Distilling Organically Grown Lavandin and Lavender in Oregon
Robert Seidel, President of The Essential Oil Company. Robert has been traveling the State of Oregon and setting up his distiller on farms throughout the state.
The first stop was a Lavender Festival at Mountainside Lavender in Scholls, Oregon. The distiller was set up to demonstrate to the many visitors during the festival how Lavender and Lavandin are distilled in order to extract the essential oil. Mountainside Lavender is a small family-run farm nestled in the hillside of Chehalem Mountain in the community of Scholls, Oregon. With over 1200 lavender plants representing 13 varieties of both French and English lavenders in several colors (white, pink and shades of purple). Mountainside Lavender offers U-pick during the season.
The next stop was Sandy, Oregon to the Art Farm of JD Higdon. JD has grown Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) from seed. His rows are filled with "population lavender". This type of growth is rich with genetic diversity, resulting in an exquisite essential oil. Aside from growing Lavender, JD is a metal artist and inventor, creating unusual and functional machinery from recycled components.
After leaving JD's "Lavender Art Farm". Robert headed south to Lavender Hill Farm, Oregon's largest Organic (uncertified) Lavender Estate, located in the mountains just north of the California border. Surrounded by National Forest, Lavender Hill Farm is a beautiful and peaceful setting for growing and distilling Lavandin. The thick rows of Lavandin are arranged on a gentle slope, the arrangement is designed for erosion control and water conservation. Its southern exposure ensures the Lavandin will get full sunlight during the growing season. Organic growing techniques are employed.
After a few very hot days in southern Oregon, the Guerilla Distiller headed north to Hood River. Hood River Lavender is located in the shadow of Mt Hood, in the Hood River Valley. Known for its Apples, Peaches and Pears the valley is now home to a well groomed lavender farm, complete with Lavender products and U-pick. Robert distilled for a week on a hillside just above the Hood River.
Inquiries from those interested in having their own distillation equipment are welcome. Contact The Essential Oil Company 1(800)-729-5912 or email email@example.com . Each distiller is custom manufactured.
|Our distiller is set up and ready to go at Lavender Hill Farm||Lavender Hill is a beautiful farm in southern Oregon||All of the Lavandin grown here is grown organically and harvested by hand|
|The rows of Lavandin are thick and attractively laid out on a gentle slope||Long stalks are cut with a hedge trimmer and gathered up by the hard working crew||A nice bundle of freshly cut Grosso Long stems and large flower heads|
|The Lavandin is piled into a pickup truck to be taken to the distiller||Our Trailer Distiller is easily towed by a Ford Explorer||Mt Hood towers above the countryside of the Hood River Valley and Hood River Lavender|
|Our distiller set up is an occasionally shady spot. Quite welcome during the hot days of July||Hood River Lavender has an acre of Lavandin, nourished by the waters of the Hood River||The Lavandin is arranged in neat rows with adequate distance between plants to permit exceptional growth.|
|Distilling Lavender at JD Higdon's Lavender Art Farm||JD is a metal artist and inventor||JD's Lavender is "population lavender", grown from seed with lots of genetic diversity|
|JD designed his Lavender harvester from recycled components||JD lines up his Lavender harvester at the beginning of the row||Chuck and JD get ready to cut a row|
|Each fifty foot row takes about 2 minutes to cut||Lavender flowers are fed into the cutter||The rows before and after cutting|
|The cut Lavender is brought to the distiller||Making certain the height of the cutting blade is properly set||It's quite a contraption and works like a charm|
|JD is proud of his efforts and the contraption he's designed.||Lavender flowers being loaded into the distiller||
Once the Lavender flowers are inside the distiller, it must be packed tightly
|After distillation the spent plant material is removed from the distiller||It's steamy work on a hot day, but it's worth it||
The distiller holds about 200 pounds of raw material per batch
Empty and waiting to be reloaded
|Prototype copper separator undergoing testing before production.||This beautiful essential oil separator can be used with almost any distillation apparatus.|