Steam distilling thuja today. A gift from a gardener who was pulling out the tree. 20 kg in the column another 20 tomorrow.
The conifer has delightful Grey blue fruits that Emerge from the growing tips.
60 ml of high quality essential oil and 20 litres of fresh hydrosol.
The Copper Alembic. She works so well on spring days when the winds change and the clouds roll by.
Eucalyptus Albida is often used in floristry for its colourful leaves. Bronze,coppers,oranges and hints of blues.when my neighbours asked me to distill the leaves to see what we get, I was happy to try and what has resulted is the most gentle of Eucalyptus oils with a magical, mystical, mythical blue colour.
Now most essential oils that are blue have chamazulene in them and as it turns out so has this. It may be that this is a perfect reaction to the copper alembic still but who cares? Certainly not I and my neighbors are over the moon.
This magnificent essential oil is unheard of. As with many Australia n plants very little research has been done on their essential oil properties.
I am so excited about next Saturday The 24th Feb.
A brilliant end of summer distillation class is in the making. What to distill? Old Man Weed (Centipede Cunninhamii) or Redgum (Eucalyptus Camaldulensis).
Our big copper alembic still will fire into action and we will put the hand harvested plants in the column and delight in the company waiting for the essential oil to be produced.
The guests are gathering their goodies and I am shining the copper.
See you there.
If anyone is interested in learning about distilling plants for essential oils and floral waters just hop onto Airbnb Experiences and find Distilling Australian Essential Oils.
Hope to see you here sometime.
The spring blossoming of the orange trees was out of kilter this year. Where I normally harvest over 350 kilos of flowers this season gave us only 60kilos. It may have been the severe winter frosts or it may be other more insipid factors related to climate change, who knows? Certainly not I.
So it was a delight to move over to harvesting the leaves of the orange trees and to create the most delightful and happy, bright and sharp sweet orange leaf petitgrain.
Friends have arrived for the harvest and have adapted to the change of plan readily. Cath and Ricardo have been methodical in their harvest techniques and so far have over 40 kilos of leaf for the still.
We are in the middle of the distilling days with an aim for at least 100ml. So far we have produced 6o ml.
Now this may sound like a piddly amount to those not in the know. But here on the farm we are happy with the ratio of 2% per kilo of leaf. This is a far cry from the 0.9% obtained from the flowers of the citrus tree.
In other words from 1 kilo of leaf we can get 2ml of petitgrain oil whereas from 1 kilo of flowers we can get 0.9ml of neroli oil.
Petitgrain can be used in so many ways for general health and well being. From assisting dry skin,and oily hair to helping ease palpitations, indigestion, helps insomnia and mental fatigue and helps improve muscle tone. Isnt this marvelous from a leaf?
We have produced 15 litres of hydrosol and of course this is a loving bonus and the extra gift we recieve when distilling for essential oils. In the bath a cupful is sublime, frozen in ice cubes it is divine in a gin and tonic,spritzed onto the body it acts as a deodorant, nerve tonic and general feel good water.
After a shower give yourself a light spritz of petitgrain hydrosol to brighten your senses.
Thanks Ann for reminding me to write this.
Life on the Murray River is always full of change and challenge.
Just as the orange blossoms were ready for harvesting, the full moon and the Murray River flooding collided in our landscape.
Wet, windy weather and the flood waters peaking at the levy banks led to a rush of activity. Moving from harvest to home to farm and flowers.
But as we all know, these things pass and we are now distilling the orange blossoms.
Over 250 kilos of blossoms harvested, picked by hand and the trees gently tapped with digging sticks, the flowers fall onto the large cloths that we place under each tree.
So far we have 140 litres of sumptous floral waters and 120 ml of neroli essential oil.
This sounds like not a lot. True it isnt. But when we harvest one of the most precious essential oils on the planet it takes patience, time, skill and a happy frame of mind to entice the essence of the blossom into the bottle.
Each flower is hand picked, and then sorted so that there are no leaves, sticks, twigs, bugs or beetles. Then the blossoms are placed in the still. The making of steam takes hours.
The blossom are saturated with the steam and the molecules of oil attach to the steam. From here the steam travels into a condenser that cools the steam back into water. The oils float on top and are seperated.
A big job but Oh so worth it. For 14 days now we have been distilling the blossoms. Each day picking 20 - 30 kilos, sorting, and making oil. Smelling the neroli oil day in and day out certainly makes me feel relaxed.
The blossom season is nearly over until next Spring when the orange blossoms flower once again.
Happy flowers make happy essential oils.
July on the Murray River saw glorious rains for the first time since who knows when. The turtles came out to lay eggs, the rivers were topped up and the little plant known as Old Man Weed (Centipede Cunninhamii) perked up and stands taller on the edges of the water. Nearly time to harvest the plant and put it through the Alembic Still.
Drove 7 hours to deliver the Eucalyptus Dives to the hand crafted copper still. She is in and about to release her character.