Monthly Archives: April 2013

Today’s Wild Plum Harvest 40 lbs, yesterday 42 lbs

 

8 lbs of plum blossoms per gallon of plum flower water, hand harvested and freshly distilledWe have groups of people bringing in their wild plum flowers.  They are all youngsters, not one yet 20 years old, set loose on the dirt roads fields of Dent County Missouri.  Their fingers are sore, they have worked hard, but it is happy work, as the wild plum blossoms are Spring – in its full magnificent glory.  What could be a more healthy work place than all of the outback, outdoors.  We now have wild plum flower hydrosols and almost by the drum!

So Many Flowers, So little time: Picking Wild

 

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I can watch my son grow up working wild.  I gave him the gift of wild flowers all his life.  One day, maybe he will understand that working wild is tough stuff. It is not blankets and Birkenstocks, but ticks and fleas and chiggers, scratches, scrapes and an ever dynamic environment which can crash with rain, frost, wind, snow and drought.  Working wild, Zeb Frazier, plum flower harvest 2013

Distilling Today–Wild Plum Flowers, hand harvested and expensive

 

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Today we are harvesting wild plum flowers. It is a hard harvest due to the weather. Generally, we start picking plum flowers the first week of April.  This year, the flowers cam out two to three weeks late. Right before the buds arrived we hit 80 degrees, then had a freeze.  Many of the trees simply went to leaf and did not flower.  The next county north of us has wild plum flowers and that is where we are focusing.  Once we start making a product and people formulate with it, we have to be there for them.   So, we are busting it today, picking wild plum as there are not many picking days in the Spring of 2013

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Witch hazel is a plant native to the United States long used for skin care and first aid. The botanical name of plant is Hamamelis virginiana, however other plants from China are available on the market and identified as “witch hazel”.  This plant is not a standardized US Pharmacopia, nor is the witch hazel made by A Wild Crops Farm.

The standard pharmacopia witch hazel is made from dormant twigs that have been masicated and soaked for 24 hours.  For every 1,000 grams of witchhazel, 850 grams of water is added then steam distilled with 150 ML of alcohol added.  There are no fresh, or living botanicals used to make standard USP witch hazel.http://www.pharmacopeia.cn/v29240/usp29nf24s0_m89070.html

There is a single distiller of commercial witch hazel in the United States.  They make all the brands one finds commercially available and do a fine job at producing hundreds of thousands of gallons of witch hazel.  There is a single small distiller of witch hazel hydrosol (NON- USP ) that produces witch hazel from fresh leaves and twigs using steam distillation.