Media / La Montanita

From the Coop Connection / The La Montanita Coop newsletter / Albuquerque, NM - March 2005

To read the complete newletter, visit the La Montanita Coop website.

Local Product Spotlight:
Desert Woman Botanicals

Monica Rude left the cold, gray winter of Upstate New York in 1988 and moved to the desert.  She writes,
 “I was amazed by the sunshine.  Within a few months, spring arrived in a glorious profusion of wildflowers like I had never experienced.  I was in love!  The light, the rocks, the clouds, the dirt, the plants, the energy... were transforming.  I was here to stay.

That's when I became... a desert woman.”

After studying with the well-known southwestern herbalist Michael Moore, Monica left behind a twenty year nursing career to be outside with the plants.  She says “gardens became my habitat.   Plants became my teachers.  I especially love weeds - they have a lot to offer.”  She started her own nursery business, becoming a certified organic grower and created the Desert Woman Botanicals herbal product line.  During the early years many Coop members bought Monica’s herb plants at La Montanita's Earth Day and Garden party celebration, fresh harvested herbs at the Coop’s harvest festivals and attended her classes on herb cultivation.

Desert Woman Botanicals’ best known products are the Desert Woman’s exclusive product “Fire Cider” and a series of cremes and lotions including “Rehab” and “Fab Foot.”  Fire Cider is a hot, sweet, sour, experience that is a general health tonic.  Made from her home grown powerful cayenne it's easy heat fades into a slow burn that can be used as a mood lifter, mover of chi, digestive aid, decongestant, anti-microbial, tonic for heart and circulation, immune system and liver.  In an apple cider vinegar base, it contains no alcohol.

Re-hab Crème is used for sore muscles and joints and inflammation after physical work out, surgery, or injury by runners, bikers, athletes, and anyone subject to physical exertion. “Fab Foot” crème soothes and heals dry cracked, hard-working feet and hands.

All Desert Woman products are made using fresh herbs grown in her certified organic gardens in Gila, New Mexico.  They never contain any chemical preservatives, petroleum products or synthetic fragrances.  Instead of chemicals she uses vitamins, grapefruit seed extract, & benzoin which are considered natural preservatives without side effects.  Other ingredients include olive oil, beeswax and essential oils that have anti-oxidant activity and contribute to the natural preservative effects.

Monica says “I believe in good old fashioned customer service and make quality products with no junk in them.  Opening any of my jars is like stepping into my gardens.”

This year Desert Woman Botanicals is unveiling two new products: Lavender Light Lotion and Creme of Lemon Supreme.  They are both luscious, buttery, smell heavenly and are great for your skin!  A luxurious blend of lavender flowers for the entire body,  Lavender Light Lotion softens, soothes and moisturizes skin.  A delight for all your senses, smooth on right after a bath, at bedtime to promote restful sleep.  Or try the invigorating, refreshing essence of lemon with the triple treat of Meyer lemons, lemon grass and lemon verbena in the Lemon Supreme Body Lotion.

Desert Woman Botanicals specializes in capturing the healing energies of the Southwest Desert and bottling it up for our benefit.  Look for Desert Woman Botanical products in the HBA department at the Valley location or come meet Monica in person at both the Valley Coop’s Garden Party and the 16th Annual Celebrate the Earth Fest in Nob Hill.

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