Category Archives: The Wisdom of Sharing

Some views on free shipping.

I love to shop online, it’s convenient, entertaining, and offers so many choices. And while I love ‘free shipping’, there really is no such thing. Somebody must pay USPS, UPS, or FedEx to delivery, and the only way for us to cover the cost of free shipping would be to inflate product pricing.

At Kramer at market, this would mean either raising pricing across the board to both market and online customers or raising pricing only to our online customers. It does not seem fair for our market customers to help pay shipping for online customers, for they pay with their time and gas money to shop at market. And, raising pricing across the board to online shoppers is a balancing act of covering cost from one customer to another. Since carriers charges a minimum shipping charge that must be covered on small orders, large order customers pay more to cover the shipping cost of small order customers. Hmm, that doesn’t seem fair either.

So, the fairest solution I see for customers is for online customers to pay their individual shipping cost for time and gas saved from the convenience of shopping online. This way there is no inflated guess work product pricing of a buddy system for shipping charges.

Please know, we do not inflate shipping charges with added service charges. Shipping charges are calculated by weight based on the current rate of the carrier.

We look forward to your orders and having you as a customer, online or in-person.

CARRIER OILS VS ESSENTIAL OILS What’s the difference?

 

This picture is a great visual of the difference between essential oils and carrier oils. The dispenser on the left is used to dispense an ointment that contains a carrier oil (grape seed oil). The dispenser on the right is used to dispense a pure essential oil. Carrier oils are fatty oils and become sticky as they sit and are exposed to the air. Essential oils are pure and evaporate away. There are only a few essential oils that will leave a sticky resin over time, these oils are usually ones that are distilled from woody, sappy plants, one that comes to mind is Patchouli Essential Oil.

This example is why we tell our customers not to put carrier oils or blends that include carrier oils in their infusers. Carrier oils will, over time, and usually very quickly, destroy your infuser. Carrier oils arecarrier vs essential oil oils such as olive oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, etc. If you need a carrier oil in a quick pinch you will properly find one or two in your kitchen cupboard.

Business is Growing

Business is Growing

I share with you a synopsis of the events happening around Kramer at market LLC. We experienced 40% growth in market sales in 2015 and 30% growth in 2016. We are now wholesaling to local storefronts and farm stores, a practice we plan to grow in 2017.

This growth has led to many new needs inside the business. Much of my time of late is spent upgrading our infrastructure, which was originally built around myself and my self-built systems. My husband, a software analysis, has generously donated his time, skills, and earned dollars to these upgrades, new programs, and equipment. Making possible growth my business otherwise could not afford.

  • We have put in a cloud and internal server. This will allow files to be shared between our office, our packaging facility, and our market locations.
  • My phone was upgraded to better process credit cards at markets.
  • A tablet was purchased to process credit cards. (So far that has not worked.)
  • A new computer for the office with the latest and greatest Microsoft Office products and an up-dated Quicken for Business.
  • A new data base for product tracking, pricing, labeling, etc., etc. This is an elaborate piece of software that is totally changing the face of the business.
  • A new look for our website.
  • And coming, our own shopping cart. The targets of this new shopping cart are to allow customers to order on-line and pick-up at market, and to serve wholesale accounts.
  • Last fall we acquired a new employee who is giving the business new visions, as well as, some much needed relief and help on my part.

We experience more and more support from our local community, customers, and followers on social media. Thanks so much for all you do! We wish you good health, opportunity, wealth, and happiness!

