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We Would Love Your Vote

We are so blessed to be nominated for another award.

This one is from Business Australia recognising businesses that have been affected by this years drought, fire, floods, and covid, though against the odds are still in business.

We are so appreciative for being featured in our efforts and hope to inspire others who are struggling. Together in business, we can succeed.

Pop on over to vote for us “Saarinen Organics“.

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A Win For Us


Wow, what an amazing 4 months we have had.

Gregg and I were lucky enough to be accepted into the iAccelerate program that is run by the University of Wollongong through the Bega Valley Innovation Hub.

Only 7 businesses were accepted into the program so we were over the moon. It was a very intensive business course, we were overwhelmed most of the time though with support we got a lot out of it.

At the end of the course we all had to pitch our business plan to a panel of university judges and the Mayor of Bega.

It was a great honour to have been named the winners of an innovative business for the Bega Valley. WOOHOO! We also took out second place in people’s choice.

We are so humbled and now opportunities are flying in the door as we start to develop our business plan that involves many new and exciting things.

Stay tuned as we start to roll them out and we will let you all know.

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Sea Change Meets Tree Change


Sea change meets tree change.

Click on the link below to view our lovely video together.

Kay Saarinen and Jo Lane are playing with seaweed and it’s paying off for both of them.
The two women have formed a business partnership based on the principles of permaculture:
local, sustainable, and natural.

Kay is the founder and creator of Saarinen Organics, a skincare range that uses organic Australian
ingredients and Jo is a marine biologist who owns and runs Sea Health Products, a business that
turns wild-harvested Golden Kelp into nutraceuticals.

Jo’s seaweed story began when she processed a fisheries permit for Scott Long, the son of Betty
Long, the woman who pioneered the Australian seaweed industry. It piqued Jo’s interest and when
Scott put the business up for sale, she took the plunge and bought it.

That was four years ago. Today she harvests kelp, washes it in rainwater, dries it in the sun on
racks, and then turns it into powder or granules that can be added to smoothies, salads and taken
as a dietary supplement. She has recently started experimenting with smoked seafood flakes
that have more flavour than her standard product.

Having recently won a Churchill Fellowship, Jo is about to travel to Korea for the International
Seaweed Symposium where she will visit some of the largest seaweed farms in the world. Her
plan is to learn more about ocean farming so that she can look at implementing these aquaculture
techniques in Australia. She is currently testing seaweed propagation methods with the help of the
local university.

The benefits of farming seaweed are not just about ensuring a reliable supply of kelp for her
business. Thriving kelp forests improve ocean health, biodiversity, and also create a carbon

When asked what the nutritional benefits of eating seaweed are, Jo says, “Seaweed is like a
natural multivitamin and contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as
iodine that helps regulate the thyroid.”

Sea Health Products sponsors, Jack Hewish, Australian Enduro National mountain bike
champion, who uses it for muscle recovery while some of her other customers use it to treat their
arthritis and thyroid issues.

Seaweed has been used therapeutically for centuries in both Asia and Europe. Jo says there are
spas in Ireland where people bathe with seaweed.
“It’s said to be anti-ageing, antioxidant, and anti-cellulite,” she says.
The benefits don’t stop there, though.

Kay has started using Jo’s seaweed products in her skincare range. She uses the powder in a face
mask, makes a tincture from the raw product that she adds to her day cream, and uses the
granules in the coffee scrub.
Kay says that seaweed is moisturising, nourishing and has a high silica content that boosts
collagen production in the skin.
Because Kay’s products use the whole plant, they are less reactive with the skin than products that
use seaweed extracts.

Kay says that she loves working with Jo because she’s a scientist.
“I know that her information is good. She knows everything about her product—how to harvest,
when to harvest, what to harvest—her expertise guarantees the quality of the product,” she says.
“It’s a great partnership because we both have science behind us and we both believe in helping
people live healthy, sustainable lives,” says Kay.

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Great News


Wonderful news.

We have been accepted for a government grant to do a course through the University of Wollongong—iAccelerate.

A really good course to boost the exposure of small rural businesses.

Out of over 20 businesses that applied only 7 were accepted. WIN TV news was there to capture this fantastic opportunity.

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The Design Files Article — Seed To Skin Eco Skincare by Saarinen Organics


Self-Sufficient Living + Skincare At Saarinen Organics


While our regional column has to date covered the inspiring tales behind small-scale food, flower, and wool producers, this latest trip features something fresh—skincare!

We journey to Wyndham, New South Wales, to meet the family behind Saarinen Organics, the tree changers whose fortuitous shift from food production to skincare finally made their farm a viable business.

14th January 2019

In the outskirts of the small township of Wyndham, on the far south coast of New South Wales, Kay Saarinen (47) is harvesting handfuls of fresh herbs from her garden, a wide-brimmed hat protecting her from the afternoon sun. 

The property that Kay shares with her husband Gregg (54) and young daughter Gemma is an extraordinary example of self-sufficient living in our modern world.  

