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1000 Ecofarms

Know Your Farmer: Rossitsa Owens at Herbal Poetry

It’s important to remember that farming, doesn’t just mean for food — so for this edition of “Know Your Farmer”, we’re going to be profiling one of our producers on the site who sells natural soap and skin products. Just like food, the production of items like these has an impact on our health and the environment, so it’s equally important to buy eco-products, as it is eco-farmed food. Rossitsa Owens of Herbal Poetry understands this, and does her part by creating her products with herbs grown in her own garden, and honey, beeswax, and propolis from her own beehives, full of happy bees. Take a closer look at who Rossitsa is, and why she’s into bee-ing green! (…see what I did there?)
Name: Rossitsa Owens
Farm/Store: Herbal Poetry
Location: Rockville, Maryland
Products: 100% Natural soap and skin products
Know Your Farmer: Rossitsa Owens at Herbal Poetry
Something unique about your farm:
My products are 100% natural and crafted by the traditional methods of the Balkan region (SE Europe). This means HP (Hot Processed) soap — which is a rarely used method in the U.S. — and herbal oil infusions to harvest the potent healing power of herbs and incorporate them into skin products.

How did you get into farming?
I have been making soap and skin care products as a hobby for over 23 years, carrying out the traditions of my grandmother and other country folk in Bulgaria. In addition, I have a strong background and professional experience in science and biomedical research. I officially combined the two as a business in 2014 and created Herbal Poetry.

Why is being an eco/local farm important to you?
I believe in the complexity of the relationship between people and nature. My scientific and personal life experiences have reinforced the idea that a basic lifestyle, stripped from artificial substitutes for our immediate environment (meaning food, movement, water, sunshine), is the best approach to health and happiness. This is why I have created Herbal Poetry as a basic, "back-to-nature" line of personal care products.
Know Your Farmer: Rossitsa Owens at Herbal Poetry
What do you think is the largest problem facing our food system today?
I believe that on a global scale we face several different problems with the world's food system, such as food production methods and general food access. On a more local scale, I believe that in the U.S. we have been following a downward spiral, substituting quantity for quality in terms of food production and delivery practices. The demand for cheaper food has lead to the mass-production of unnaturally fed and raised animals for meat. Additionally, unsustainable agricultural practices, such as the overuse of herbicides and pesticides, have led to many health consequences for people and devastating results for nature. Some examples are an increase in human allergies, colony collapse disorder (CDD) in bees, development of new fungal diseases that affect plant crops, and soil and water pollution.
Know Your Farmer: Rossitsa Owens at Herbal Poetry
What do you want non-farmers to know about farming?
Farming is not cheap! This means that expecting cheap, organic, whole foods and meat is unreasonable, and non-farmers should wake up to the reality of the high organic food production cost.

How do you satisfy your sweet tooth?
A piece of fresh or dried fruit, like an apple or raisins does the trick. Also, a piece or two of dark chocolate works miracles for my mood and sense of well-being.

If you weren't a farmer, what would you be?
I already was: a scientist!
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