main office as Mrs. Claus and we’ll have pictures taken for the kids (and you may even see a couple of elves!), live Christmas trees for sale, hot cider & wassail from Halligan’s, a fire-pit to keep us warm, holiday lights, the Henrico Pops Chorus live and a Tuba Christmas, of course! I have it on good authority that Santa himself will even have his Tuba to play along. ;-)"

Now isn't that way better than the mall?

Nov 28, 2008

Cyber Monday at Wild Heaven Farm

Wild Heaven Farm goat milk soaps and skin care products make lovely gifts because they are pretty *and* practical, and the soaps fit right into a stocking. So in the spirit of the fourth quarter, pre-holiday, post-turkey economic boost, Wild Heaven Farm is pleased to announce our first ever Cyber Monday Sale! (For those who may be wondering, Cyber Monday is the online equivalent to Black Friday.) For 36 hours, from 6pm Sunday 11/30 to 6am Tuesday 12/2 (Eastern), customers can receive Free Shipping on all orders over $25. Simple enter the coupon code "cyber" in the Voucher field of the shopping cart. (If it doesn't work for any reason, please drop us an email and we'll sort it out for you.)

Turn-around time for orders may be as long as 3 business days

Product Availability: Moisturizing Creme

Effective immediately, we are having to suspend the production and sale of our Handmade Moisturizing Creme, a.k.a. lotion. The tin roof in our 130 year old farm house has apparently been leaking slowly for a long period of time, evidenced by the fact that the drywall ceiling in the main room has begun to spontaneously cave in. In the moist materials over our heads, we were chagrined to discover mold. I hardly need to tell you what a health problem mold can be. Because lotion is an aqueous product of neutral pH, it's Club Med for mold growth. Therefor, we are unable to make any more lotion until we can get the ceiling and roof fixed. Better to be safe than sorry, as they say. We will make it available on the website as soon as we possibly can. Thanks for your patience.

Be sure to check us out at the Holiday Market at the 17th St Farmers Market on December 5 from 5-9.

Nov 12, 2008

UPDATE - downtown craft show

What happens when a 24-hr bug runs into a second day? I miss my craft show, that's what. I apologize to anyone who planned to get soap tomorrow, but I won't be at the CVC event. Please, PLEASE, go and support the other vendors.

Nov 10, 2008

Mid-week craft bazaar, downtown Richmond

2nd Annual CVC Vendor Fair - Bazaar
Sponsored by The Department of Conservation and Recreation

Thursday, November 13, 2008
Downtown Richmond
Monroe Building, 101 N. 14th St
Conference Rooms B, C, D, E
Lobby and Hallways
9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Door Prizes - Silent Auction

Be sure to pick up a ticket – all items were donated by our guest vendors!

40 VENDORS THIS YEAR

Accessories: handbags * jewelry watches * hats * luggage * scarves
Art: photography * prints * cards hand crafts * wooden & gemstone jewelry boxes * wooden bowls & platters * floral * flourless cakes quilted items
Beauty: soaps * lotions * makeup skincare products
Clothing: popcorn shirts & skirts reconditioned ladies suits * baby blankets * American Girl doll clothes
Food: jams & jellies * brownies fudge * biscotti * baked goods – all homemade!


This event will benefit two CVC charities: The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy

For more info contact Kim Seckman at 786-2123 or by email at kim.seckman@dcr.virginia.gov

Sep 3, 2008

Style Weekly does good (finally)

When the most recent Style Weekly article about the 17th St Farmers Market began popping up on local blogs, I cringed and almost didn't click the link. Thankfully, I did, because the article is even-handed and expounds on the central problem the vendors face - the apathetic lack of management from the City. How can it be September and no manager is in place? It doesn't take 9 months to fill that position.

Speaking on managers, here's some happy scuttlebutt, former manager Kathy Emerson has expressed interest in being the manager again. After failing to promote Adam Nathanson to the position, the City owes it to the vendors and customers of the 17th St Farmers Market to hire Emerson. She knows the job and did it better than the last five. Kudos of course to current assistant manager Linette Bond, who is doing an incredible job considering she's doing the work of two people with no help or latitude from the city.

