Raised on her grandparent’s farm in Monterey, VA Kimberlie Richardson, 37 of Mint Hill, started Organic Kids Qty:3 as a home business earlier this year. Growing up, Kimberlie had to dive and hour and a half to get to the local grocery store, which was their big excursion for the month. This taught her many valuable lessons which she wants to pass along to her children. Kimberlie started off her new business by attending local festivals and opening up her online store selling her homemade syrups and organic ready-to-make mixes.
Q. How did Organic Kids Qty:3 get started?
A. Organic Kids Qty:3 started as a blog to start keeping track of how our family was doing our best to live an organic and chemical free lifestyle on a budget while living in one of the largest cities on the east coast. (www.organickidsqty3.com) I also really wanted to help others by sharing my research, and teaching the lifestyle that we have chosen for our family. I have put a lot of time and effort into research to make sure that I am finding the best information, products, and ingredients for our family and products.
Our family started focusing on this lifestyle when our first daughter was born. Before she was even 2, she had to have an endoscopy because we just couldn’t figure out why she was having so many tummy troubles. We never got a definitive answer, but I was convinced that by eating clean and getting all chemicals out of our house, it would make a difference. So began my journey into researching organic food, chemicals in products, and just about anything else I could think of. Believe me, a lot of research happened over the next few months, and I am still researching things today! I feel like there is always more to learn and I look forward to sharing all I learn.
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We immediately removed processed food from our diet and after about 2 months her symptoms had all but disappeared. We have only gone forward from there. Additionally, my husband was diagnosed with diverticular disease. What and how he eats has made a complete transformation on how he manages the disease. Now a lot of our food comes straight from local farmers, local markets, and our local grocery store too. We also do our best to use fragrance-free and chemical-free products in our household.
Q. What all do you make?
A. We make Organic Elderberry Syrup, Hickory Syrup, Organic Granola, Organic Baking Mixes (Pancakes, Waffle, Brownies, etc.), Organic Dip and Dressing Mixes, and Organic Smoothie and Water Infusion Mixes.
Q. Why did you choose to use organic ingredients?
A. We choose to use organic ingredients because we feel that it is so important to make sure the foods we put in our bodies are as clean as possible. We do everything we can to keep pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones out of our foods, and out of any product that we make.
Q. Where do you source your ingredients?
A. We source our ingredients locally as often as we can. We like to support all of the local markets that are available in this area. Also, when we can’t find something locally, again through our extensive product research, we have developed a relationship with Mountain Rose Herbs, where we can buy organic ingredients and trust that they are of the highest quality.
Q. How did you learn to make the syrups?
A. I learned to make our Elderberry syrup through trial and error for our family. Our entire family takes a spoonful of Elderberry syrup every day to help keep the cold and flu at bay. Our syrup has zero additives or anything artificial.
I learned to make Hickory Syrup from my Dad. My dad and his family have been making Real Maple Syrup since the 1800’s on their farm in Virginia, Back Creek Farms. Recently he started making Hickory Syrup from Shagbark Hickory trees. We can find those same trees here, so he taught me how to make it, and now we make a local version for Organic Kids Qty:3!
Q. What are the benefits of elderberry syrup?
Elderberries are rich in antioxidants, potassium, and Vitamin C & A, which are crucial in helping the body maintain optimal health. Additionally, they can have an anti-inflammatory effect within the body, and can help ease aches, pains, and fever. Elderberry is also used to reduce the duration and severity of the common cold and flu. According to a study in the Journal of International Medical Research, patients given elderberry syrup recovered an average of 4 days faster from the flu than those not taking the syrup.
Because of this, during the school season especially, I like to give the Qty: 3 a teaspoon a day to help give my kids’ immune systems a kick start.
I also like to use rose hips in our elderberry syrup. Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C and are a great additional immune booster in our syrup
Fun fact! Did you know that the most powerful wizard wand in the Harry Potter series is made from sambucus wood and is known as the elder wand?
Q. Tell us a little bit about Hickory Syrup.
A. Hickory Syrup is made from the bark of the Shagbark Hickory Tree. We process the bark and make an extract. The bark actually contains a significant amount of Vitamin B1 which we need to ensure the proper functioning of our muscles, heart, and nervous system. We have also been told by customers that this syrup tastes like a marshmallow that was roasted over a campfire!
So, we like to think this syrup is a sweet treat with health benefits. You can, of course, use hickory syrup in any way that you would use maple syrup. However, it also makes a delicious barbeque sauce, glaze, or anything else you might like to try it on.
Q. Share about your blog and what our readers can find there.
A. I originally started the blog to keep track of my research and recipes I was creating for our family. The “blog” also was originally a notebook that I am pretty sure I was the only one that could understand! To this day almost everything still starts in that notebook. I decided to publish the blog to provide other families with healthy recipes, research that I thought would be useful, and a way for us to share our organic and chemical-free lifestyle on a budget.
Readers can find delicious recipes, tips on how to live an organic lifestyle on a budget, products that we have found that work for our family, and even restaurant reviews for local restaurants that we feel are really supporting local and doing their best to provide a way to eat out and still eat healthy.
Q. Where can we find your products locally?
A. At this time, you can find our products at Wise Acres Organic Farm. We are working with a couple other local markets as well, and hopefully we will have a couple more local options soon.
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