This time around, with all of the proper equipment, my orange oil and hydrosol were successes. The water pump really makes all the difference.
Instead of using whole orange peels ground up in a food processor, I peeled the oranges of their zest and steam distilled that. The result was a very fruity hydrosol. The ill smell from the first try is not around this time. I am very pleased.
April 11th is when it occurred to me that I can make essential oils with what I grow, and I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I clipped some rosemary branches and rigged up a wok distillation station on the stove.
It worked pretty well even though I forgot the ice to help quicken the condensation. I got a little bit of oil and quite a bit of rosemary hydrosol, which I use daily on my face as a toner. It’s a great cleanser (as you can see) and it’s very refreshing. I’ve found it works really well with oily skin. Also, my face is very soft and my “mommy mustache” has gotten lighter. Win/win.
Cleaning my face with rosemary hydrosol
Blurry, but you can see the oil and hydrosol separation.
Of everything I have steam distilled so far (lemon, orange, lavender), rosemary is my favorite. The scent is very pleasant and unmistakably rosemary. I plan to make a big batch very soon.
On April 3rd, I transplanted two muscadine plants. A white and a purple. This is my first attempt at grapes and I’m excited to meet their acquaintance. I’m sure they will teach me lots, like if their pods are really grapes, or if they’ll turn into flowers.
In sixteen days they went from having bare canes to leafy canes. They must love their new soil, although their neighbors seem to not be so enthused about it. Cucumbers, watermelon, sunflowers, lemon balm, and morning glories all have been seedlings for a long time….as well as the seedlings in all my other beds. I amended them with phosphorus, but there’s been little to no change.
Just another garden mystery yet to be solved…
On another note, I garden by the moon. It advised that April 3rd would be a good day to transplant. It was right.