We are growing at Willows Bend Farm! Since the last time we posted in the "Whats New" section of our website, www.willowsbendfarm.com there has been some exciting happenings! Listening to the needs and wants of our community, we are in the process of constructing a brand new building that will become our bigger, better Emporium, Certified Kitchen and Education Center.
Focusing on low waste and minimizing cost of packaging, the Emporium's bulk organic herbs, spices, teas and coffees will be mostly self-serve. You are encouraged to bring your own clean containers but we will have free zip top baggies available. Customers will also have the option to purchase our heavier mylar zip top pouches, glass or metal containers, or order something special. There will always be someone there to help you with your selections or answer any questions.
Our collection of nearly 100 different therapeutic grade essential oils and blends will have their own alphabetized section in the Aromatherapy section of the Emporium. We will also have room for incense, crystals and minerals and other more esoteric items.
Perhaps the most exciting change is the addition of a certified kitchen! This will enable us to provide the community with ready to go, whole foods, made with love from local ingredients whenever possible.
The plan is to have three soups daily that can be purchased either hot, refrigerated, or frozen. A staple will be Alisa's Chicken Soup, chocked full of herbal goodness. There is nothing more comforting or nourishing than home made chicken soup, but when you are feeling like you need some, you rarely feel like making it from scratch. Willows Bend Farm is here to help! Some sort of chili will also me ready as well as a vegetarian selection each day. With Winter coming, how nice will it be to stop by and pick up some really good soup?
Also from our kitchen there will be ready to buy dips made fresh from our herb dip mixes and selections of other place-to-order foods prepared by a variety of folks from our community who have expressed an interest to being a part of our desire to bring more convenient goodness to you.
Among those who wish to take part in the deliciousness are the Dinwiddie High School Culinary Arts students, retired chefs, and other talented people who know how to bring nutrition and comfort food to you, These chefs will be featured as our "What's Cookin" guest cooks & you'll be able to have the pleasure of ordering whatever they prepare that day, by noon, for dinner-time pickup.
Our ingredients, meat, produce, dairy and herbs will come from local farmers whenever possible to highlight our belief that farm-to-table is vital to supporting local farms and nourishing the community. I can't wait for Richlands Dairy to open their creamery so we can have their ice cream available for purchase here!
So many people are interested in learning how to cook real food that we will be offering classes may in basic cooking skills, baking, canning, preserving, and more.
The kitchen can also be rented by other producers to make salsas, jams, baked goods or any other value added products. This will enable the producers to expand their market by being able to sell both retail and wholesale.
Our research library will be a comfy place to come, sit and relax and have a cup of coffee or tea while you feed your craving of knowledge - Books on herbalism, essential oils and aromatherapy, gardening, sustainable living, and cook books will all be available for browsing in the Emporium and Alisa's favorite titles will be available for purchase.
The new Emporium and Kitchen will be a community gathering place - a healing atmosphere- where all feel welcome. We encourage people of all abilities to come take a shift in the store in exchange for products or classes. With many volunteers we can extend the hours which we will be open. Right now, we hope to be open from 7 am (that morning coffee awaits) until 9 pm.
We will offer both daytime and evening classes on herbs, essential oils and aromatherapy. Home Arts classes will include sewing, needlework and fiber arts like spinning and felting. And we will still have our fun Tea & Paint sessions. (Painting easels and paints are always available for independent use outside)
We encourage you to give us your thoughts, suggestions and feelings on what you'd like to see happen here at Willows Bend Farm. We are here for you,because of you an with you! We are so pleased to serve our local community in bigger and better ways and we appreciate our ever-growing web-based family of folks who want to live cleaner, live healthier, and live happier.