I’m asking for your help.

Six herbal recipes for purchase to help a family in need.

Oh, where to begin.

As I cooked lunch today I looked at how much of my food was grown on one single farm outside of Viroqua. My friend Mary's farm. (I have talked to you about her from time to time.)

My onions and squash, my potatoes and beans, my milk and yogurt, my beets and raspberries. (Click on my "Nourishment" category and almost all the food you see there was grown by their family. I grow a little of our food. Mary grows much of the rest. Heck, even my garden starts are from her farm.)

Six herbal recipes for purchase to help a family in need.

Mary is a certified organic farmer. She is the mother of nine boys. She is Amish. She is a soapmaker.

And she is my friend.

We come from different worlds but we share so much in common and I look forward to our weekly visits when I come to her farm for groceries. She looks forward to it too and sometimes stops by my house, hitching her buggy to the power pole across the road.

Last night there was a fire at Mary's house.

While she, her boys, and her husband are okay, the damage is significant. A part of their house is destroyed as is the new produce packing shed they worked so hard to complete last year.

When I left her house today I had tears in my eyes. So much is lost and I simply can not imagine the feeling of seeing flames lap the walls of my home. Or seeing the devastation that remains in the days and weeks following a fire.

I can still smell the smoke in my hair and I was only there for twenty minutes. My children sat in the car, wide-eyes staring at a house they know well that was now smoldering. Staring at these kids they know well, shoveling up smoking debris from what was once their home.

Dozens of friends, family, and neighbors from their Amish community were there, removing debris and scrubbing soot from the walls that still stand. Some of the house is lost (their kitchen, mudroom, and upstairs bedroom), but much what remains can be saved.

Six herbal recipes for purchase to help a family in need.

And standing there among Mary's true community this afternoon I wanted so much to help, too. Because she belongs to our "English" community as well. She grows our food, makes salves for us, and is a kind neighbor.

And we want to help too.

Mary is also an herbalist. That shared passion was the beginning of our friendship. And so in that spirit I would like to invite you to support my friend and her family in this time of need.

Mary has taught me a great deal about herbs. I am putting together a small PDF of six winter recipes for you, for sale for $6.00. (If you want to donate more you can buy more than one PDF. I'll only email you one copy per order, so don't fret about getting extra emails.) It won't be anything sparkly or elaborate, just a simple workbook of basic recipes. That seems appropriate, doesn't it?

Buy one or buy 100. All of the dollars that I raise by selling the booklet will be anonymously donated to her family. (If you are local and know this family, please don't tell!)

You can read a description and buy the PDF here.

Since I'm still putting the finishing touches on the recipes, I will email it out by December 15.

When the kids and I got home from Mary's I asked them if they could find
anything to be grateful for today. Sage paused and said, "All of those
people. Helping them." And then he added, "And that no one got hurt."

And he's right. Even in a crisis there is much good to focus on.

I believe that with all of my heart. 

20 thoughts on “I’m asking for your help.

  1. Marlo says:

    Oh Rachel, this brought such tears to my eyes. What a fantastic way to help. I’m off to order some copies. I’ll be thinking of Mary and her family as well as you and yours tonight.

  2. Heather says:

    I’m in. In the spring of 2011 our apartment (and around 42 others) burned down. I remember the pit in the bottom of my stomach, and how the smell of smoke followed me for what felt like months. My heart goes out to her in this time.

  3. meghann says:

    Oh my, Rachel – aren’t you such a wonderful friend to help in this way, and to let us help, too. I’ll be holding Mary and her family close in my heart. xo

  4. Rachel Wolf says:

    Of course. Thank you. Im also collecting checks if you would like to send one. If that is of interest you can send a check to Rachel Wolf, c/o LuSa Organics 1201 N. Main St., Suite 1, Viroqua, WI 54665. Write Fire Fund in the memo line. Many thanks.

  5. Anna says:

    Rachel, I have been following your blog for a few months now and find it very soothing. I read and relax and then I am impressed with how you live life. And also make a few interesting things from your recipes.
    I live on Long Island in New York, an area where we got hit by Hurricane Sandy pretty bad. And although there is much hardship among the people who have lost everything in the path of destruction I have seen so many communities coming together and helping each other through this difficult time. Your story tell the same. What a great thing you and your community are doing for your friend. I wish Mary and her family all the best, and I will try to get the PDF as soon as I can.

  6. Tracy Alverson says:

    Oh this is horrible. We just had a hurricane hit us (Sandy) and so many people I know lost their homes and possessions. Life can be such a challenge sometimes! Regardless I love your blog, and your “stuff” and I bought the PDF.

  7. Emmalina says:

    Sending blessings to your friend, I hope that they are able to recover quickly. I’ve purchased the pdf and I’m sure we’ll benefit from your recipes. Best wishes from Canada x

  8. Karla says:

    Oh I feel so sad for all of you. Sometimes I wish we were financially rich so we could help everyone who needs it! And yes – gladly, no one was hurt, and these times can often bring people closer together. Count your blessings! Sending a prayer your way and definitely getting those herbal recipes.

  9. Lisa says:

    Such a devastating thing. I’ve ordered the pdf, and I admire what you are teaching your children through this event. You are a good friend.

  10. Mikaela says:

    You are a person of such integrity, and creativity too! I’m so inspired by your example. A pretty clever way to make helping out fun…

  11. Kate says:


    I can not read this without crying. My husband and children and I are nearing the one-year anniversary of the fire that destroyed our house and turned our lives upside down. While we have finally moved home, we are still piecing our lives back together and the kids are still waking up multiple times a week with night terrors. This year has been so stressful, but the thing that has kept us going has been the love and support of our family, friends and complete strangers. People are so good and kind; what you are doing is beautiful and I’m so happy to be able to pass on the goodwill that was given to us this year. Keeping Mary and her family in our thoughts during this difficult time.

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