Aug 15, 2008

Rising costs, but good news

It could hardly be considered breaking news if I told you that the cost of our feed, supplies, fuel and sundries has been steadily on the rise. You already know that because the cost of products you buy for your own family continues to climb. Some companies, major ice cream manufacturers for example, have avoided raising prices by decreasing the size of the items, sometimes by as much as 25%

The good news? Wild Heaven Farm has not raised one single price nor reduced the size or quality of any of our products.

This is not to say that economically-motivated concessions haven't been called for. By way of example, Patchouli essential oil is now more than $120 per pound, plus shipping, which yields me 4 batches of soap. Rather than raise prices, I have opted to cut back production on Peaceful Patchouli soaps to compensate for the increase.

The raising cost of everything has a silver lining as well. Just as Americans have cut back on miles driven for the first time in....ever when faced with higher fuel costs, we have been finding new ways to increase efficiency and thrift. Our new cigar band labels, which are almost indistinguishable from the previous ones, allow us to get 20% more labels per page with no wasted margins. (Now if only we could find some way to save on goat feed.)

Don't forget about Arts in the Alley next weekend! And you can always find me at the 17th St Farmers Market on Thursdays from 8:30-2.

Aug 7, 2008

Style Weekly - at it again

An open letter to Style Weekly (its editor, reporters, advertisers, and readers),

Wednesday arrives again, bringing with it a new edition of Style Weekly and another unfair sleight to the 17th St Farmers Market and its vendors. We'll leave aside the preponderance of errors in the most recent article, entitled Fresh From the Farm, and focus instead of its message, overt and implied. The article described each of Richmond's farmers markets, highlighting their attributes but only in the case of 17th St, also its foibles. It gives the impression of poor performance at a farmers market that continues to hold its own, just as it has through recessions, droughts, and hurricanes.

First, the proportion of crafters to growers is mentioned as if this condition is singular to 17th St. By way of example, South of the James Market, clearly the favorite child of this publication, features even more crafters and with less concern for quality, diversity and handcrafted-ness.

Regarding the “outdated” schedule, we openly admit that work-day day-time hours are not ideal for everyone, but then no schedule could be. Many patrons find our hours convenient as they live or work nearby. Additionally, it bears noting that three of the five largest, most successful farmers markets in the nation are open during the work week.

A word on parking. In addition to on-street parking, 17th St Farmers Market has a tree-lined lot mere feet from north end of the market and a large lot just beyond that (entrance on 18th). All these parking options are free for shoppers.

The vendors one sees each week are local small business owners, people with families to feed and mortgages to pay. To survive, particularly in the current difficult economic climate, a vendor cannot afford to waste a single day. They must go where their customers will be to be able to earn a living. The vendors depend on the customers and the customers depend on the vendors. If attendance of one drops, the numbers of the other cannot be sustained. Your disparaging comments only serve to make a trying situation worse for the vendors who appear at 17th St loyally every Thursday, some of whom have for decades. They paint an unfair picture of a fictitiously inferior shopping experience.

Each of the farmers markets in the Metro Richmond area serves a different, distinct community. Each market is, in effect, created by the community which its serves. Each market is a different as their location and their patronage. Given the wide array of venues and days, there is no reason that all five of the markets listed could not succeed simultaneously. Ergo, there is no valid reason to denigrate one market over the others.

In the future, please review your articles for tone and fairness more thoroughly. There is no valid reason to single out one farmers market as superior or inferior to the others, particularly given the considerable over-lap of vendors and the overall pro-farmers-market environment in Richmond.

signed,
myself and 80% of the vendors I spoke to today

Jul 24, 2008

Shockoe Chef Showdown - a call to backyard growers

Got a garden that's overflowing with fruits and veggies? Have a ton of tomatoes, a colossal crop of cukes, a mound of melons? Wondering how you'll ever eat it all?

Sell them this Saturday at the 17th St Farmers Market during the Shockoe Chef Showdown. Booths are inexpensive, coming complete with cover and risers to display your wares, and no season-long commitment. You don't need to be licensed or inspected by any government office to sell produce at the farmers market. Just call or email Linette at 646-0377.


Be there to witness Richmond's inaugural culinary competition, with more than a dozen local chefs ready to battle for gustational domination!

My soaps and I will be there, of course.

Jul 17, 2008

New Arrivals!

We'd like to take a moment to welcome five new products to the Wild Heaven Farm family, our Life of Rieley line, products for babe and mama too. All of these products are made from scratch to the high standard of efficacy and gentleness that you've come to expect.





