Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Busy times at the end of the season

Today I made some homemade essential oils from herbs that were grown in our garden. It is very easy to make essential oils. First harvest herbs that you would wish to make into essential oils (lavender, sage, basil, thyme, mint, garlic etc). Make sure the herbs are at the pre-flower to flowering stage. Then get some clean clear glass jars and snip the herbs into pieces and put into the jars. Pour a light oil over top of the herbs. Jojoba oil and olive oil are common oils to use. Cover the jars with a plastic cover of some sort and avoid the use of metal as that can absorb into the oil and ruin the consistency. I used plastic sandwich bags and a rubber band. Next set the jars in a sunny window seal for 1 to two days. Other wise put the jars in a low heat oven (150 degree oven) for a couple of hours. I used a homemade solar cooker to keep the essential oil warm. After the oil was warmed I took a small funnel covered with cheese cloth and I poured the oil into small black dropper bottles. To get more scent and potency it is wise to squeeze the cheese cloth with the herb in tact. These essential oils will last 6 months in cool cupboard storage. These oils can be used for medicinal purposes, scent in household items, cleansing etc etc.

Besides making essential oils, I also harvested our kohlrabi, cut it up, blanched it and placed the blanched kohlrabi into freezer boxes for freezing. It was VERY difficult to peel the kohlrabi as it caused my hands to feel arthritic. Next time I believe I will harvest a few kohlrabi at a time rather than all at once.
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