Category: Workshops

Alembic Stills

We had a great workshop on Sunday with Jill & Charlie from Alembic Stills.  We distilled alcohol from home made wine, Charlie’s new plum wine & our very old crabapple & date wine. The latter was very dry & was transformed into a delicious Brandy, which came out at 60% alcohol, & was then diluted down. I’m so glad we hadn’t thrown it away. This means we can turn our spray-free fruit & organic sugar into alcohol we can use to make tinctures, very exciting.

pot-luck-lunch-1 beautiful-stills-1 high-tech-bung-1 rosemary-hydrosol-1

Jill arrived with a huge basket full of Rosemary, which she pulled off the twigs. We processed this two ways, into a Hydrosol & also using steam distillation, by adding an extra piece to the neck, called a column, this has a grid in it, where the leaves sit. This gave us a seperated  mix of hydrosol & a tiny bit of essential oil.  We also made Clary & White Sage hydrosols, the White Sage is divine, really clean & pungent.

Geoff & I got a 5.5L Alembic Still with an onion head & we are excited at the new possibilities for working with our herbs & also making extracts we can add to our ointments. Of course there are all sorts of details & precautions to take , to get just the right results. First thing we have to do is to clean it with a rye flour slurry & then we can get going.

If you are interested in attending a workshop, contact Charlie & Jill at

This Season’s Workshops:

The April Workshop is pretty much full up now, & there are a few spaces for next Saturday’s ‘Harvest’ Workshop if you are interested. See info below…

‘Hands On’ Workshops

*Get together with a group of like-minded people to savour the delights of the seasonal garden.

*Notes will be provided with each workshop.

*You will be able to take home samples of the things we make together.

*Millstream will provide you with a herb themed meal or morning tea, depending on the workshop.

We aim to cover information on:

Growing Herbs

Using Herbs in the kitchen.

How to make basic medicinal preparations using herbs & weeds from the garden.

Propagation techniques.

Steps towards an organic garden.

Late Summer: Harvest time

Saturday  27th Feb  9.30am-2.30pm 10-12 people $65.00

Harvesting & using herbs for coughs & colds. We’ll dig up Elecampagne roots & make a cough syrup, make Blackberry Rob, & look at herbs that can be made into soothing teas. We’ll also cook up some chilli sauce, & make Pesto. Of course you get to take home a little of each, & we’ll provide notes & recipes.

We’ll have a walk around the Herb & Vege garden & talk about what happens next, what to plant for the Winter.

We’ll provide morning tea, & hot drinks at lunchtime, B.Y.O lunch to share, bring a few small jars, & bottles so you can take home samples. Again if you have any herbs you’d like identified, bring them along.

Herbal First Aid:

Sat 10th April  9.30am-2.30pm 10 people $65.00 each

Introduction to a number of very useful plants, both herb & ‘weeds’ & their uses, a walk around our herb garden, & wilder places.

We’ll be making herbal infusions,a poultice, tincture, macerated oils, & basic herbal cream, & melt & pour glycerine herbal soap. You get to take home, a bar of soap, pot of cream along with samples of some of the other things we are making.

How to dry & store herb leaves & seeds,

B.Y.O. lunch to share , we will provide morning tea, & hot drinks at lunchtime,

also any plants you’d like identified.

If you are interested in attending any of these workshops, or would like to be kept informed of future workshops, or have any questions, please contact us by phone, (06) 8781511 or email us at

You can pay by cash, cheque, or internet banking, our no. is 06 0765- 0056639- 00. Please code as ‘’ Thank you.

2525 S.H.2 Pukehou (20mins south of Hastings)

Should you need to cancel your place, we’d appreciate prompt notice so that we can offer the place to someone else.