Baby Butt Balm
A blessing on diaper rash and other dermatitis. Contains shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, sunflower oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil, zinc oxide, beeswax, vitamin E, essential oils (lavender, tea tree, peruvian balsam)










Liquid Talc
No baby powder cloud with this soothing product. Contains: distilled water, kaolin clay, lavender essential oil.









Chamomile Belly Butter
With shea butter, cocoa butter and vitamin E. Contains butters (chamomile, shea, cocoa, mango), oils (olive, sweet almond, sunflower), vitamin E, beeswax, essential oils (chamomile, neroli)








Herbal Salt Soak
For mom's swollen feet and ankles. Contains: epsom salt, mint, lavender, baking soda, cornstarch, essential oils (peppermint, lavender, chamomile, neroli, orange)











Fizzy Milk & Honey Bath
The baby's asleep, quick, run a bath! Contains Dead Sea salt, powdered goat milk, baking soda, almond meal, honey powder, cornstarch, citric acid, phthalate-free fragrance

Jul 11, 2008

July 26 - Shockoe Chef Showdown!

(click to enlarge)


I'm definitely going. Now I just need to decide if I'll be vending or cooking.

Jun 20, 2008

World Market Day at 17th Street Farmers Market


Jun 10, 2008

Plans for August

The Richmond Farmers Market Advancement Association has recently teamed with Offering to bring Arts In The Alley to Shockoe Bottom! August 23rd and 24th will be a very special weekend for the Shockoe Bottom community and the Richmond Farmers Market Advancement Association. This charity event is designed to reclaim the heavily used alleys of Richmond from graffiti and neglect. The weekend events will be as follows:

Saturday August 23rd: Cleanup of Walnut Alley and the adjacent alley north to Franklin Street. This will include removal of all trash and debris, weeds, old posters and graffiti.

Sunday August 24th: Renovation of the alleys will take place while featuring artists from the area. This will include retouching the murals on the walls of Alex's Thai Cuisine, Franklin Street Market, and Alley Katz, along with creation of several new murals. The project will also include bands performing at several venues through the alleys and 17th Street Farmers Market. The public is encouraged to take part, and children are welcome. Children will be able to paint their own flower on a mural! If you are interested in taking part in this wonderful effort, please contact the Richmond Farmers Market Advancement Association at richmondfmaa@gmail.com.

Help us get the word out, please forward as you desire!

Scott Sibley
Chairman
R.F.M.A.A.

Jun 2, 2008

Brilliant new look!

Ladies and Gentlemen, boys and girls, come one, come all to the most amazing new website in town! Wild Heaven Farm is proud and overjoyed to announce the publishing of its new website. The new site shows up correctly on ALL popular browsers, is less graphic-heavy, more stream-lined and easy-to-use, and just plain prettier. Take a look at the Before and After pics below.








If you like our new site and want one of your very own, drop us a line at wildheavenfarm@yahoo.com and we'll put you in touch with our most clever and awesomely talented web designer, whom I have lovingly dubbed The Web Penguin (more about that later).

Be sure to check out the Where to Buy page for a calendar of our upcoming sales events.

May 25, 2008

The 17th St Farmers Market needs YOUR help


The 17th Street Farmers Market is one of the oldest markets in America and is located in an area seeing terrific urban renewal, yet it continues to struggle. The greatest contributing factor to this is the lack of quality management. The previous year's management might at best be called “apathetic” and at worst, “disastrous.” At present, no manager is in place, leaving assistant manager Linette Bond to do the work of two or more people in operating, restoring and growing the farmers market.


The upward trend of Shockoe Bottom and the surrounding area can provide 17th Street Farmers Market with the opportunity to succeed along with it, but only if it is strong, well attended and well managed. It is to this end that Scott Sibley presents himself for consideration for the position of Market Manager. As a neighbor of the farmers market, Scott is intensely concerned with fostering the community of Shockoe Bottom, with the market at its heart.


Why Scott Sibley? Scott Sibley...

>grew up in Louisa County, working farmland and actively participating in FFA and 4H,

>personally manages over 100 staff and volunteers annually,is experienced in planning and marketing of fund-raising events,

>has achieved steady growth in fund-raising for over ten years, nearly doubling contributions over a two year period,

>Has a client base willing to assist him, including but in no way limited to

-Markel Corp.

