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Frequently Asked Questions

Wooden Items:

 

Q: How do I care for my wooden toy/items? 

Wooden toys/cutting boards can be passed down to future generations if taken care of properly. Thankfully, caring for them is pretty easy. It’s best to store your wooden items indoors, away from the elements. Here’s what we recommend:

 

  • Toys: when dirty, wipe with a damp (warm water) lint-free cloth. Recoat with coconut oil every few months or as needed.

  • Cutting Boards: hand wash after each use and recoat with coconut oil.

 

To simplify the process even more, we offer a “Butter Me Up” wood conditioner which is made of the exact ingredients we use to coat all our wooden items: organic expeller-pressed coconut oil and local beeswax.

Coconut oil is antimicrobial and helps to moisturize the wood while also coating. Beeswax helps to seal the wood, making it harder for liquid to penetrate.

Q: Why not use mineral oil or shellac like others?

 

Although these products have been declared as “food-safe” by the FDA, we all know that doesn’t mean much. Mineral oil is typically petroleum and that’s not something we want in our children’s mouths or on their bodies. While shellac is advertised as non-toxic and did have a promising beginning in how it was made, it is no longer just a bugs secretion and some alcohol. Beside the added ingredients, there’s also concern with residual chemicals from the insecticides used during the harvest of lac from the female.

Insecticides/pesticides/herbicides are harmful to all of creation and the use of this along with how the lac is unethically harvested (both lac and any attached beetles are scraped, crushed, and liquified) is why our family chooses not to exercise our dominion over creation in this way and instead uses local beeswax and organic expeller pressed coconut oil.

 

Q: Doesn’t coconut oil go rancid?

 

Unlike other oils, coconut oil has a higher saturated fat content and is, therefore, unlikely to go rancid. This is the same ingredient we use in our Butter Me Up wood conditioner, along with local beeswax, and makes an excellent coating for wood, especially cutting boards.

 

Q: How do you color your toys?

 

Most toys are left as their natural wood color and the coconut oil helps to enhance its woodness; however, there are a few that have been colored using the following:

  • Red – homegrown beets

  • Yellow – organic turmeric

  • Blue – spirulina

  • Brown – coffee grounds

 

Q: Who makes the toys?

 

Josh makes the toys and does all the cutting and using of the bigger equipment while Levi (4 yrs old) helps to sand and coat and Augustine (1 yrs old) helps to pass tools. Sometimes all hands are on deck with coating toys when orders are extra large to help with efficiency and Ciara helps with the lasering. As the boys grow, naturally more and bigger jobs will be given. All of our children happily work as toy testers for new ones and they also happily receive the ones that don’t make it through quality control 😉

Herbal Remedies:

Q: Why don’t you use essential oils, aren’t they natural?

 

Here’s a loaded one! Yes, they’re natural in the sense they typically come from plants but not everything that’s natural is safe. Essential oils are VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and the damage they cause is very similar to other ingredients like “fragrance” and “parfum.” They’re harmful in every form- using them internally, externally/topically, and diffusing/oxidizing them into the air.

 

Essential oils are the most volatile part of a plant, and when you take only that part you’re not just working with one chemical, you’re dealing with hundreds of chemical compounds. They negatively impact all systems of your body in various ways (in any form they’re being used) and they’re also creating superbugs like man-made antibiotics do.

 

Beside the tremendous harm it does to us, families, homes, and the environment it’s also not sustainable (like agricultural farming where acres of woods are torn down to grow one crop, and then needed to be helped by chemicals to now ward off unwanted bugs/plants). There are tons of scientific research that has been done on the safety concerns of essential oils and a great book on this topic is "Essentially Deadly: The Unspoken Dangers of Essential Oils" by April Graham.

 

Most of our products have mild to no scent due to the nature of the plants/fungi/lichens we work with; however, we do make an infusion of some plants in order to capture their scent in a safe and effective way. Lavender and chamomile are two that we have done an infusion with which is where we fill a jar with that dried plant, cover it in organic cold-pressed avocado oil, and let it sit about 6 weeks (or more), then strain. Not only does this capture the scent but it also captures its medicinal properties while still being gentle enough to be applied to your body.

 

Q: What does “wildcrafted” mean?

 

Wildcrafted is another term for foraging but the understanding is that it has been ethically/sustainably sourced. What this means for our family is that beside not foraging near roadsides, places that have been sprayed with chemicals, or near train tracks, we also don’t disrespect creation by taking as much as we can just because we can. God has given us dominion over creation and we want to be good stewards with what we’ve been given, so we take what we need and we plan for the future. It would be unwise for us to take everything because then we can no longer go back to that spot and harvest in the future. Our family is deeply grateful for all the wonderful *FREE* and potent medicine He has spoken into existence all around us, even in our backyards! We also make sure to praise God from whom all blessing flow each time we forage and our children are fond of saying “Thanks be to God!” whenever we get to picking 😊

Q: Who makes the herbal remedies?

 

While Ciara handles the pouring of the alcohol for tincture making and hot infusions for salves, our daughters (6 and 3) help with packaging and labeling in our kitchen. We also forage as a family and everyone is involved in the “hunt” and gather, so all children possess a varied level of foraging and understanding some of the different purposes God has given to plants/lichen/fungi.

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