I have been looking for this tree, Populus balsamifera. I wanted to get to know it and make an oil with some of its buds, a traditional medicine. Today I found a small stand and have permission to harvest. The trees are a bit invasive where they are and so need to be managed and smaller ones removed so we can work together, a best case scenario! So grateful.
Yay! The time is here for Holiday Markets and I have some extra special items to make everything smell and feel good!!
In addition to our regular stock, I have created really nice gift packs, sets of diffuser blends, and a new luxurious lotion bar with Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Palmarosa essential oil that is great for dry skin and excellent for cuticles!
I love working with the resins of evergreens and yesterday we hand-harvested our own Spruce resin and combined this dissolved traditional remedy with some of our own steam distilled essential oils, along with sustainably harvested fir and cedar oils to create our Winter Woods Salve, a favourite among our customers, family, and friends!
The resin of Frankincense has been a special remedy and joy for me and this year I have some extra special infusions just for the holiday markets! Ancient Gifts oil and salve are each their own unique aromatic treasure. No need for potpourri as these are rich, warming holiday treats!
Cheerfully Made Saves Christmas
Two weeks later, on December 21st and 22nd, we are very excited to participate in the Cheerfully Made Saves Christmas market at the Bell Sensplex!! Tickets for the night market on the 21st must be purchased in advance, and can be bought here. We (and many other vendors) will be offering some specials for that night only, and everyone who attends the night market will receive a tote bag and two raffle tickets.
Our neighbourhood is called Cedar Hill, and there are many Eastern White Cedars (Thuja occidentalis) all around us. Also there are Eastern white pine, spruce, and balsam fir, and we are fortunate to be able to sustainably harvest and distill needles and greenery from the various evergreen species.
Winter Woods Salve is one of my most popular products at markets, and this holiday season we are happy to say that it will be for sale at the Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm. The farm is a wonderful local business and the perfect place to find a Christmas tree, but it also features a great sledding hill, horse-drawn sleigh rides, and Cafe Claus, which always features a warm fire and delicious homemade food. Run by the Martin family, the farm is an ideal place for a day of winter fun.
June 9th at the Almonte Farmers market I will have a new hydrosol. Yoga Mat Spray is a co-distillation of wild harvested Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus )and our own organically grown Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus). As with all my hydrosol blends there are no added anythings……no added essential oils, alcohol, or stabilizers. True hydrosols are a unique product obtained through the steam distillation of various leaves, flowers, barks, needles and roots and naturally contain all the water-soluble constituents of the plants including 0.05 – 0.2 per litre of essential oils (see “Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy” by Suzanne Catty). This makes them one of the safest forms of aromatherapy and herbal medicine.
This Yoga Mat Spray combination is antiseptic, antifungal, and antimicrobial – Spray on and let dry or spray on and wipe off. Depending on your own particular mat’s specific cleaning and maintenance instructions you could even add one drop of plain organic dish soap to give a little bit of extra wash.
Of course you may have figured out that the Yoga Mat Spray can be used many places, on many surfaces, and for many other uses!!
Here you can see the cluster of White Pine that this batch of hydrosol came from
I follow a lot of different growers, herbalists and nature websites and it has been hard to see all these baskets of lovely wild greens being harvested and eaten and even flowers blooming while this is my yard – ice so thick on the bird feeder it is weighting it, activating the squirrel proof mechanism that keeps it closed. I keep chipping away at it and am putting extra out on the table.
Everyone is desperate.
The spark of spring only exists in the wood stove just now but the one in my heart is smoldering as I stand in amazement at the variety of life and am beyond thankful that I don’t have to live outside all the time. Thankful for my family, my warm bed and for my many aromatherapy blends and salves which carry me through while I wait for better weather.