Dosha Pops’ Journey from (Herb) Farm-to-Candy
Part of the Dosha Pops’ mission is to create great tasting and unique lollipops using the highest quality ingredients, centered on aromatic herbal teas. The use of herbs, to maintain overall wellbeing, is surely the oldest form of alternative medicine and, as a result, has contributed a great deal to human health – the cornerstone to our candies.
Lucky for us, we have great suppliers! This Summer, our team went on a road trip to one of them – an herb farm called Field Apothecary in Germantown NY. Dana and Michael Eudy, former Brooklynites, started this farm 3 years ago and are currently growing 65-85 different species of medicinal herbs on their 3-acre property, including tulsi (holy basil), which is used in our Chai Me Up lollipops.
Dana, who is also an herbalist, gave us a tour of the medicinal crops. Not only did she tell us about each herb variety’s medicinal property, we got to do some fun taste testing. Spilanthes, which is a species of flower herb, was by far the most interesting. It’s called the “toothache plant” because of its numbing effect. As soon as we popped this odd looking flower into our mouth, our mouths were numb within moments and made us talk funny for about five minutes.
Since the herb farm smelled so heavenly, our instincts were to lay in the tulsi, cinnamon basil and chocolate mint plant beds. And for those who are wondering, yes, the chocolate mint smells just like Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies™. The bees must feel the same way, too, because they were pollinating their little thoraxes off the day we visited.
After enjoying the herb beds, we toured the building, where fresh herbs are dried for tea blends and powders for their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Michael explained the drying process and gave us some tips on how to dry fresh herbs for our candy. If you have a room like that in your house, you don’t need to use the gym’s sauna. Hot yoga anyone?
After sweating profusely in the herb drying room, we headed back to the Eudy’s main house for drinks, where Dana whipped up homemade soda using dill hyssop simple syrup. It was surprisingly delicious with a hint of dill as an undertone. Next time we’ll ask for a dandelion wine tasting.
We went back to the fields to learn about harvesting herbs based on the biodynamic calendar, which expands on organic sustainable and natural approach with a holistic, farm-as-an-organism school of thought. Field Apothecary follows some of the biodynamic practices. “We follow minimal tilling practices and let nature take it’s course more or less because we feel like mother nature knows best,” explained Dana. They don’t use any pesticides, herbicides and everything is harvested by their hands. Dana and Michael even let us harvest the beloved tulsi (holy basil) ourselves! It’s not everyday that we get a chance to see this rare herb grown locally, let alone harvest it yourself.
Once we finished harvesting, we took our fresh tulsi back to the house to bundle for our trip back home. Our hosts-extraordinaire even gave us some of their freshly harvested chocolate mint and cinnamon basil to try out. These herbs could certainly be nice additions to the Dosha Pops’ family.
Not wanting to leave without a parting gift, we gave the Eudy family our Head Over Hibiscus lollipops. We were a little nervous having their kids, Cy and Frances, try our lollipops. Kids can be brutally honest. Since their mom is basically the Martha Stewart of all things herbal, these kids would be tough customers. Fortunately, we not only passed their taste test, they really liked our lollipops!
Regretfully, it was time to go home. The saying “time flies when you are having fun” is true. After we hugged the Eudy family goodbye, as we packed up our car to head back to the city, we reflected on how much fun we had exploring the farm. Sharisse said, “I’ll never look at plants along side the road the same again. I’ll be smelling and tasting all of it.” We laughed in agreement. Getting a chance to harvest herbs and learn more about the source of our teas was an enlightening experience and a great insight to reaching our goal to partner with suppliers with the highest quality ingredients. We can thankfully say mission accomplished!
Chief Lollipop Maker
P.S. We purchased carbon-offset credits from Carbonfund.org for our 263-mile trip to Germantown, NY in a Honda Civic Hybrid rental car. The donation supports renewable energy, energy efficiency and reforestation projects globally that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Now that’s what we call eco-road tripping.