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.