Tuesday, September 15, 2009

More from Boonville

Continuing (last night the hotel's wireless network crashed.) When we left Anne's shop, Wayne was nice enough to take us on a brief tour of his organic Christmas tree farm... Starr Pine Farms. I have to admit I rather ignored the trees...although the air was filled with the aroma of Scotch Pine. My fascination was with Anne's organic herbs, from which they distill some of our Hydrosols.

Now, it's mid September, far past peak season for most of the herbs Anne raises. But we saw an amazing Vitex tree. HUGE. Past huge. And feathery and delicate at the same time.

Wayne said that one of Anni's most popular hydrosols is the organic Melissa, and she has lots of it. It's late in the season so the plants are not at their best, but they were still bright, fresh and aromatic, although the weeds were really fighting for space.
I love the aroma (and taste) of Melissa, and nibbled on a few leaves while trying to frame these shots.

What was really exciting was the view of the working still ... Now many of us have seen "kitchen" or Stovetop stills, and we've seen the fancy copper stills offered online. Works of art. But wonderful hydrosols (and oils!) can be produced by homemade equipment. The round container with the curved top hold the hot water... the botanical material is held in the square metal 'box' on top, with steam being forced up through the plant material, and exiting through the pipe on top... the steam runs through the long pipe in the picture below...you can just make out the copper coil at the very end, (during an actual distillation it would be chilled...I forgot to ask Wayne how!) from which the aromatic water and the droplets of essential oil exit into their container.

I can't describe how lovely the setting was... but this single shot, from Anne and Wayne's front yard, might give some idea of the peace that surrounds them. My thanks to the Harmon's for giving us such a wonderful start to our journey.

1 comment:

matildapussycat said...

I look forward to your post so much and reall, really loved this one.

If you ever do a blog on rosacea I would loved to give you my input. I am in my late 30s and have suffered since I was a teenager and essential oil and carriers really are a God send for me.