Tumeric as a Tooth Whitener

I’m serious about trying this turmeric toothpaste suggestion for whitening teeth. I followed the recipe suggestions and used: 1 tablespoon coconut oil, 1 teaspoon turmeric root powder, and 2 drops of peppermint oil.
Day Two – Okay, I’ve used the turmeric toothpaste three times. I can report a very clean feeling, and maybe even some whitening. Beware, while it doesn’t stain your teeth it does stain fingernails. I’ll report on the whitening again next week.
Day Five – I said I would report back on the Turmeric Toothpaste blend (coconut oil, turmeric root powder, & salt) so here is what I learned: I feel there was some degree of whitening but ones teeth can only get so white and I am not a young puppy. However, a word of caution, I have two crowns, I am not sure what they are made of, probably porcelain or ceramic, they got really white so now they are whiter than my other teeth. This of course made me curious so I tried it on my tea cups and it was amazing at removing tea stains. Even more curious, I thought maybe it was just the coconut oil, but that did not work. Then, I tried it on my counter top but it left a yellow stain that I had to scrub out with a spray cleaner, don’t do that! And, remember, it stains fingernails. In the end, I do think it has value as a tooth whitener, and there should be some other good benefits beyond whitening. 2016-02-24 10.54.00

The benefits and ease of making Tinctures

Customers often get that starry-eyed look of confusion and panic when I talk to them about tinctures. Making tinctures is so easy and almost any spice or herb can be made into a tincture. If you ever made vanilla extract with alcohol you made a tincture.
The three most notable benefits of alcohol based tinctures are:
Alcohol is able to pull properties from the herb that water and vinegar can not pull.
Alcohol based tinctures store in your cub board for up to 2 years. Unlike syrups that need refrigeration and generally store for approximately 2 months.
You only need to take a small amount, generally 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon daily or as needed.
Dried herbs and root are a good choice, because they are fully or partially dehydrated they easily absorb the alcohol. I generally use a mason jar or the original alcohol bottle.
I said it is simple and truly it is:
Add herbs, roots, etc., cover completely with vodka (rum or gin), label, date and set in your cup board, wait two months, strain off liquid, discard pulp, re-bottle liquid , label, date and store.
Currently, I am making a tincture from our elderberry syrup mix, a blend of, elderberries, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger.

Stay Warm, Spice It Up

Everyone is talking about COLD, SNOW, & BLOWING WINDS. Facebook post are flooded with complaints and everyone I talk to has something to say on the subject. Even those who are winter lovers have had their fill of bitter cold. With spring still weeks away and the winds of March soon upon us, the need to warm up is still a topic of desire.

These spices and herbs can increase circulation and warm the body: ginger, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic, wasabi, and curry spice blends. Not only for cooking, many of them can be steeped for tea.

An old tradition is to put black pepper or cayenne pepper in your socks. However, beware, some say the cayenne heated up over time and produced skin burns. A better choice, essential oils diluted and used in massage also warm the body. We carry a large selection of warming essential oils.

Stay warm and see you at market.

Natural Fertilizers

Everyday I look for ways to stay close to nature and avoid buying unnecessary chemicals and manufactured items. This is not to undermine the need to manufacture but it does save money around the house. Recently, I ran out of fertilizer for my vegetable and flower plants. I stopped at the local feed store to inquire on what was best to use. I expected (or at least hoped for) an answer like worm castings. But the answer I got was, 10,10,10, referencing to a bag of 10-10-10 fertilizer containing 10 percent nitrogen, 10 percent phosphate and 10 percent potash. I have no idea what the ingredients are that make up this commercial mix; I just knew it was not what I was looking for. So I resorted to an internet search of natural fertilizers. Here are my notes from that search:

Epsom Salt – 1 teaspoon to 1 gallon of water, use monthly to provide magnesium and sulfate.
Coffee Grounds – sprinkle on soil around roses and blueberry bushes to provide acid.
Egg Shells – provide calcium carbonate (lime).
White Vinegar – 1 tablespoon per 1 gallon of water provides acid to plants.
Fireplace Ash – provides potassium and calcium carbonate.
Fish Tank Water – provides nitrogen.

I am good on all these ingredients accept the coffee grounds since I am a tea drinker. However, it looks like white vinegar will fulfill the need for acid on acid loving plants like roses and blueberry bushes, both of which I have. As a result, I have started using water from my indoor fish tank for indoor plants and water from my fish pond for outdoor plans. I do not yet know the results but I am hopeful of healthy, beautiful plants.

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