(excerpt from the March 2017 Newsletter)
Eric and I spent three weeks this winter in the beautiful and interesting town of Paonia, Colorado, for another stint of recycling Christmas trees into House of Aromatics essential oil. Our herbalist friend, Lisa Ganora, recently bought Elderberry’s farm in Paonia, and had invited us to set up and distill there. The town has a program to pick up trees in January and drop them in a brush pile, so we figured: it’s a big enough town, should be plenty of trees all in one place. Easy. When we got there, there were maybe, let’s see… 6 trees. Hmm. Plan B?
We took off that same day for Carbondale, an hour away over the McClure pass, to do some reconnaissance. Last year we distilled trees from their pile, and we already had permission to do so again, just in case. We were thinking we might rent a truck and haul trees back to Paonia if we needed to. The pass was slick that morning, no problem in 4WD, but the thought of driving a U-haul over it did not appeal, to say the least. We needed all the information we could get to make the best possible plan: how much for the rental, what’s the weather forecast on which days, what other routes could we drive, how much are chains for that size rig, and would we be financially better off just to rent the thing, load it with trees, and pack off for home to distill them there? Our thinker-brains were busy-busy!
Meanwhile, we stopped by the Carbondale tree pile first thing to see how it looked, and they had already started chipping it and were maybe halfway through. Yikes! We were just in time. It was a holiday, so we figured we had no time to lose, that they would probably start chipping again first thing the next morning. So we decided to rent the truck now. It’s a good thing we did, because when we got back to the tree pile, the chipper was already running again, holiday or no! The crew of 5 awesome guys heard what we were up to and shifted into gear helping Eric load the bushiest trees into the truck, while I lopped good limbs off the sparser trees. We went from “let’s think about this” to “LET’S DO THIS!” in half a second flat. We ended up with a 20’ U-haul packed floor to ceiling with several species of Fir and Doug-fir, smelling like Christmas itself, and by the time we came back over the pass we didn’t need the chains after all. Anybody need some snow chains, 225.75R15 ?
The “packing shed” at Elderberry’s that became the “distillation shed” for 3 weeks this Winter.
Those trees gave us some really beautiful oil, and we’d love to share it with you! Holidays Return 2017 is the special this month-ish at 10% off.