Frankly Speaking Friday

As you have probably already surmised, I love organic ingredients. The problem is that everything is very expensive these days, and organic choices are even more than their regular counterparts. This is true with food, as well as the herbs and essential oils that are needed for cosmetic/beauty ingredients. Just to give you an idea, a regular lavender essential oil (lavandula angustifolia) runs about $8.00 per ounce, while the organic one is $10-$12 per ounce. This is one reason why I maintained such a large garden at my old house. Actually, having that large garden with so much lavender in it was how/why I got started making Unique Garden Essences products, but I won't bore you with that story again. If you want to read it, you can go here.
At any rate, no matter how you look at it, living, especially trying to live healthily, costs us mo' money. So the question then becomes, how do we combat this? Well, I scrimp, save, utilize coupons and the price matching policies, and whatever else I can do for myself, rather than purchasing things that are full price. To this end, I shop sales, buy Christmas gifts in the summer, buy birthday gifts after Christmas, and of course I get up at unGodly hours to get the black Friday prices for special items.
In the food and herb department, I can, I freeze and I dehydrate a LOT of herbs, fruits and vegetables. It's amazing, because when I was young, I hated working in the garden. To me, it was not good tasting food, it was just the thing(s) that kept me home working instead of away and out riding, so I was quite resentful. And helping Mom during canning season was an even bigger pain in my hiney! Now, however, I feel privileged to have been exposed to that way of life, and I find myself wishing that I had the time and the ability to do more. But I don't, so I try do what I can.
If I need some herb that I no longer grow, first I try to find a friend that has it. If that fails, (during the spring and summer) I may purchase it from the Farmer's market or, when it is not available from the farmer's market, I buy it [fresh] in the organic section of the local warehouse type store, or the local superstore. I purchase it fresh so that I know it is organic and grown without pesticide usage. When cooking I prefer fresh, but I dehydrate the leftovers for later use. Actually, so that I will have plenty in the winter, I dehydrate the majority of my summer, outside crops. Even my year-round, indoor harvests are frequently found in the dehydrator, as I hate spoilage as much as I hate running out of things, so I like to make sure that I have a lot stored. Of course I like to use recycled containers for that storage. The drink mix containers are excellent for storing dried herbs. *They should be airtight and out of sunlight.
I have a wonderful dehydrator, with seven different layers/shelves. I use it to dehydrate fruit to eat as chips, except bananas, for some reason my bananas never come out right!, And also to grind and use in scrubs. I dehydrate herbs for teas, both the bath and the drinking kind, for poultices, for cooking, and for various skin & beauty product recipes. The dehydrator is a great tool to have. While I generally only dry one product at a time, I do mix them when I have small batches and when I know that the scents will work well together. Some of my favorite blends are lavender and sage, lavender and rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus, and any citrus with sage, chamomile, rosemary or eucalyptus. The aroma waifing throughout the house when the dehydrator is in use is like a large potpourri stewing or several of those scent plug in deals! The only smell that I wasn't that crazy about, was the venison smell when my Son used the dehydrator to make his jerky,.....but generally speaking, the scents that fill your home are great!
dried & ground orange peel, dried sage, rosemary, and eucalyptus.

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