Farm to Massage Table
Why is fruit from the farmers’ market so much sweeter and juicier than produce from the supermarket? Because locally grown foods are fresher, taste better and are often the healthiest options available. The positive effects of indigenous plants extend beyond healthy eating; innovative spas use regional specialties to nourish the skin, heal the body and soothe the soul.
“Using locally grown ingredients…means that, whatever the product is, it is not treated in any way for longer shelf life,” explains Annat Provo, Spa Director at The Oaks at Ojai in southern California. The spa’s Pixie Tangerine Scrub, for example, incorporates the pixie tangerine, a sweet and seedless citrus variety grown exclusively in Ojai. Similarly, the Ojai Olive Oil Body Souffle uses local olive oil to lock in moisture and hydrate the skin.
Set high amidst cocoa groves, Boucan by Hotel Chocolat in St. Lucia integrates its homegrown cacao into every aspect of the guest experience. The resort’s Cocoa Juvenate Spa takes advantage of the crop’s natural healing properties. Cacao, which is packed with antioxidants and vital minerals, is the cornerstone of treatments like cacao manicures, detox body wraps and reflexology.
The aptly named Tree Spa at Hidden Pond in Kennebunkport, Maine caters to clients in rooms suspended eight feet above ground. “Our therapists customize each experience based on guest goals as well as favorite scents, which are determined as guests walk by window boxes growing local, organic herbs and flowers on their way to their treatment cottage,” explains Spa Director Wendy Ross.
Using a variety of herbs grown in its healing garden, the spa at The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, PA introduced Gifts from the Garden this summer. By combining dried herbs harvested on site, this customized body treatment addresses the needs of each individual client. Guests can even use a mortar and pestle to grind the herbs into scrubs and bath pouches to be used in their own therapies.
Beyond health benefits, using locally grown ingredients aids communities. Adds Provo, “On the more social level it supports the local economy and promotes good neighbor relations.”