Wednesday, August 26, 2009

82 Years and Counting

It's not everyday that you get your 82 year old mother to work on the farm!

She lives on Martha's Vineyard, and Whidbey Island is about as far away as you can get from there in the lower 48 states. I thought I'd never see her on the farm again, because she doesn't like traveling all that much until this spring she and Ronnee, my step-father, decided to take the Trans-Canada train to Vancouver and then come to visit for a few days before flying back home.

Our family believes in helping out, so she promptly got herself situated and started taking off rubber bands from the stems of banded lavender. We cut the heads off to distill, then we dry what's left and winnow off the remaining buds to get every last bit of lavender possible.

Meanwhile, Ronnee was working to rebuild our garden cart that had rotted over the years of use and exposure to the elements.

Mom got fairly comfortable with the routine and she finally started describing the distilling process to our visitors. She's telling them about boiling the water in the bottom chamber and the steam going up through the packed lavender flowers in the upper two chambers. It picks up the essential oil and then gets condensed back to liquid and drops into the separator so we can take the oil off the top. I couldn't believe it! She did a good job, too bad she lives so far away and we can't get her working here more often.... :)

I'm so lucky to have such a fun mother and step-Dad, it was a huge treat to have them here!

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