Hair of the Hog Botanicals creates handcrafted, small batch, artisan offerings, such as soap, candles, salves, and balms along with many other locally-sourced creations.
All of the oils used in our offerings are animal-based fats sourced from our own farm or from other small local farms here in Nova Scotia. This includes fat from pigs, known as lard, fat from cows, called tallow, and could also include duck, goat, sheep, and wild game fat as available.
Our pigs are pasture-raised heritage breeds who are highly sought after for their incredible fat and delicious flavour. We render all fat by hand, in small batches, either on our wood cookstove or in a slow cooker on sunny days as we are on a small off-grid solar system. Much care is taken in the sourcing of these fats if they come from off farm to ensure ethical practices are being used for a care of life and a high quality ingredient.
We then infuse the rendered oil with herbs and other plants, either locally wildcrafted or grown here on our farm, or use the oil as is without any additions for our bare-naked (plain) offerings. All of the goat milk we use comes directly from our own herd of Alpine Dairy goats, so you can be sure that it is fresh and of the highest quality. This year, we will be increasing our herb and flower gardens to be able to supply even more variety in our offerings – and the bees will love it too! There is something so completely magical and intrinsically powerful being in such an intimate relationship with the growing, harvesting, making, and sharing of these beautiful creations. Putting all of our love and attention into each single step.
We also use ingredients such as oatmeal, honey, and beeswax that we source from other local growers and producers here in Nova Scotia. The decision to use only locally sourced ingredients was an extremely important choice for us. Traceability is key – we want you to know where all of our ingredients come from and to honour the many beings responsible for their creation. There is only one ingredient in all of our offerings that is not available locally, and that is the lye for our soaps. That’s it. So for us, local means that not only is the item made locally, but the majority, if not all of the ingredients or materials used in the creation of that item are also locally-sourced. We want to support resilient, dynamic communities that are self-reliant and can adapt easily to change. This will only be possible if we return to a locally-sourced, locally-made, locally-supported model.
As goes with all of our vegetables and animals raised here at the farm, you can be assured that all Hair of the Hog offerings are free of any chemicals and other toxic ingredients. We do not use preservatives, chemical dyes, or perfumes. What you put on and in your body is extremely important and we want it to be of the highest quality. We have also chosen not to use essential oils, which can be a quick way to create scent in any offering, yet have been found to contain such high levels of concentrated chemical components that they can often cause more harm than good. Just because something is “natural” doesn’t mean that it is good for you. If you think about it, everything is “natural” as everything comes from the earth, therefore, this is just another marketing gimmick used to make us feel good about the product we are purchasing, yet it can mean a variety of different things.
So instead of using such highly processed extracts, we have decided instead to infuse the plants into the oils to fully impart their healing properties. As a culture, we are so inundated with scents and perfumes and other toxins that it was very important for us to provide alternatives that do not add to that sensory overload. Therefore, you will find that our offerings will either be unscented or will have a more subtle scent through the plant infusions, yet are packed with the full magic of each plant.
Hair of the Hog Botanicals are available for purchase from our farm stand on select days as well as through our Etsy shop. We want to thank everyone for your ongoing support of our farm and look forward to sharing these and many more exciting offerings with you this coming season!
** We are not registered healthcare practitioners, therefore, the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment. Please consult your medical care provider before using herbal medicine, particularly if you have a known medical condition or if you are pregnant or nursing. This information is intended for educational purposes only and should not be considered as a recommendation or an endorsement of any particular medical or health treatment. You are responsible for your own health and are truly the expert when it comes to your own body.