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.