We have long loved the high desert of Santa Fe and enjoyed the more than three hundred annual days of sunshine the environment provided over the decades we called it home. Using biodynamic principles in planting, harvesting, and putting by, we were able to delight in a host of abundant gifts from our modest Southwest gardens, fruit trees, and raised beds. Mints, sage, garlic chives, strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, currants, and grapes came back each year to offer new bounty and our cherry, apple, apricot, pear, and peach trees were prolific when frost didn’t discourage their bounty and our schedules allowed us the time to water and care for them.
For all the things we were able to do and do well in Santa Fe, we nevertheless grew increasingly sensitive to the limitations our property and environment put upon our growth–while we had a strong well, it would be irresponsible to leverage it more heavily in encouraging our gardens and orchard given the area’s record-breaking drought. Amendments required to expand the gardens effectively and keep them safe from the dry, hot sun were more than we could reasonably and responsibly do. Adding a classroom would have taxed our property even further. To wit, we’ve always known that growing our farm (and specifically Untamed Alchemy) would call us closer to the kind of environment we have always called our hearts’ home: a moderate, four-season climate with a shorter growing season, more annual rainfall, and a property with more turn-key areas for a wildflower meadow, perennial gardens, greenhouses, and wildcrafting.
Since last spring, we’ve been entertaining where a big move might take us. Our families, personal histories, experience, and longing called us to the Pacific Northwest, but we preferred to be more inland than coastal. The Idaho panhandle came clearly into scope after it not only met all of our personal requirements but also that of our loved ones: an extension of the family suggested they, too, were planning on calling it home in the near future.
I came up to Sandpoint, Idaho to visit and experience the community firsthand. While the trip was supposed to be purely discovery and fact-finding, I accidentally found and fell (truly, madly, deeply) in love with the perfect property: a 4-plus acreage with a cozy house, pasture, meadow, hoop house, perennial gardens, and enormous workshop and studio. The house had been on the market for only 22 days when I excitedly threw my name in the hat and thought, “What the heck?” I couldn’t imagine a more perfect home for us and for Untamed Alchemy… To my surprise and delight, the offer was accepted and we found ourselves making our dream manifest MUCH sooner than we could have ever anticipated!
To wit, I write today from a corner of Untamed Alchemy’s beautiful new home in the Idaho Panhandle, just an hour and a half from Spokane, WA, an hour from the Canadian border, fifteen minutes from scenic Sandpoint, a mere ten minutes drive from breathtaking Lake Pond d’Oreille, and a ten minute walk to Round Lake State Park. I am over the moon…
Obviously, this move represents big changes for Untamed Alchemy and the Untamed Classroom in particular. After we have made some improvements to the property and outbuildings (not to mention set up necessary licenses and permits), we’ll be able to offer on-site classes in aromatherapy and herbalism in a dedicated classroom able to accommodate up to 20 students at a time. Participants will be able to discover first-hand the magic of herbs, flowers, and evergreens growing on the property; wildcrafting classes will also be added. By next year, we hope to have our distillation studio set up in order to offer locally sourced essential oils, distillates, infused-carriers, and hydrosols, too.
I could not be more excited to expand available products and workshops, but there is much to do to prepare the gardens, classroom, and workshop schedule to make ready for our next iteration! You’ll find the web store evolving as new products are made available and others are retired–altogether new categories will be cropping up as well… I’ll continue to post (and be able to post much more often!) now that the worst of the real estate details are behind us! I hope you’ll be patient as we evolve, grow, and work to make everything just right for you! Until we hit some of our new milestones, by all means let me know if there is something you want or need from Untamed Alchemy, the Untamed Classroom, or me, the Untamed Alchemist, to keep your life humming and your heart thriving!
Bless and blessed be,
Kristina, The Untamed Alchemist