Wellness Series: Amanda Callan of Church Farm General Store
Amanda is a degree qualified Naturopath, Herbalist & Nutritionist but you may know her as one half of Church Farm General Store, a thriving Byron Based business she runs with her husband Andrew selling handmade soaps and sauces. After moving from North Bondi to Billinudgel, Amanda now raises her four children on a farm, living in a beautiful converted church & embracing a slower pace of life.
Read on to learn more about what inspires Amanda, what lead her to Naturopathy and what fuels her day.
1. Firstly, what inspired you to leave the city and move to the outskirts of Byron? Was living in a converted Church always part of your plan?
The city was fun while it lasted, but towards the end of my time in Sydney I used to literally have dreams about not having any neighbours, green open fields and living in an old church or hall. Now I am here.
2. What was your inspiration for studying naturopathy, herbalism & nutrition?
Like most people who are in the industry, I have my own personal story of how I discovered the path of natural healing. For me it was losing my menstrual cycle in my early 20s. I went to a bazillion doctors and all sorts of specialists looking for answers. They all told me the only option was to go on hormone replacement therapy and that I would never be able to have children. Intuitively I thought that was a shit answer, so I looked elsewhere and discovered naturopathy. And now I’m surrounded by children.
3. What is one change you recommend to clients/friends who are wanting to improve their health and wellbeing?
Everyone is so unique, my advice is to always seek out a qualified practitioner and get some individual guidance. Saying that though, it’s always the daily basics that have the most impact- quality sleep, wholesome food, less stress and a healthy environment.
4. What is always in your fridge and pantry?
Church Farm passata, curry paste, pickles and sauces- our pantry often looks like a retail shelf. And we go to the farmers markets twice each week to stock up on all of the local produce. And locolove chocolates in secret hiding spots so the kids don’t sneak them.
5. How do you start your day?
Andrew and I were actually just laughing about our morning routine.
It is so hectic. I sleep with our twin boys so I wake up with them trying to breastfeed simultaneously, I then sing out to Andrew ‘They’re awake!!” The mornings are all about breakfast preparing, lunches, washing, vacuuming, cubby building, mess making, noise, bike riding inside the house. There is definitely no yoga, no meditation, no journaling. Absolute chaos haha.
Some small things that make me feel amazing is getting some natural sunlight on my eyeballs first thing in the morning, not looking at my phone for a few hours and also ending my morning shower on a burst of cold water.
6. What do you turn to, to make you feel your best?
I recharge when I am alone and when I’m moving. If I can go for a quick run, have a surf or go for a long walk and listen to an inspiring podcast, I’m good.
7. What does beauty mean to you?
Beauty is nature, beauty is the 60-something year old lady I saw in the surf this morning with wrinkly eyes and a big smile, beauty is the laugh of my boys, beauty is the storm that’s rolling in. Beauty is everywhere- corny but true.
8. What is your skincare philosophy & routine? & any thoughts on natural beauty products.
Skincare should (almost) be edible and natural beauty products are a non-negotiable. The commercial beauty industry is an absolute disaster- perfect images of perfect looking photoshopped humans, with products full of endocrine disrupting chemicals that should be banned in all countries, with profit as the main goal. Blerrr. There are enough amazing small-scale honest brands out there that we don’t need to even go there.
9. Your Instagram is a goldmine of beautiful natural remedies and recipes. Do you have a favourite that you would like to share?.
Oh thankyou. The easiest most versatile staple I think is an infused Calendula oil. Calendula is the ultimate skin healer, so soothing and a really great all-rounder for sensitive skin, rashes, irritations, cuts, scrapes. With the infused oil you can turn this into a balm by adding beeswax. I have a Calendula balm highlight on my Instagram, or if anyone is interested in making herbal products I really love the herbalist Rosemary Gladstar.
Basically all you need is a jar, dried calendula flowers and an oil of choice- olive oil, sweet almond oil or hemp seed oil are beautiful. Fill the jar with flowers, cover in oil, leave on the window sill to infuse for a few weeks or more. Strain. Wallah. So easy.
*Images of Amanda and her family used with permission and taken by Lisa Sorgini