What does your farm name mean to you? How did you choose this name?
We came up with the name Queen Anne's Lace as we love the wildflower that blooms abundantly along the fence lines and open fields here in Illinois. It’s sort of a “bloom where you’re planted” reminder for us. When we grew and sold flower bouquets they were the signature of each posy. Our natural and organic body care line is also rich in wild crafted botanicals, herbs and essential oils and so the name continues...
Where is your farm located? How many miles do you travel to reach Common Ground?
Our farm is in Camargo, IL – 24 miles south of Urbana. We recently moved from our mini-farm in Villa Grove to a farm with 10 acres, more room for the goats, horses and honeybees!
What do you produce/grow/raise? What is your signature product?
We make a variety of home and body care products using herbs and floral infusions grown here, as well as honey and beeswax from our hardworking bee colonies. We also have our goat family who provide fresh goat milk for our signature goats milk soaps.
For how long have you been farming?
We started raising goats and soap making over 15 years ago, now.
Where do you get the ingredients for your products?
In accordance with our strong belief in buying local, most ingredients we can’t grow or raise we source from here in the Midwest, particularly IL and IN.
Do you use organic or fair trade (natural) products?
We strongly support fair trade on any imported products. We’re grateful to have reliable suppliers we trust here in the area. We’re are now transitioning to a 100% organic soap, rich with our fresh goat milk, organic botanicals, plant oils and butters, only scented with pure essential oils. This transition will also allow us to provide palm free soap. This is important due to the environmental concerns about the harvesting of palm oil, even so called "sustainably harvested organic" which we have traditionally used.
What do you enjoy most about farming?
I grew up on a busy diversified farm in England so managing our little farm here is really close to my heart. It’s definitely a lifestyle rather than a career for us.
Is there anything else you'd like Common Ground's customers to know about your farm?
Most of the products we make have originated from our own family’s needs or that of customers, but I genuinely love making and formulating everything – from soaps to hand & face creams, serums, bath bombs and more.
I am currently working on getting certified in Professional Formulation for Body Care Products which I am very excited about as it is giving me skill and knowledge to create and formulate better and better products!
I also like to be able to customize products to specific needs of my customer and especially value and appreciate the relationships and sense of community that is developed in selling products locally through Common Ground and the Urbana Farmers Market.