Kathi (Katheryn) Langelier, now of Lincolnville, grew up in Turner, where she gained a love for farming and for beautiful farmland. As a teenager, she started learning about herbs and making herbal preparations, and she was hooked.

Gail Faith Edwards’ book, “Opening Our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs,” was Kathi’s text for a while.

“I took it with me all over the country while I was working on farms,” she said.

She even ended up studying with Edwards for three years, and learning from a variety of workshops, conferences and classes. She studied and enjoyed Deb Soule’s “A Woman’s Book of Herbs,” and is now looking forward to a workshop with herbalist Paul Bergner of the North American Institute for Medical Herbalism.

The Tanglewood 4-H Camp brought Langelier to Lincolnville. She worked there for four years and decided to settle in town because Tanglewood is “one of my favorite places on earth.” She began her business, Herbal Revolution, and now sells her products at the Belfast Farmers’ Market (Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.), online, and through an herbal Community Supported Agriculture farm.

Langelier grows most of the herbs she uses in her products in her own large organic garden, and gathers others, such as rose petals, rose hips and elderberries, from the wild, from places remote from pollutants. Then she makes her tinctures, teas and other products in small batches, using local, raw, unfiltered Swan’s or Gardiner’s honey for her elixirs and infused herbal honeys, respectively (other herbalists often use glycerin); Sewall’s Orchard organic apple cider for her herbal vinegars (nasturtium, garlic, lavender, rosemary and thyme, basil) and herbal hair rinse; and organic grape alcohol for tinctures.

“I love being able to provide quality hand-crafted herbal preparations for my local community and I have a vision of providing a clinical component to my business and to my practice as a Licensed Massage Therapist,” said Langelier, on her website. She is also a stone and brick mason.

Langelier’s CSA customers can buy a share and pick up their choice of a variety of medicinal preparations at the farmers’ market once a month or receive them by mail, with shipping costs added. One share costs $200 to $260, based on a sliding scale, and shareholders receive, monthly from June to October, a 1-ounce tincture; 1-ounce salve or medicinal oil; 3-ounce bag of tea; 1-1/2-ounce flower essence; a plant in June and July, except for mail order customers; a small bag of edible flowers when available; and an extra item depending on the season and availability. That extra may be an elixir or syrup, herbal vinegar, herbal body cream, or smudge stick, for instance.

Langelier is also thinking of starting an herbal product-of-the-month club.

I’ve enjoyed Langelier’s Daily Nourishment Tea, made with oat straw from her own garden, as well as red clover blossoms and leaves, and nettles, her Ginger Elixer, and sooo delicious and perfect for a gift, her Chocolate Love Herbal Elixer. And I plan to stock up on the 3 Mushroom Chai tea blend, including reishi, chaga and maitake mushrooms, before cold and flu season. Her Ease My Pain herbal body cream, with vanilla, is tempting, too.

For more information about herbs and herbal products and to support this young entrepreneur, visit Langelier at the Belfast Farmers’ Market or contact her at HerbalRevolution@hotmail.com or 763-2899. See also anherbalrevolution.blogspot.com/2010/08/herbal-csa.html?spref=fb, or facebook.com/herbalrevolution.

 

Make your own herbal honey

Put 2 to 4 tablespoons of your favorite dried herb – oregano, thyme, lemon balm, rosemary or spearmint, for example – in a sterile pint Mason jar. Then add enough raw honey to fill the jar. You can buy Gardiner’s raw honey at the Belfast Farmers’ Market. Use a chopstick to stir the herbs and honey together until they’re well mixed and until all air bubbles are removed from the mixture. Put a lid on the jar. Turn the jar upside down and right-side up a few times a day. The honey should take on the flavor of the herb within a few days to two weeks. Spread the honey on toast, use it in tea, eat it straight with a spoon, enjoy it! You may strain the honey to remove the dried herbs, or, if the herbs are not too coarse, leave them in the honey.