Wild Harvest


The Year Around

I try to engage with every transition. Sunrise, Sunset, the Moon, the Stars, The earth: the above and the below ground. But I am here on the ground observing. Sometimes time flies by but usually I have that little bit of awareness to slow it down and notice – notice the sky, the winter cattails, and that silver falcon I can’t seem to name. To notice the trees with their sliver slicing against the sky in all apparent states. And there are so many of them, different- but all together, providing so many different things and taking what they need and giving when they can. This is how I thrive in the crunch times, the whorling effect of all the things going on around, The effects of the common upon my triggers and the negative self talk I raised myself on. This is what I aim to do, Day in and day out, night in and night out, being present The Year Around. Asking for guidance and sharing, This week saw a transitioning season that brings a run of abundance. You need to be there physically to participate by emptying the buckets of sweet sap and plucking the full buds of sticky aromatic resin in the cold before their metamorphic change into leaves. I can only strive to be as transformational as this.

I offer aromatherapy and botanical infusions to others in hopes that they help anyone through the day, stay on track, rest, remain positive and hopeful, and thrive in joy. Aroma is an amazing transformation in itself, both as it arrives from the plant and as it enters your body and affects the 1 trillion scent receptors located all over and in the body. https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20130710-how-our-organs-sniff-out-smells

I try to share with you the nature that has been shared with me and hope that you can use it to ease discomfort, lighten the load, and heighten the experience of joy. Many of us, for various reasons, experience a constantly overstimulated nervous system and soothing the receptors through Aroma and the senses, we can find our own paths through the forest.

Balsam Poplar
Balsam Poplar buds at dusk
Balsam Poplar Buds at dusk 3/2020
Balsam Poplar Buds at dusk 3/2020
Balsam Poplar and St. Johnswort Oil
Balsam Poplar and St. Johnswort Oils
Clary Sage overwintering
Clary Sage overwintering in the double greenhouse
Rose Geraniums, Passionflower, Clary Sage
Rose Geraniums, Passionflower, Thyme, and Clary Sage overwintering in the pump house at 6-8 degrees Celsius.
Maple bucket at sunset
Maple bucket at sunset

Fir Distillations

Regular market season has come to a close, and now we have begun distilling evergreens for new products for winter markets.

This week we are distilling 2 Fir species: Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea) and Fraser Fir (Abies fraseri). The plant material is from local trees, provided to us by the Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm.

Fresh cut Balsam and Fraser Fir (Abies balsamea & Abies fraseri)
Filling the 5-liter distillation bubble

Firs are strongly aromatic, with a complex chemical profile in the stems and needles. Essential oils of several fir species have been extensively researched for their medicinal properties. Some representative studies can be found here and here. Needless to say, distilling the plant material fills the house with the most sublime, uplifting aromatherapy one could ask for.

This round of distillations yielded record amounts of essential oils:

Fir essential oil accumulating in the separator

Some of the essential oils we get from the ongoing distillations will be used in a new batch of our Winter Woods Salve. The hydrosols and the remainder of the essential oils are the main ingredients of a brand new room spray that I am currently formulating. Both products will be sold at Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm this season, and as always we will be selling Winter Woods Salve along with many other unique products at the upcoming Winter markets.

Fir Room Spray, blended and bottled!

Balsam Poplar

Balsam Poplar buds

Sticky and aromatic Balsam Poplar buds

Young Balsam Poplars

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.


Almonte Farmers’ Christmas Market December 8th and Cheerfully Made Saves Christmas December 21-22!

Yay!  The time is here for Holiday Markets and I have some extra special items to make everything smell and feel good!!

The Almonte Farmer’s Christmas Market is this Saturday, December 8th  from 9-2 at the Almonte Community Centre.

Special Holiday Gifts: Lotion Bars, Frankincense, and Diffuser blends

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!

Ancient Gifts Salve
Ancient Gifts Salve: Frankincense, Myrrh, and Cinnamon Bark

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.

frankincense, Myrrh, and Cinnamon bark
Frankincense, Myrrh, and Cinnamon bark
Almonte Farmers Harvest Market, November 10, 2018
Almonte Farmers Harvest Market, November 10, 2018
Cheerfully Made Saves Christmas



Winter Woods Salve for the Cedar Hill Christmas Tree Farm

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.

Cedar essential oil and hydrosol

My Winter Woods Salve is made using Canadian spruce resin dissolved in safflower oil, with added essential oils, many of which are from our own distillations, in a base of beeswax. Apply it to the neck and chest area for a cooling decongestant effect.

Winter Woods Salve

Winter Woods Salves – just poured and now cooling!

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.

Cedar

Eastern White Cedar, ready for distillation