While the ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘sustainability’ movement in Australia has gone from niche interest to marketplace mainstream in a remarkably short time, for most of us, working on reducing our environmental footprint is a relatively new concept. 

Kay and Gregg, on the other hand, have been living this way long before the terms became popular hashtags. ‘We were into sustainable living back when it was considered weird, and only something that dirty hippies did!’ laughs Kay. 

“In my grandmother’s day, everyone used to live in a self-sufficient manner. It was common, even in suburbia, to have a veggie garden. But after the industrial revolution and supermarkets became the norm, suddenly it was very uncool to grow your own food.”

That was still the case 16 years ago when the couple made their tree change and abandoned their ‘very not environmentally friendly’ careers to pursue a life of self-sufficiency. “We were both working in two incredibly wasteful industries at the time, Gregg as a carpenter, and myself as a chef. We were both doing great, but we were spending our days working in complete opposition to our values,” says Kay. 

They decided to ‘give the dream a go’ and moved from their home in Queensland to the six-acre property in Wyndham.When we first moved here, all we had was an old caravan, a burnt-out shed, and a heck of a lot of blackberry bushes.” The couple lived in the caravan for almost five years while they built their straw bale home.  

“At the time we wanted to do absolutely everything ourselves. We actually dug up all the clay, made the mud, brought all the water and sand up from the creek. We had no power tools because we had no electricity, so it was all done by hand.” Kay describes their early years on the property as ‘extreme’ and in the end, they burnt out quickly. 

“We were keeping chickens, milking goats, making our own cheese, growing our own food. We had no running water or electricity. For a few years, we sold our fruit and vegetables locally, but it was so hard to make a decent income from that, and we had loan repayments to make!” explains Kay.I think we went too alternative too quickly and perhaps should have substituted our income rather than giving everything up all at once.”

The birth of the couple’s daughter forced them to rethink their approach.Once Gemma came along we knew we had to work something out—either we had to sell the property or find another way to make an income. It was a really difficult time for us.”

“Then when Gemma was six-months-old she got eczema. I’d been studying naturopathy at the time and reading about how to use herbs to treat different skin ailments. So I made an ointment for her and it worked beautifully.”

“I decided to make up a few different herbal creams using what I’d learned in my studies and take them to my local market. We completely sold out that first day, and after that things just started to fall into place. I continued my studies and it just grew from there.”

The Saarinen Organics eco skincare range now includes 42 products. The couple grows all the herbs on-farm and manufactures all the creams, ointments, herbal infusions, and tinctures on site. “What we can’t grow here we purchase as locally as possible, and always use certified organic to ensure the quality of our products.” 

Finally finding their calling meant the couple was able to put money back into the farm. The property now boasts two huge orchards, a large solar system, a solar bore for ample water, composting toilets, and is 100% off the grid, self-sufficient in water, electricity, heating, and food. 

They also run farm tours and host local school groups learning about permaculture.It’s fantastic that being self-sufficient isn’t a dirty word anymore. We can go to the markets and put out our sign that says “Permaculture Farm” and everyone thinks it’s wonderful. We’ve been waiting a long time for that!” beams Kay. “It’s such a beautiful thing that an eco-sustainable business has been able to help fund the kind of sustainable lifestyle we’d always dreamed of having.”

Will Work For Food is a creative partnership between writer Karen Locke photographer Honey Atkinson, who are working to elevate the importance of sustainable, ethically produced food. Find out more on their blog

Self-Sufficient Living + Skincare At Saarinen Organics

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Nicolina Bridal Trunk Show

We are so excited to be teaming up with the lovely Saarinen Organics for our Nicolina Bridal Trunk Show this Saturday!

Every bride who has an appointment will be receiving a gorgeous gift pack worth $97, just for booking!!

Saarinen Organics has been creating an All-Natural Skincare range using herbs grown on their permaculture farm at Wyndham, Sapphire Coast, since 2008.

Every one of their beautiful products is made by hand using traditional methods, helping your skin to glow naturally.

Stunning wedding gowns + luxurious skincare = the perfect way to spend a Saturday. We can’t wait!

— at Saarinen Organics..

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ABC South East Story Box Landed At Our Place



What a great program with many small rural stories out there, the story box got handed around the community for our chance to have a little chat.
When it was our turn it was 5:45 in the morning and I was thrown a bit on this one, my goodness, Trump was elected the night before and I wasn’t ready for that question!!!! lol
Thank you ABC for this.
xx KAY

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ABC Rural Came Out To Our Saarinen Organics Farm For A Radio Interview

eco-seed-to-skin-care-Kay Saarinen ABC Rural inteview

How wonderful that ABC Rural came all the way out to our permaculture farm in Wyndham to do a radio interview, in the foothills of the Bega Valley, NSW. The interviewer was so wonderful and had me at ease, chatting away. It was easier than I thought when talking from a place of truth and passion.

xx Kay