-Shockoe Bottom Association

-Capital One

-National FFA Organization

...and more!


To date, Scott has been unable to get due attention from the City offices who oversee the farmers market. Help us help the vendors, customers and neighbors of the 17th Street Farmers Market in championing Scott Sibley for the position of Market Manager.

Apr 24, 2008

Look who's talking: 'Burban Mom

We here at Wild Heaven Farm would like to send a warmy, fuzzy, goaty thanks to Erin Coe, the 'Burban Mom, for her glowing (and I'm sure brutally honest) review of our products.

P.S. Does anyone else find me "beyond chirpy and upbeat"?

Apr 16, 2008

This Week's Event (mid-week) - 17th St Farmers Market

Thursday April 17 marks the opening of the 2008 season at the 17th St Farmers Market. Local growers and crafters will be out from 8:30-2 with all the handmade and homegrown goods that early spring has to offer.

If you work downtown, hop on GRTC's free Lunchtime Express shuttle, which runs every 10 minutes at stops right in front of the Market.

Be a friend, bring a friend!

Apr 15, 2008

FAQ 6: Making a batch of soap

"How long does it take to make a batch of soap?"


It takes an hour, a day, a month and a hour.


It takes an hour (sometimes longer) to get all of the ingredients to the right temperature, mix them together and pour them in the mold.


It takes a day before they'll come out of the mold.


The soaps sit on screen trays for a month to cure, that is to air dry and harden.


Then it takes about an hour to trim all the edges and wrap the labels.


Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. ;)

Apr 11, 2008

This Week's Event - Williamsburg Farmers Market

Is there such a thing as an anti-rain dance? We might need it.

Saturday morning, I'll be at the incomparable Williamsburg Farmers Market from 8-12 at Merchant Square. Due to their very strict farmers-only rules, I'll only have my soaps with me (I'm not allowed to sell my other products because I didn't harvest any ingredients to make them).
Don't forget, the 17th Street Farmers Market reopens for the season on 4/17!

Apr 8, 2008

FAQ 5: Milking goats

" Do you have to milk the goats every day?"

Not just every day but twice a day. Goats, like cows and any other milk animal, need to be milked morning and evening at the same time. In some instances, they're even milked *three* times a day, for example to increase production without using hormones or other funny stuff. The goats reeeeeally appreciate me being on time. Don't believe me? Call you mom. No doubt she'll be happy to regale you for hours with the joys of nursing live young. :D
Pictured to the right, my nephew Rieley, future indentured goat-milker extraordinaire.

Apr 2, 2008

FAQ 4: Lather


"Does your soap lather well?"

Yes, it does. We use coconut and palm oil in our soaps to ensure that they lather well. The longer you lather, the better the bubbles will be. Remember, to be hygienic, you should wash your hands for twenty seconds, or as long as it takes to say you A-B-C's.

Mar 27, 2008

This Week's Events - Church Hill Irish Festival AND Gloucester Daffodil Festival

In brief, I'll be at Gloucester Daffodil Festival (Saturday 9-5, Sunday 12-5) and my husband Kevin and sister Kat will be at Saint Patrick's Irish Festival in Church Hill (Saturday 10-7, Sunday 10-6). Gotta get back to work now!

Mar 20, 2008

I'm gonna be on television!


It's not about me, per se, but it still counts. Tune to WTVR/CBS channel 6 Monday at 11 (or so they tell me), where I offer my expert opinion about a local wild goat.

This Week's Event - Easter on Parade

This Sunday from 1-5pm, come out and see us at Easter on Parade on Monument. Supposedly, the crafters are between Allison and Meadow.

Here's the official info:
Easter on Parade, the beloved Richmond tradition of “parading” down scenic Monument Avenue, continues this year! Join more than 35,000 people as they converge upon the four-block site between Allen and Davis Street to celebrate the arrival of spring. Music on every block, arts, crafts, children’s activities, food, people and dog watching are all part of the celebration. Two highlights of the annual event are the Pet Bonnet and People Bonnet Showcases on the Main Stage at Allen Avenue. For more information call (804) 788-6466 or visit http://www.venturerichmond.com/.
View event map [PDF]

Mar 18, 2008

FAQ 3: Lye in soap

“Well, my soap doesn’t have lye in it.”

