Last week we picked up 50 litres of local Olive Oil, & with a few lovely days we have been able to make a start on the herbal macerations we need to make at this time of year. We have a lot of 3 & 4 litre glass bottles which we fill with various flowers, steeped in Olive oil. These stay out in the elements for about 6 weeks, this is called cold maceration. Although in fact the jars can get quite hot in the sun.We have started jars of Calendula & Elderflowers, & we’re also drying some Elderflowers for back up.

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The Crampbark is just in flower. this is Viburnum opulus, a relative of the Snowball Tree, but fertile. We picked a number of straight young branches, peeled the bark off & simmered it in water for some time. It has a strange smell, like Broadbeans, but more pungent. This liquid we process so that we eventually end up with all the goodies in Olive Oil. Crampbark is a great muscle relaxant, so we use it in our Liniment recipe. We’re thinking about making a soothing rub for menstrual cramps, but not sure if there’s much of a demand though.

We have made the first batch of Shaving Balm, & we’re very pleased with the result. A lovely smooth cream, not too oily, with a light fragrance of Lemon grass & other essential oils. The main component is Elderflower Oil, which is very soothing. Once we get a label designed we can add it to our website.

The other oils we’are processing at the moment are Titoki & Tarata, or Lemonwood, which go into our insect repellant, & Plantain which is a great remedy for itchy bites, & itching in general.

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