Healthy Harvest Natural Foods, located in beautiful Brevard NC, is a locally owned and operated Health Food store. In business since 1998, Healthy Harvest owner Stella Godwin delights in the fact that every day is a new and exciting adventure in the local and organic foods business. Healthy Harvest has as its motto, “Healthy Harvest—Where living organically is cause for celebration!” and it shows.
“We are seeing many more local organic farms in recent years and that is very exciting!” says Godwin. Walking into Healthy Harvest one can feel the enthusiasm of the owner, the staff and fellow shoppers. The décor is bright and cheerful and helping customers is simply part of what they love to do.
Conversations of the customers are gleeful and light, as it is an environment that fosters well-being. At first glance, you see a beautiful small local grocery, but as you look deeper, you’ll see thousands of items from coconut aminos to sunflower lecithin. An even deeper look reveals an integrity that speaks for itself. Some of the products here are bulk dried fruits, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. Many if not all bulk herbs and spices are organic and fair-trade certified. “We purchase organic when organic is available, and when it’s not available, we write companies and ask them to go organic so that we can buy from them,” says Stella. “It is that important to us. Oh, and how many phone calls and emails we have sent to companies, especially the companies who specialize in gluten-free foods, to also use non-GMO ingredients. It’s a task, but also exciting that more and more companies are now non-GMO verified, though we’d still like to see more organic in this sector of the industry. We’ll keep asking!” Stella smiles: “You do too!”
Healthy Harvest carries locally milled, certified organic whole wheat and spelt flours as well as certified organic corn mill and corn grits. The store also offers healthy lifestyle books from how to make your own baby food to encyclopedic reference books on herbs and vitamins. They carry a wide array of essential oils, diffusers, artful and inspirational greeting cards; a plethora of dietary supplements including locally produced Gaia Herbs herbal supplements. And much more: from locally made kombucha, to beeswax candles produced in small batches using solar energy, to locally-made goat’s milk soaps, to locally made grab n’ go vegetarian lunch wraps and vegan fresh baked cookies. There is a small but mighty produce section and all of their produce is organic since Healthy Harvest is dedicated to carrying only organic produce.
Stella says with enthusiasm, “Here in Transylvania County, we have two certified organic local farms that we source from. We choose to carry only organic produce because to be certified organic a food must be grown from non-GMO seeds, be grown with no petro-chemical based fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. This is a health food store, we promote health. From our viewpoint, petro-chemicals on or in our food isn’t what we’d call healthy. To us, what is healthy is food definitely grown without the use of toxic chemicals, but what is ideal is food grown in a diverse manner, bio-dynamically, organically, and with the use of companion planting. For example, carrots grow well with tomatoes!”
“There is a holistic approach to the way in which we eat and live. That approach extends out to our gardens, our families and our community. It is good to nurture oneself; it is also of significance to nurture one’s surroundings. We do our best to do that in our community,” Stella continues. “In regard to gardening and farming, remineralization of overworked soil is important to us too, so that our fruits and veggies aren’t devoid of vital minerals. We’d like to encourage the remineralization of farmland.”
Stella does this on her own farm, and feels that by doing so she is helping to not only heal herself, but to also heal the land. “We want our food to be not only non-toxic but to also be nutritious, to be grown and cared for in a healthy and nurturing manner in healthy soils. Picture a farm full of ladybugs, butterflies, marigolds and diversity. This is what we encourage, and with our energies and pocketbooks, it is what we support.”
Healthy Harvest sources from Transylvania County organic farms, Pitch Pine Farm and Holly Hill Farm, both certified organic and local farms. Healthy Harvest also sources local eggs and sausage from Calee’s Coops; local honey and beef from Busy Bee Farm; as well as local eggs from Blue Firefly Farm where chickens are fed a non-GMO and soy-free feed.
“We love to support good vibe local farms and producers,” says Godwin. “They are doing amazing work to make our communities sustainable and viable and it is not only an honor to support our friends and neighbors in this respect, it is also a pleasure! We are all in this together and that is what a healthy community is all about.”
Healthy Harvest is located in Brevard North Carolina at 29 West French Broad St. in the French Broad Place.