Vitamin C Essential Oil

 

BOUQUET OF ROSE HIPS AND BITTERSWEET

BOUQUET OF ROSE HIPS AND BITTERSWEET

It is mid-October and the garden is dying down.  Branches of rose hips are ripe on the rose bushes and ready to be harvested.  The rose hips are the bright red berries above.  It is perfect timing to harvest the fruit of the rose as cold and flu season will soon be upon us–time to make some Vitamin C Essential Oil the good old-fashion way–from scratch!  Rose hips and pine needles are both very high in Vitamins C.  Rose hips are high in vitamin C, E, B Complex and A.

I want to use some of this oil for gifts so I think I will use the amber vials I kept from an herbal supplement I used to take.  They have good screw-lids and are a pleasing shape.  After cleaning them, I left them to dry on paper towels.  I think I will also add some dried rosemary and sage to the oil for their healing properties for cold and flu and lemon thyme because it is an antiseptic herb and has a pleasant lemon scent.  The Base will be coconut oil because it is the oil I have most abundantly on hand.

This oil is not made to be taken internally, although the herbal ingredients could be used to make a healthy tea.  The pine and rose hips both brew up well with a sweet, lemony taste.  But this time, I am extracting their oils to make an essential oil that can be massaged into the skin.  The vitamins and anti-oxidants are more easily absorbed into the skin through the bottoms of the feet and the coconut oil helps with dry winter skin as a bonus.

I have made this oil before just using the rose hips which produces a bright orange oil.  Because I want a high concentration of vitamin C to boost our immune systems, I am going to add the pine needles and other herbs .  We are taking a trip and the long hours on the plane are an easy place to catch a bug.herbs-and-jars

 

JARS OF HERBS AND GLASS VIALS FOR THE OIL

ROSE HIPS AND PINE NEEDLES

ROSE HIPS AND PINE NEEDLES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups ripe rose hips
  • 1 cup Red Pine or White Pine needles
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon dried lemon or English thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 2 pints Cold-pressed organic coconut oil  [Costco or Sam’s Club are a good source for good-quality and reasonably-priced coconut oil]
  • Sweet Orange, lemon or pine essential oil [optional]
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place rose hips, herbs and pine needles in a Pyrex baking dish.  Pour coconut oil evenly over herbs.
  2. Place in the hot oven for 20 to 30 minutes until the rose hips are soft.
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm but not hot.  Place in batches in a blender with enough of the oil to blend.
  4. Strain through a mesh strainer into a container, pressing oil out of the fiber well with the back of a wooden spoon.  Add essential oil for fragrance.
  5. Fill vials with oil and cap.  Allow to cool.  Label.
PROCESSING THE HERBAL OIL

PROCESSING THE HERBAL OIL

 

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An Autumn Barn Tour

Touches of fall accent the porch and great room of our restored dairy barn in the village of Groveland, IL.  This season we have also decorated the Old Towne Grove Wedding Chapel and Garden Grove Chapel on the property.  Autumn brides are surrounded by pumpkins, bales, harvest wreaths and fruiting crabapple trees.

In the great room kitchen, the pump on the dry sink is surrounded by pumpkins, corn and an orange sage scented candle.  Even the coffee table sports a large pumpkin in a wreath of leaves and copper ribbon

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A BRIGHT  DOOR WREATH, PLUMP HARVEST PILLOWS ON THE PORCH SWING, PUMPKINS AND CORN STALKS ON THE FRONT PORCH SAY “WELCOME AUTUMN.”  THE SLATE WELCOME SIGN BESIDE THE DOOR ECHOES THAT SENTIMENT.

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ABOVE:  BIRCH BARK BASKET WITH AUTUMN BIRD NEST ON THE KITCHEN NOOK ROUND OAK TABLE.  BELOW:  LARGE CAST IRON PARLOR STOVE WITH BIRCH TWIGS, MINIATURE DEER AND MINI PUMPKIN.  OIL LAMPS ARE POSITIONED THROUGHOUT THE FLOOR FOR ATMOSPHERIC LIGHT.

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ABOVE:  THE DINING ROOM TABLE IS SET FOR A HARVEST DINNER.  BELOW:  THE BUFFET ANNOUNCES “ETHEREAL AUTUMN” ON A MINI SLATE.  THE VINTAGE MOOSE PLATTER IS THE CENTERPIECE.

