By Madison Jackson
On Wednesday afternoons under the shade of the south pavilion in High Rock Park, you can find Janine Stockin, also known as Jai, owner of Nine Pine Soup & Design, behind a table of thoughtfully displayed products.
Pine cones adorn a table with jars of white pine needles, teas, and oils. Homemade soup broth gently steams nearby. Tree branches, carefully woven with colorful yarn, are placed around the space. The art of decorating these branches is known as Ojo de Dios or God’s Eye; a traditional Mexican craft that symbolizes peace, protection, and prosperity. Jai handmakes each piece in various sizes and colors meant to inspire meditation and a sense of calmness.
The main focus of her business is the needles of the white pine tree, a conifer traditionally used for lumber and sap. In this case, Jai uses the pine needles to brew tea and oils rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Jai sought a spot as a vendor with the Saratoga Farmers’ Market to share the many benefits of white pine needles with the community. She has been studying plants since age 14 and pursued an education, earning a degree in Botany and Earth Science. In January 2019, Jai became inspired by information on white pine from well-known herbalists like Susan Weed and Dina Falconi.
White pine has a rich history with Iroquois roots and is known as the “Tree of Peace” for helping to end a conflict between the Five Nations. White pine needles are rich in compounds linked to better health, and, historically, they have had many uses as natural remedies. They are high in antioxidants, Vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
Jai makes a healing massage oil infused with white pine oil and almond oil, which deeply conditions the skin. She notes the uplifting aromatherapy of the tea and oil, which soothes and nourishes the body. Jai also makes white pine broth and white pine iced tea.
Stop by the Wednesday market to speak with Jai about her products and sample her fresh white pine needle tea and broth. For more information on her products, contact Jai at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s recipe: Pine Needle Vegetarian Broth