Amy Hirschfeld at Soluna Garden Farm will be at the Thanksgiving Harvest Festival this Sunday. They provide organic locally grown herbs and flowers through CSA shares (which make a great holiday gift), and they make spice blends and herbal teas from certified organic ingredients. She and her business partner, Tatiana Brainerd, came up with the idea for Soluna while working on a community garden project togethe on her family’s 1 acre piece of land in Winchester. They both had a lot of common interests in herbs and flowers, so thus began their venture.
They started selling primarily fresh herbs and flowers but soon found that people were interested in herb blends, herbal teas, and spiceblends. They began offering their fresh herbs and flowers as a community supported agriculture (CSA) share and making and selling the herb, spice, and tea blends at farmers’ markets.
Amy said that some people don’t realize how important it is to have organic herbs, spices, and teas; when you buy fruits and vegetable, you can wash or peel off some of the residue that may remain from non-organic spayed produce; dried, herbs, spices, and teas, however, are not washed, so any chemical residue that was on the leaves when they were harvest will end up in your tea cup or your food.
Amy said they have a few special holiday spice blends that people will find interesting. They have a Pumpkin Pie Spice blend, an Apple Spice blend, and a Good Stuff spice blend which is used to spice up your stuffing and turkey. She said the Good Stuff blend smells like Thanksgiving in a jar. They will also have mulling spices, which are good for either cider or wine. You will also see all sorts of varieties of their offerings in gift baskets.
Amy said that their mulling spices are great for making mulled wine as a festive addition to your holiday celebrations. To make mulled wine, take a bottle of red wine; a sweeter, fruitier variety is best. Heat it to gently simmering then put in 1 tablespoon of mulling spices. If you prefer a sweeter taste, you can add some brown sugar. Gently simmer for 15 minutes then strain out the mulling spices. You can drink it hot or cold. The cooled wine can be used in cocktails – Amy said her favorite is Sangria.
Amy and Tatiana have pulled together a popular, thriving business. Casey Diedrich, who has been part of the Soluna team since early 2013 has been at the Melrose farmers’ market this summer. In March 2013, Soluna opened a storefront in downtown Winchester. Visit their store, Soluna Herb, Spice and Tea Emporium at 600 Main Street for a hot cup of any one of the 80+ kinds of tea they carry and a full selections of cerified organic herbs, spices, tea, and gourmet salts. For more information about Soluna and online ordering, visit their website at http://www.solunagardenfarm.com or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.
Soluna Garden Farm will be at the market this Sunday with their herbs, teas and spices – in fact, Amy will be the one there this week, so ask her any questions you may have. The Thanksgiving Harvest Festival is Sunday, November 24th from 12-4pm in Memorial Hall, 590 Main Street in Melrose. We have 28 vendors at the market selling everything you need for the holiday and every day. We will also have 2 food demonstrations, a discussion on stressing less for the holidays, live music, face painting, and Melrose Boot Camp on stage.
To see more of the events and vendors we will have at our Thanksgiving Harvest Festival, go to our website at http://melrosefarmersmarket.org.