Neither does ours. The lye ceased to exist when it mixed with the oil and became soap in a process called ‘saponification’. And if you’re talking about glycerin soap, glycerin is a product removed from regular soap, similar to the way cream is removed from whole milk. It also bears noting that 'bath bars' and 'beauty bars' are not labelled 'soap' because they aren't really soap -- they're often petroleum-based detergents, just like you use in the dishwasher.

And here's a question for you, when Ivory says its 99% pure, why don't they ever say pure what?

Mar 13, 2008

This Week's Event - Shamrock the Block

This Saturday, come out and see us at Shamrock the Block, 18th St in Richmond from 12-6pm. I don't know exactly where my booth is, but the promoter says they're putting together a "Green" area for local and eco-conscious products, so look for that.


Here's the info from their website:
Shamrock The Block 2008 is quickly approaching! Once again, the streets of Historic Shockoe Bottom will be flooded with 15,000 ready to celebrate at this first outdoor festival of the season!

This year, we'll also have a focus on Eco-friendly products and information on how you can do your part to save our planet from Waste Management.

As always, this festival is free to attend and runs 12p-6p Saturday March 15, 2008.

Once again, we will close 18th Street from Grace to Main for a Shamrock of a time.


Performing on the "What Moves You?"Stage
12pm Stone Lucy
1pm Speed8Limit
2pm 4Play
3:30 Conditions
4:45 Georgia Satellites
Set times subject to change without notice.

Some frequently asked questions:
Where do I park?
There is no designated parking area for Shamrock as it is a street festival. We suggest parking around the farmers market area and available lots. (lots may charge)

Is it ok to bring my kids/pets?
Yes. This is a family event with a large kids area. However, there will be beer served. If you are bringing a pet, make sure they are leashed properly and please pick up after your pal.

Will there be ATM's available?
Yes. There will be ATM's on site.

Where do I get tickets?
No ticket is needed to attend. Shamrock The Block is free to attend. Food, beverages and any merchandise costs money.

What can I NOT bring with me?
Normal festival rules apply. No glass, weapons, umbrellas with sharp points or coolers. Backpacks are subject to search. You MAY bring two bottles of water for personal consumption and of course the desire to have a great, fun day.

Mar 4, 2008

New Fragrance - Morningstar


Now available, our latest fragrance, Morningstar,
contains a blend of grapefruit, orange, rosemary and cardamom natural essential oil. Ellwood Thompsons will be carrying it next week and check our website for upcoming sale days in your area.

Feb 24, 2008

Baby goats of 2008!


Create Your Own

Jan 31, 2008

FAQ 2: “So what’s so good about your soap?”

There is actually a two-part answer to this very common question. On the ‘soap’ side, the base recipe is made up of equal parts palm oil for a harder, longer lasting bar, coconut oil for good lather, and olive oil to be gentle and moisturizing.

On the ‘goat milk’ side, goat milk is chemically very compatible with human skin and helps your skin to retain its own moisture. Adding milk to our soap lowers its pH, which helps to maintain the natural pH of skin. Goat milk is also a natural source of Alpha-hydroxy acids. Each bar is 21.5% goat milk.

Jan 18, 2008


Welcome!


You've found your way to the blog of Wild Heaven Farm, home to Central Virginia's only "REAL" handmade goat milk soaps. All of our soaps are made right here on the farm with fresh-squeezed goat milk. No other animal bi-products, artificial colors, preservatives or pre-packaged bases are used.


I can say without exaggeration that these soaps cured the acne of my entire family - that's my mom, myself, and my five sisters.


Why goat milk, you may ask? Adding milk to soap alters its pH level, which helps to maintain the pH of healthy skin. It is also uniquely compatible with human skin, with beneficial amino acids and alpha hydroxy acids that help your skin retain the right amount of moisture.

FAQ 1



"What do you mean 'Real' goat milk soap?"



Far be it from me to impugn the nature of anyone's trade or profession, but a lot of the soaps sold at craft shows and farmers markets are just not "handmade". The purveyors buy a big block of glycerin, melt it in the microwave and pour it into a mold. They can even buy it with goat milk (of unknown origin) already added. Here are Wild Heaven Farm, our soaps are made by the old-fashioned cold process method and we milk our goats by hand twice a day, every day. In fact, all of our products are made from scratch, no pre-packaged bases, and that's a promise!