Wild Harvest


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


Yoga Mat Spray and a little info about Hydrosols

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

Eastern White Pine

Eastern White Pine growing near me.

Pine and Thyme co-distillation

Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus )and Lemon Thyme (Thymus citriodorus)

Arnica Montana

Arnica Montana just waiting to burst with the first rays of a full sunny day!

Tulsi / Holy Basil

Tulsi / Holy Basil or
Ocimum tenuiflorum (synonym Ocimum sanctum) These little babies will be for sale this weekend!