Community, Economy & Authenticity
As we all know, local businesses are the backbone of any community. They provide unique services and products that larger chain businesses often can’t match. Small-batch businesses like ours, Shire House Farm – unique in growing our own botanicals organically, creating premium quality, handmade product and your ability to purchase directly from us, the owners and creators, as well as from selected retailers. In order to keep our local economy thriving, it’s important to support local businesses as much as possible.
Shopping local means you are also more likely to know where your product is from and how it was made. With Shire House Farm products, there are few steps in the manufacturing process because they are handmade. There are no machines involved, no chemicals added to preserve shelf life or add flavour. We use natural and local ingredients, blended together to create a product that has health benefits and soothing aromas. We collaborate with other local businesses to create our unique products, such as our rosemary salt, using Murray River Salt pink flakes, and our lavender hand salve, using Urthly Organics salve blend. So when you buy from Shire House Farm, you’re not only supporting our family business, but supporting other Victorian businesses with no extra effort. That’s a win!
There is less environmental impact in buying our product, from the way it was grown, to when you receive, and all the steps in between. You are more likely to receive your products faster, and less carbon footprint with delivery. We can pin point the field our botanicals were grown in, so we can assure you, they’re locally grown, not flown. We use recyclable and clear packaging where possible, so you can see what you are getting. One of our products, our floral waters, comes in a recycled PET bottle, made in NSW. There are approximately 4 steps in the manufacturing process for recycled PET, rather than 7 or 8 steps for virgin PET. PET is recyclable, but we aim to use existing PET when we can, for closed-loop recycling. Our handmade, cold pressed castile soaps are also wrapped in Australian made, recycled paper. Again, supporting a local, family run printing business, and the environment.
Another important reason to buy local, is for freshness. For example rosemary is grown all around the world, but how many places do you know in Victoria, or Australia that are selling locally grown? There are places, but not in abundance. We grow it, and sell it, but we see a lot of places stocking rosemary that is not only from overseas (decent carbon footprint right there), but it has less aroma and you cannot account for the way it was grown or how it has been handled. This may be why it’s cheaper.
We also see a number of brands making lavender products that use lavender from overseas. There are a number of lavender farms across Australia, including ours in Victoria, creating quality products with their own farm grown lavender buds and essential oils. So it’s a good idea to check on the labelling where the product is made and where the ingredients have been sourced. We are proud to say our farm is organic, and uses natural rainwater and chemical free fertiliser. Utilising the plants own elements provides the natural, fresh aroma, as we harvest it in peak conditions. The more of us that seek locally grown product from our local shops, the more demand there will be for a local supply. Paying a little extra can often be worth it, if it means you know where it came from and how it was grown. If it smells good, tastes good and was grown just down the road, that’s got to be a good thing. Right?
When choosing local, quite often, and more so since the pandemic, people discover more on their doorstep, particularly with new businesses popping up. If we don’t support our local businesses, we won’t have them in the future. At Shire House Farm, we have a story to follow on Instagram and Facebook, since the very first photo when we dug holes in the ground to mark out where we wanted to start our lavender rows. We encourage people to join the journey, subscribe to our mailing list, and get involved, as we like to hear feedback that contributes to the future of our family project.
It’s also important to remember that supporting local businesses is not just about making a purchase. It’s about building a relationship with the business and the people behind it. Whether it’s buying a product to help the business finance its growth, or contributing feedback so the business understands what customers and the community are looking for or want more of. Perhaps telling a friend and spreading the word. It all helps. There are plenty of opportunities to support local throughout the year too. Whether it be birthdays, parent days, teacher days, festive season, or just ‘thinking of you’ occasions – when you buy, you could buy local. After all, if we want to be proud of what we have to offer the world, let’s get the word out there and show our support. The more you support us, the more we invest in our environment. We can do this in many ways, as our plans develop over time. We are investing in the future of our children and theirs to follow.
We’d love to hear how you support local. Do you talk about places and products you’ve come across? Do you buy them for yourself and others?