Wild Creek Naturals
Wild Creek Naturals’ Marseille’s Remedy was originally made on Salt Spring Island, but makers Casey and Lennea fell in love with the Kootenay’s and moved their company here. They have immersed themselves in their new home and dedicate a portion of their proceeds to improving the environment and wetlands of the Columbia River Basin. Their popular and effective Marseille’s Remedy has a fascinating history, originating in 1413 as protection from the bubonic plague in France. Recently Casey and Lennea have added a highly effective insect deterrent, Junglista, to their product line.
Who are the makers at Wild Creek Naturals?
Casey and Lennea
Where are you located?
Wild Creek Farm, in Salmo BC
What do you make?
Wild Creek Naturals produces Junglista insect deterrent and Marseille’s Remedy Thieve’s Oil and Balm.
How would you describe your company?
We are family owned and operated from our farm in the beautiful West Kootenays. We are committed to making products that are 100% natural, organic plant based, and effective. We are committed to health and wellness and improving the world around us.
Casey’s academic background is in Applied Chemistry and Biotechnology. Lennea’s academic background is in Nutrition and Counselling. We feel we apply our skill sets in unique ways to our production and company ethics.
At the risk of being totally cliché, we are not interested in selling *stuff*, and we have never been in business to make money. We make products that we use, that our friends and family enjoy, and improves our overall human condition. We are grateful to have received so much enthusiastic support and to have such a positive impact on so many people. Thank you.
How long have you been in business?
We have been selling Marseille’s Remedy since 2009, and just began selling Junglista in 2019.
What motivated you to start?
Junglista insect deterrent is something I made for our goats. The ticks up here in the west Kootenays are downright nasty. We wanted something natural to keep the pests off our animals, so no-sense making a little bit of it: we made a lot of it. 2019 was our first summer offering it to the public and the feedback is in. People want us to keep making it. I have mixed feeling about this because it’s one of those products we just can’t get around using plastic bottles. To mitigate this, we didn’t add water: keeping the product as concentrated as possible. It is still very effective when dilute down by a factor of ten. Meaning one small 60ml bottle of Junglista could be diluted to over a half liter and still be super effective.
Marseille’s Remedy was born after a heavy night out and subsequent nasty hangover in Marseilles France. I got really sick the following days, worn out from travel and carrying some funky cold virus. My friend introduced me to Vinaigre de Marseille. I was amazed how effective this vinegar infusion was. By 2010 I was selling my own version of the formula, Marseille’s Remedy Thieve’s Oil, from the aft deck of my sailboat on Salt Spring Island. It brought me so much joy to hear from countless people about the positive effects Marseille’s Remedy had on there overall conditions. Almost everyday I hear from somebody new who has discovered a use for the product that betters their lives. Learn about many uses of Marseille’s Remedy on Wild Creek’s website!
I created Marseille’s Remedy Thieve’s Balm because I am a hemophiliac. When I get an injury, I have a long healing process ahead. Our balm is so helpful to this process. It gives me relief when I’m trying to get back on my feet. The feedback I’ve gotten from countless people is such an encouragement to continue.
Marseille’s Remedy has a fascinating history, can you tell us more about it?
Yes, originally known as Vinaigre de Marseille, this remedy originated in 1413 when the bubonic plague was decimating France. A group of merchant sailors were arrested for robbing dead and dying plague victims. The judge offered them leniency for their terrible crimes if they would share the secret which enabled them to expose themselves to the plague without contracting it. The sailors explained that they were spice merchants who were unemployed due to the closure of France’s sea ports. They had prepared a special herbal infusion which they applied to their hands, ears, feet, masks, and temples and this protected them from infection. Soon after, plague doctors began to wear beak-like masks stuffed with absorbent material soaked in the sailors’ blend to protect them from disease. This formula was marketed by medical suppliers as the first line of defense for hundreds of years, and has been a staple of pestilent prevention in every plague since its formulation. Our recipe is a concentrated form of this traditional formula.
What are some of your greatest joys?
In this order: Our children, our environment and health, our business and farm…and Cowie our mentally challenged goat.
We get so much joy from this amazing place that we call home. We originally incorporated as Salt Spring Naturals, a name we thought we’d keep forever because we loved our island. Then, we discovered the Kootenays! We can jump in the river here and drink as much water as we like! And it’s good water! We are so wealthy to have such good water!!! And look, there’s a bear! A beaver, a fricken moose… I love moose! oh! The Snow! Wonderful! Spectacular! Flabbergastingly fantastic!!
In 2017 we settled in the Salmo Valley, an underrated community just a stone’s throw from Nelson. Our farm is flanked by Wild Creek and the Salmo River, and we renamed our company Wild Creek Naturals. Wild Creek is a tributary to rivers that quench the thirst of millions. A portion of all proceeds go towards improving the environment, watersheds, and the Columbia River Basin. Under direction of the Salmo Watershed Streamkeeper’s Society, we have taken steps to support fish habitat in our sections of the Salmo River. We have made a solemn oath to mother earth to keep over 50% of our land next to the river as is, wild and beautiful.
What are some of your greatest challenges?
Balancing business with family 🙂
What is your vision for your farm and company?
A decade from now: we will be doing the same thing we are doing now. Only better. Producing our products with the same care, in small batches, from our farm in the Kootenays.
Our farm will be in full production of specialty fruits, and trout. Our children will be ten years older and hopefully helping us in the lab a little more than just colouring on boxes.
Why is local food and/or local purchasing important to you?
We strive to use local ingredients as much as possible. Many of the plants used in our products simply do not grow here. This is the rub. We need to import from about six different countries around the world. It does bring me some solace that our products are small and concentrated, minimizing the energy required to transport. When producing a product, it’s difficult to get around the fact that we live in a global market. Our glass bottles for instance come from Germany. We experimented with producing stoneware bottles for our product but found the energy inputs required equate to a larger footprint than purchasing from overseas.
If you could deliver a message directly to Co-op members/customers, what would it be?
- Please open a satellite branch of the Kootenay Co-Op in Salmo!!!!!! We would love to have an organic grocery store here. #StarvingInSalmo.…And there is lots of parking in Salmo 🙂
- If anyone has any suggestion how we can make our company’s activities more environmentally conscious, or local initiative we can be involved with: please give us a call, email or just stop by. Our number is on the bottle and we aren’t hard to find.
In summary, thank you Kootenay Co-Op for leading positive culture here in the West Kootenays!