Why we do the things we do
This is the first of a series of essays describing and explaining why we do the things we do at Mud Lake Farm and with St. Steve’s cordials and sodas. Let’s be honest, we’re weird or at least a bit odd and that accounts for some of it. There are a lot easier ways to make things that are more profitable than the way we do them.
Just the fact that we grow and make our products from whole ingredients is pretty unique. Most, if not all commercial sodas are made from flavors. Pour a little of this and a little of that and wa-la! A soda. So why take the time, energy and money to juice and slice real carrots, beets and ginger when we could just pour a bottle of something all ready to go? Why grow our own elderflowers when we could use a pre-made concentrate and nobody would know the difference?
At the core of this whole thing - the farm, the sodas, everything - is the concept of Creation Stewardship. To some this may sound like religiosity or mystical mumbo-jumbo but it is really pretty simple. Our land has been in my family for 116 years. It was here long before us and will be here long after we’re gone from this earth. But we were placed here and now as caretakers and our job is to care for creation to the best of our abilities. Caring not just for this farm, but for this country and our world as well. This job is not just caring about the environment, although that is important, but caring for people as well because they too are part of creation.
To love our neighbor as ourselves is not just a verse in the Bible, but one of the great commands. It is a primary lens through which we are to view the rest of the Bible and all of life. We take this command seriously, and over the next few essays we’ll dive deeper into how we try to live out this command in every aspect of our company, from how we grow to how and what we sell.
Here are some easy cocktail recipes you can do at home! St. Steve's makes it easy for you to whip up something great.
St. Steve's Sodas make cocktails so easy! Like Gin? Try our favorite one as shown in the photo above.
If you're a fan of our Ginger soda, try adding whiskey or vodka - using the same proportions, an ounce or two of spirits with a half-can of soda. What to do with the other half-can? Drink it as is, or make a cocktail for a friend!
We are so excited about our new t-shirts! Love our sodas? Love the logos? We know you do!
Well, now you can have your very own t-shirt to wear and show off your favorite one. We're still doing lots of "trial and error" learning here on the farm, so this order of t-shirts has some women's style shirts (with a scoop neck which we wanted), but the catch is that they're basically petite sizing. OOPS. Live and learn. We've included the more specific sizing info with the standard S/M/L/XL info so you can make an informed choice. Next go 'round we'll probably order something different! In the photo above of our lovely lettuce ranchers, the two shirts on the left are the unisex cut and the two on the right are the women's "slim-fit" cut.
We also have Unisex shirts - your standard t-shirt cut, and very soft comfortable fabric with the regular sizing we're all familiar with.
Check 'em out on our order form (if you're local and want to pick up or arrange a delivery) or our Square Store (if you live further away). We ship all over the country!
In Store Tastings!
This is a photo from our in-store tasting at The Corner Market & Spirits in Spring Lake on Friday evening. We'll be making our way around the state over the summer, holding tastings at various locations. Want us to come to your store? Let us know!
We'll be at Ken's Fruit Market on Plainfield today late morning thru early afternoon. Come out and sample the sodas and pick up a 4-pack to take home (and some cool stickers too)...
Health Benefits of Elderflower
We've all heard a lot about the health benefits of elderberries, and they've become a common ingredient in cold remedies. But did you know that the elderflower shares the same health benefits? Elderflowers also have a much milder flavor than the berries, which some find too strong for their liking.
We thought we'd share a few links to information about elderflowers and their benefits for those who might be interested, and for those who might like to know they're getting something good even when they indulge in St. Steve's Elderflower Soda!
Elderflowers have been used for centuries as a natural remedy against colds and flu. In 1845, Hans Christian Anderson wrote this story about "The Little Elder-Tree Mother" which tells of a little boy who gets sick and his mother makes him elderflower tea. Herbwisdom.com talks about the antiseptic and anti-inflamatory effects of elderflower. Most of the research studies on health benefits of the elder have to do with the elderberry, but the flowers and berries share many of the same active compounds. Here's a study by Caroline Hearst et. al. from 2010 that showed promising results using elderflowers against a variety of common "hospital pathogens". Fithog.com lists 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Elderflower.
If you'd like to try some Elderflower Tea, we recommend pouring a tablespoon or two of St. Steve's Elderflower Cordial into your mug and adding hot water. So soothing when you have a sore throat! If you're old enough and so inclined, you can add a bit of rum as well...
So, to start things off here, we thought we'd post the recipe booklet we've been handing out with our cordials.
There are lots of ideas here - everything from salad dressings, sauces, baked goods, to beverages. Take a look, and let us know what you think!
Steve is the "Mud Lord" of Mud Lake Farm, and the instigator behind St. Steve's Cordials & Soda