French Broad Food Co+Op

It is that time of year again. Some love it, some not so much. I am a middle dweller, I love the old traditions of good food, gathering with those I love, gifting wonderful things and delighting in the time of dark, of slowing down. I am not so fond of the manic to do lists and consuming beyond what is sane and responsible. I think many of us share in that. For many years, the coop has tried to provide the great food that we all love, as well a thoughtful, natural gifts for gift giving. Here are some of my favorites:

*New and LOCAL (from Robbinsville, NC) Wehrloom Honey and Soaps- We brought in some herb & spice infused honeys and handmade soaps from this small apiary. I think sweetness is a lovely gift and supporting local beekeepers is so very important.

*Santa’s Naturals Holiday scented candles- wonderful holiday scents and very affordable. A good stocking stuffer or hostess gift

*Calendars, calendars, and more calendars! We have the old favorites such as We’Moon 2023, Slingshots, and the Stella Natura Biodynamic Calendar, as well as some new pics appealing to most everyone. Kitty cats? We have them, as well as many witchy selections, gardening and foraging calendars, herbal calendars, and more!

*Speaking of foraging, we have foraging bags and my favorite hori hori from Barebones. These make a wonderful gift for the herbalist and foragers in your life. We also restocked Opinel Mushroom knives and Chestnut knives for the season as well. 

*Pacha seasonal bath bombs including their Lumps of Coal, for the naughty ones

*Candles to light the dark. We just received some local beeswax tapers (made from beeswax from local Haw Creek Honey) and also have a great selection of beeswax, coconut wax, and other candles available. Be it tealights, votives, hanukkah, fancy, or simple…candles are a traditional and lovely gift to share for whatever holiday you celebrate.

*Alpaca blend socks- what is better than curling up in comfy clothes and warm fuzzy socks during the winter with a cup of tea and a good book or movie? These socks are both beautiful and so comfy!

*AndesGifts- Alpaca blend hats, scarves, leg warmers, and gloves. More terrific cozy and fair trade.

*Teas- another winter staple. We have several delicious teas available in our bulk herbs section (I highly recommend the Vanilla Rooibos from Mountain Rose Herbs and the Indian Spice Tea from Frontier Herbs) and also prepackaged teas from Asheville Tea Company and Republic of Tea. Both of these companies have amazing seasonal blends.

*Stocking stuffers- we have so many products that would be terrific for adding to stockings. Essential oils, as well as a holiday kit from Aura Cacia, Lipbalms to hydrate cold and dry smackers, Mini Fire Ciders, Herbal Bath Salts, Sage and palo santo sticks for cleansing the air, a great selection of incense, including Maroma’s new line and old favorites like Nag Champa, body oils, and fragrances. 

*Books! I will always give a shout out to our book section. As a book lover, while I understand the shift to online info and audio books, there is just nothing like curling up with a good book. Our herbal book selection has been thoughtfully crafted, and includes (what I think) are some of the best books on the market if you are interested in learning about medicine making and herbs. We have several books by local authors, such as The Healing Garden by Juliette Blankenspoor and Wild Witchcraft by Rebecca Byer. Giving the gift of knowledge is the best, and books are still my favorite gift to receive. 

*Tarot and other card decks- a wonderful gift. We have the Herbal Tarot by Michael Tierra, as well as traditional decks like the Rider-Waite deck and a new Yule Witch Deck. More are arriving every day!

*DIY supplies- if you are like me, making gifts is one of the best parts of the season. Making pomanders with oranges and cloves, gathering pine and fir to make garlands, making cookies, creating decadent bath salts and oils, the list is endless. My goal is to share a bit of myself, nature, and some nourishing self care with those I love. We have so many choices of bulk herbs if tea making is your thing. Shea butter, cocoa butter, various oils, essential oils, Jars and bottles…lots of options to make your gift making wonderful.

*Yum- so many wonderful food gifts are available at the coop. Grocery has decadent chocolate from French Broad Chocolate Lounge, and many other brands. They also have advent calendars, Runamok Maple Syrup and Cocktail Bitters, Boxed Teas, and a host of local offerings. Our produce department has the seasonal yum…pomegranates, all kinds of citrus, cranberries, and whole nuts. 

Next week, I will share some of my favorite recipes with you if you are interested in making gifts for family and friends.

Until then, may the season bring some magic your way!

Melissa Fryar

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