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Recipes: Local

When feeling out of balance, stressed, run down and weak or even ill, we can often revitalize ourselves and restore our mental and physical well being and vitality by re-synchronizing our life with the rhythms of nature.

When we create our incense, or prepare our foods, using locally grown organic or ethically wild-harvested seasonal ingredients, and when we take the time to appreciate and enjoy them, we harmonize the pulse of our minds and bodies with the heartbeat of our local natural environment.

Locally grown ingredients provide the freshest source of aromatic herbs, flowers, spices, and even resins to use in our incense. They're fresh so they're richer in the precious volatile oils that give them not only their fragrance but also their healing and energetic properties.

It's good for our planet too! Using local ingredients decreases the amount of goods that need to be shipped in from somewhere else so less aromatics are overharvested, less fuel is consumed, less exhaust is emitted, less packaging used, less waste created, etc.

Another key reason for using local ingredients is that by doing so we support and strengthen our local community, its farmers, and its economy.

Organic farmers love their lands, the plants they grow, and the people they feed. They're usually very interesting people who love to talk about plants, and any fragrant ones they may be growing or could grow for you to use as incense. Seeking them out is a great aromatic adventure and we've met some truly wonderful people this way.

Your local farmers market is a good place to start. Talk to the farmers and share your interests. Ask if they grow any plants whose parts are aromatic: either its leaves, flowers, or roots? Perhaps they would grow a couple of new plants for you or help you grow them yourself?  You get the idea...

For organic foods, check to see if any of them also belong to a CSA (Community Support Agriculture) or Organic Food Cooperative. CSA's and Organic Food Cooperatives offer scheduled deliveries of local foods from a group of local growers in order to offer a more diverse selection of organic foods with each delivery.

State and Federal Parks and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issue seasonal permits to allow harvesting of tree resins and wild herbs on public lands, check with your local and National Parks Dept., Forest Service, or BLM for more information.

Grow Your Own...

Growing your own ingredients is great fun and further deepens one's connection to the incense. Many ingredients can be grown in a pot by a kitchen window, on a patio, or in your garden. Here's just a few ingredients that you can grow yourself, depending upon your region, etc.:

Basil
Carnation
Catnip
Chamomile
Coriander
Dill
Eucalyptus
Gardenia
Geranium
Grapes/Raisins
Hibiscus
Hyacinth
Jasmine
Lavender
Lemon Balm
Lemongrass
Lemon Peel
Marjoram
Mistletoe
Mugwort
Nettle
Orange Peel
Peppermint
Plumeria
Rose
Rosemary
Sage - desert
Sage - white
Spearmint
Sweetgrass
Sweet Pea
Thyme
Valerian
Violet
Wintergreen

*Fresh Spring blossoms from flowers or fruit trees are a wonderfully aromatic addition to any incense recipe!

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