Lavender Hydrosol and Essential Oil Distillation: Final Stretch!

Lavender after harvest. Quail use mounds as lookouts while supervising chicks. This is Lot Natalie. After two weeks of daily distillation, Donald is weary of it!  Still, we have at least three or four days to go.  The oil is as intense and sweet as ever, each lot number (or location) the unique essence of… Read more »

Recycling Olive Branches

Goat Waving Olive Branch (of which most is in her mouth)     Part of our goats’ diet includes prunings of olive trees, other brush, you name it!  This week they are busy at work on branches from three olive trees in our courtyard. There is a cyclical process here: the olive leaves nourish the… Read more »

Distillation is about Essence

Collecting unfilteredd lavender essential oil after distillation   Donald is distilling lavender, and it is not a process for the young! In chemist/philosopher Primo Levi’s words,  “…it is a slow, philosophic, and silent occupation, which keeps you busy but gives you time to think about other things…” a process whereby “you acquire the consciousness of… Read more »

Lavender Days

  Sunrise   Donald wakes with the slightest light in the east, makes a cup of tea, goes to the still to begin the day’s work while it is still cool. It will be hot today, and tomorrow, and the next, but it is prime distillation time. The sun rises, bumble bees still sleeping in… Read more »

Lavender Harvest: Distillation

Lavender Harvest: Distillation The moon is in Aquarius, an air (and flower) sign, and an ideal time to begin the lavender harvest for distillation. We will harvest and distill almost everyday over these next two to three weeks. The bees tell us the flowers are ready, the fields really abuzz!

Rose Geranium: Last Distillation of the Year

Rose geranium in vineyard. The slightrise on the right shaded the plants, causingfrost damage. This month we did a second distillation of rose geranium. Now we can put away the still for the winter. It was a small distillation, as this first year growing rose geranium has been a steep learning curve. For one thing,… Read more »

The Mystery of the Helichrysum

Inspecting the bloom situation. The Mystery of the Helichrysum Farming has many mysteries. Why did each helichrysum plant bloom a little in late June, some now, with most buds still unopened? At any one time, there are not enough blooms to harvest and distill. These mysteries call us up short, make us look more carefully,… Read more »

Still Distilling!

Lavender from labyrinth awaiting distillation. Still Distilling! It goes on forever, it seems!  Each morning at dawn I see Donald careening down the path in the “mule” with our two labs in the back (I am writing in my studio!) Ramon picks, Donald distills. Each load takes about 2 1/2 hours. Donald getting a little… Read more »

After the Harvest

Early morning harvest of Lot Natalie 12 for distillation.  Once a fellow lavender grower told me that when people asked him if he would buy their lavender, he replied, Do you really want me to come and cut it back just when it is its most beautiful? Usually the answer was maybe not! But that… Read more »

Distillation Event, July 7, from 8 am to 11 am.

We are almost 1/3 through distillation this year, and this Saturday, July 7, we invite you to join us. Donald will show you how we distill, and we will have special prices on our Biodynamic organic lavender essential oil and hydrosol. For this day only, our 2009 and 2010 Biodynamic organic essential oil will be 60% off… Read more »