Hi, I am Josine Atsma and I am the Shop owner (since April 2011) and have been working in the shop since 2007.
In April 2006 me and my husband JP moved to Scotland for a more peaceful and quiet life. Before settling down in the Stirling area we did voluntary work on organic farms all over Scotland. In the isolation of Achmelvich (near Lochinver) we learned that trying to be self-sufficient is what we want to pursue.
Working in a health food shop has been the next step to try and be environmentally friendly. And of course owning a health food shop is an even bigger part of the dream. Ever since I was a teenager I have been interested in alternative remedies. I remember countless nights me hanging over a bowl with nettle tea to try and cure my teenage acne. Or when I was a student taking valerian for sleepless nights.
I have been against animal testing for a long long time and have been a member of BUAV, SSPCA, Friends of the Earth and the RSPB in both the Netherlands and Scotland.
I have tried a vegetarian diet for some years, before deciding to eat mainly vegetarian with occasionally organic meat or game. My husband and I always cook from scratch and we have tried various "foreign" foods, like couscous, quinoa and kamut. Being self-sufficient means we grow our own vegetables at our home in Glendevon, making our own bread, jams, wines, beer, biscuits, sauerkraut and pickles.We've got a fluctuating number of chickens, ranging from 4 to 23 (!) for a supply of fresh eggs and meat. I am a big advocate of seasonal eating and have created a recipe book based on the seasons.
I write a monthly newsletter for the shop in which I blog about my garden and forementioned chickens.
I have got a certificate in A. Vogel's herbal supplements, Nature's Aid training course and a HFI Health Food Institute Diploma. I've also got a Food Hygiene Certificate. I am currently studying for a degree in Natural Sciences with the Open University.
So, if you got any questions about homebrewing, cooking or alternative remedies just ask me or any other member of staff.