Desert Woman Botanicals
by Jenny Morgan
One of the things I really
enjoy about being a co-op is that we get to do business with local organic growers and producers.
Monica Rude of Desert Woman Botanicals is one of these delightful people. We've been carrying her salves
and crèmes for a few months, and have recently added some of her tinctures. (Her Fab Foot Crème is
especially popular with people who work in the kitchen at the Co-op!)
Monica has always been involved in the field of health. When she was in the Fifth grade she decided
that she would be a nurse when she grew up. She held on to that dream
and eventually got her Masters
degree in Nursing. (Just knowing that much makes me admire her!) She
worked in that field for twenty years, and then happened on one of those turning points that sneak
up on us now and then. It was time for a change.
She enjoyed gardening, for its therapeutic value as well as its fruits, and so her focus turned to
organic gardening. She went to California where she worked on several different organic farms. A friend
told her about a job with the Seeds of Change Farm right here in our area, where they produced the bulk of
their seeds. So, Monica came to New Mexico.
While working at Seeds of Change, Monica became acquainted with a co-worker who had recently studied with
Michael Moore, a local herbalist, writer and pioneer in bringing herbs back into prominence, especially in the
southwest. That kind of study appealed to Monica, and she also joined Mr. Moore's class. She did a lot of
field work with him, learning all about local herbs and how to "capture the healing energies of the
southwest desert and put them in a bottle."
Monica then started growing her own medicinal herbs, supplying local herbalists and small manufacturers.
After ten years, she decided to put her energy into developing her own product line and supplying herself.
And we're glad she did!
Her catalog says, "We grow many of the herbs for our own products in our NMOCC certified organic gardens
here in beautiful, pristine Gila, NM. Additional herbs are obtained from other organic growers, or from ethically
wildcrafted sources. Our grain alcohol, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar are certified organic. No ingredients
are genetically engineered. The beeswax and honey come from our local beekeeper. We take time and great care
to prepare by hand in small batches to insure quality and provide you with the finest herbal products."
Her latest creations are Crème of Lemon Supreme and Lemon Lip Balm, coming soon to the Co-op near you!
She's excited about them, and advises us to "Stay tuned!"
You can contact Monica or find more information about her products on her web site