Monday, April 3, 2017

You can still distill in America*

Not available in Arkansas
So anyway, I finally got around to buying that essential oil distiller I was thinking about last summer to exploit my abundance of mint leaves.  The nice thing was that by waiting a year, I came across a hand-made one at a quite reasonable price.  Add some wine-style tubing and a seperatory funnel and we'll be distilling mint essential oil as soon as the plants take off. They're already coming back in just as thick as last year. And in more places, too.

To recoup my costs, I figure I just need to produce $150 worth of essential oils that the lovely and gracious Rogue would otherwise buy over the course of a couple years.  The only problem is that she doesn't buy mint essential oil. Nor oregano, nor sage, two other distillable herbs that I have an abundance.

But she does buy lemon balm and lavender and a couple other herbs that I have grown in small quantities over the years**.

So what a great excuse, I'm thinking, to add a couple more beds...

* Except Arkansas, I understand, where the mere possession of a still is still counted a heinous crime.
** If you think about how much dried rosemary you use over the course of a year's cooking, it's obvious that even a single pack of 200 seeds is tremendous overkill. One plant is generally sufficient to handle one's culinary needs.


  1. My sister-in-law uses essential oils. I'll have to see which one she uses most.

  2. While at the conference in Topeka this weekend I was amazed at the number of professionals and parents who use them with troubled kids. Lots of these kids are hypersensitive or insensitive to smells and touch, and essential oils are widely used in therapy from vaporizers to hand massage oils.

    How much of that is snake oil and how much effective I don't know, but I suspect that at worst it does no harm...

    Either way, it's one more thing I can produce to give away. Too much for me to use myself, too much red tape to sell it...

  3. ElBo
    To recoup my costs, I figure I just need to produce $150 worth of essential oils that the lovely and gracious Rogue would otherwise buy over the course of a couple years.

    alternatively ... you could SELL $150 worth of essential oils to somebody else.

    maybe even get into something like soap making ...

    1. The soapmaking is a really good idea, and one that I've been kicking around (very unseriously) for a while. Perhaps it's time to get serious.

      I just learned that some crafted soaps are made with parsley oil. And I can now make a whole lot of parsley oil...

    2. 'artisanal'. 'organic'. 'essential oils'.

      the advertising practically writes itself.

  4. I don't know about that, but I would like to get a beer maker, and whisky still. Shortly after I moved here they made it so that, for one's own consumption, 50 gallons of whatever may be kept on hand and the devices to make it as well.

    I just haven't gotten to that part of my list yet. Even for medicinal, though, yeah, right. I know they say they don't drink. I am betting dollars, hundreds, to donuts that, should I have a still, the knowledge, and the equipment, expendables would show up to keep me in all else on top of production morning to night.

    While I am a believer, if along my own lines in faith, I don't believe that other believers, of most sorts, are... what they seem? :p Oh... yeah. I might be threatened with getting shot by some who do believe, but the ones who need would fix that in short order. Not quite just business, but... Yeah.

    Fifty gallons. Oh, right, think black market or petty trade. I wouldn't with whisky, but that is different, at least as things stand.

    1. I wouldn't with whisky

      Yeah, I kind of avoid stuff that others would ingest -- I don't even trade canned goods, though I do give them away. I would hate to screw something up and have a neighbor go blind from my shine.