Leaves are carpeting the lawn quickly now, and Mainers are more likely to spend weekends with a rake in their hand, dealing with fall cleanup chores, than walking a chilly beach. But there’s a price to be paid for all of this industriousness, and we don’t mean missing the next Patriots game.

1094334_940095 Comfort-pack.jpgSore muscles and creaky bones need soothing before bedtime, and heat/cold therapy packs can help. (Maybe that’s why you see so many of them at fall crafts fairs.) Julia DiStefano’s version is made in her shop, The Chickadee’s Nest in Farmington, and stuffed with dried corn and dried herbs grown on her own farm. She makes three varieties that sell for $18 each: lavender, lemongrass and eucalyptus. Each “Comfort Pack” comes in the color of the herb that’s inside.

DiStefano has been growing and wild-gathering herbs and flowers for 20 years. She sold dried flower wreaths until the popularity of craft wreaths began to fizzle. Now she’s making a lot more bath and body products.

“Now people are more conscious of what they’re putting on their body,” she said.

The Comfort Packs have different properties, depending on which herb is inside, DiStefano said. Lavender is calm and relaxing; lemongrass is uplifting; and eucalyptus is more medicinal, “really good for sore muscles.” The packs can be heated in the microwave, or tossed into the freezer.

DiStefano sells them at craft fairs and farmers markets, but the easiest way to purchase one is through The Chickadee’s Nest website, thechickadeesnest.com.

Happy raking.

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