Our story of how we grew our eco-sustainable business.
My husband Gregg and I, together with our daughter Gemma, live on our 5-acre farm in our self-built straw bale home in beautiful Wyndham, located in the Bega Valley area on the NSW Far South Coast.
A life long dream finally became reality for our family—to live an eco-friendly, sustainable life and produce an income that nourishes our mind, body, and spirit and leave only a small footprint behind us.
The land we needed had to be suitable for Mediterranean herbs and also Aussie medicinal herbs. Many Mediterranean herbs need many hours of sub-zero temperatures to re-grow the next year and also a harsher environment effectively creates an abundance of flowers, which are often the main source of the herb plants used. We also needed a good water source, non contaminated by large surrounding farms though not too isolated as we still needed a strong community to be involved in.
We found our piece of paradise, situated at the foothills of the snowy plains, bordered by national parks and lush with pristine soils and creeks. This provided the perfect foundations for our family-run eco business and new home. Gregg, a qualified carpenter, and I built our straw bale home powered by a large solar system with a solar hot water and solar bore pump, complimented by a slow combustion stove for providing warm meals and hot water, minimizing our family footprint every step of the way.
Following traditional permaculture and organic practices, we grow not only organic medicinal herbs for our business, but we also farm small-scale sheep, chooks, ducks, have planted over 200 fruit, nut, and berry trees, as well as grow enough vegetables for ourselves and friends.
A bore-water irrigation system and solar powered pump work efficiently to keep our plants and animals watered year-round. We are also committed to regenerating our land for the future, with a few acres along our creek frontage under re-vegetation in conjunction with Land Care, doubling as a wildlife corridor.
At first whilst I studied herb culture, we grew organic veggies and herbs, selling locally with the goal to sell dried medicinal herbs to manufactures of skincare and also manufacture an organic food range, as I was a retired chef. When our baby girl arrived, Gemma, it quickly became apparent that she suffered from a very dry skin condition from her neck to her scalp. The doctor’s opinion was cortisone, which I refused. I researched and found calendula ointment to be a good starting point to help keep the dry skin moist. So I started studying topical naturopathy which lead me down the path to a mentorship who handed down recipes from 9 generations, and thus Saarinen Organics was born. I loved making and learning about creams and herbs, it was exciting, new and the business just grew naturally.
Now well and truly committed to our health and that of our animals, plants and land, it was time to put our knowledge, skills, and philosophies into practice with our all-natural skincare range. From the ground up and every step of the way, we ensure purity in ingredients beginning with the most basic of all, capturing all water used in our products in a food grade stainless steel rainwater tank.
Lucky for us locavore living is well and truly alive in the Bega Valley with as many ingredients as possible purchased locally if they are not already being grown at our family farm. Honey and beeswax is from Tony Bee, Lavender essential oil from Mt. Darragh Lavender, fresh chillies from Disaster Bay Chilli, to name but a few.
Having studied herb culture and a naturopath mentorship, I have taken ancient toxin-free recipes handed down through the generations and perfected them overtime to bring you the best of what nature has to offer in its purest, simplest form. All products are hand made right on the farm and kept fresh by, you guessed it, a solar passive cool room housing our products and ingredients.
Products full of integrity, hand-made with love, and with the health of both you, and the environment at the centre of it all.