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BELOW:  THE VINTAGE PRINT “PILGRIMS GOING TO CHURCH” IN ANTIQUE OAK FRAME IS FROM A ONE-ROOM SCHOOL.  IT IS APPROPRIATELY FRAMED IN AN AUTUMN GARLAND FOR OCTOBER AND THANKSGIVING.

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BELOW:  A LAVISH HARVEST WREATH WITH FRUIT, FLOWERS, AND PUMPKINS GREETS VISITORS IN THE FOYER.

im008468Living in a restored dairy barn is a cross between traditional farmhouse and rustic cabin decorating.  After dismantling three older barns in Tazewell County, we used the salvaged barn board to turn a hay barn with side lofts into three upper floors.  The lower level stable became my 1910 kitchen and workshops.  Welcome to the Farm Grove barn.

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HAPPY AUTUMN.  EXPERIENCE EVERY SIGHT, SCENT, AND SOUND.

FROM THE FARM GROVE BARN,

SHARON

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APPLE INTERLUDE

Red Delicious By the Lake

Red Delicious By the Lake

A brief interlude to celebrate the apple harvest occurs in early September.  Friends come to pick our harvest, sharing in the bounty of organic apples.  Most are not perfect but they are delicious.  This season, the Yellow Delicious and Jonathan trees in our back yard have a good amount.  In their honor I baked two cider/apple pies.  Yum.

Fallen apples litter the garden causing the Canada geese to visit for nibbling and sending an aroma of cider into the air.

Unfortunately two of the apple trees in the chapel garden are not doing well.  Our son Dirk is planting new trees to take their place, probably the dwarf varieties which produce so well.  The Red Delicious above is a dwarf that was an anniversary gift from my mother over 15 years ago.  The fruit is a seasonal reminder of heritage.

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Faux’ Chickens

Concrete Chickens Around the Sheep Shed

Concrete Chickens Around the Sheep Shed

My grandmother raised chickens on a long, narrow city lot.  They were a natural  outcome for a farm girl transplanted to town.  Fresh eggs were a significant part of my grandparents’ diet and that self-sufficiency appeals to me.  But animals–pet or livestock– are not a commitment this retired couple is ready to make.  So, the concrete chickens I found at a country auction will do just fine.

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A Day in the Garden

July 7, 2016 in the garden — a morning rain followed by 83 degrees of extremely high humidity and an overcast sky threatening more showers.

Bird Bath on the Patio

Bird Bath on the Patio

  • After a rain is the best time to pull weeds.  I cleaned a small sweet pea bed that had already been harvested and re-planted it with Porcelain Doll pumpkin sprouts thinned from the pumpkin tubs.  I have a hard time throwing away any viable sprout, even though I have already planted thinned sprouts in two other places.  But then I love pumpkins and can never have too many around the barn in autumn.
  • The perennial bed includes wild flowers such as golden rod, bergamot/bee balm with a bloom like a lavender firework, and Queen Ann’s lace–the doily of the garden.
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  • I picked 8 cucumbers.  By next week I will have enough to make Bread & Butter pickles
  • The watermelon plants in one of my hay bales are being joined by butternut squash vines from a bordering bed.
  • Watermelon Starts

    Watermelon Starts

  • The two zucchini plants are blooming in the second bale.
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  • I checked to see if more early apples fell in the storm and picked up about 6 more = fresh apple sauce for Sunday dinner.
  • While I was in the orchard, I noticed one of the peach trees was dropping fruit.  Unfortunately I saw top fruit being attacked by Japanese beadles–they are back.  If they go for my roses again, the traps will go up.  Meanwhile we picked the peaches to allow them to ripen slowly inside in the basement fruit cellar…otherwise, they would be riddled by the bugs.
  • One day’s organic harvest from the garden.
  • Cucumbers, early apples and peaches

    Cucumbers, early apples and peaches

 

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Fourth of July Front Porch

LET OLD GLORY FLY!

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The front porch of our 100-year-old-barn is newly painted letting red, white & blue pop!

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ONE NATION–UNDER GOD–HAPPY 4TH!

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The Iconic Picket Fence

Front Picket Fence

Front Picket Fence

Be it barn or cottage, the scope of my world is defined by the white picket fence.  It represents home, family and security within its tidy confines.  But then, it does demand attention.  A white picket fence must be painted.  Another summer project done and done!

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