My love affair with plants began when I was about fifteen or sixteen years old. I remember sitting in my bedroom at my dad’s house, reading books on herbalism and underlining almost every sentence with a green felt tip pen. I still have those books three decades and a million moves later, and I cringe when I see how messy the books look now. I’m way too “protective” with my books to even think about underlining their important points now, but if I weren’t, I imagine I would still underline almost every word!
It took me about eight years after I picked up my first herbal book to start my aromatherapy business at the ripe old age of twenty-three. If you’ve read “my story” on my website, you already know the trials and tribulations that I endured during my first decade in business, so I won’t bore you with those details again. It seemed that my love for plants sort of morphed into my love for oils. One might argue that they are the essentially the same thing, but I would have to rebut that they are not. It’s like comparing apples to oranges.
So, when my husband and I went to an aromatherapy conference in England in 2016 it re-sparked my interest in plants and thus ignited my love for distilling. I bought a thirty litre copper alembic and had it shipped to Canada from Portugal, and my husband and I started doing small batch distilling (in our non-existent spare time). Most of these experiments have only been somewhat successful, but we are trying. It’s something you do for the love of distilling, and for the love of plants, not for any potential monetary value that you may or may not get.
Now, an important side note in this story is that my husband and I have lived in the commercial building that my shop is located in for over eleven years with a parking lot as our front yard. We have renovated almost the entire thing inside and out and have created a beautiful garden off to the side, but when I walk out my front door, there are customers, cars, and pavement, and absolutely no privacy ever. So, for someone who loves plants and privacy as much as I do, I have felt like I was experiencing a very slow and painful death. Waking up to a parking lot every day was turning me into a very bitter middle-aged woman. As someone who is supposed to be a healer of sorts, being bitter and angry all the time wasn’t really the look I was going for.
I needed to manifest a new life surrounded by trees so when my girlfriends and I got together to make vision boards a couple of years ago, I focused on trying to surround myself with more trees. I was really starting to lose my sanity living surrounded by concrete. After years of constantly looking in the real estate papers and bombarding my poor husband with listings at every hour of the day or night, we unknowingly walked into our dream property in late November of last year. The property had not even hit the market, but we live in a small town and I heard that the woman who owned it was moving.
Neither my husband or I had even been to her place but we had both heard of it and wanted to buy some hazelnut trees from her before she moved. Once we were there, we got the tour, bought 5 trees then I started cautiously asking her some questions about when she was moving and what her asking price was. Anyone who knows me, knows when I get an idea in my head, it’s pretty hard to get it out until I make it happen. I pretty much made her an offer right on the spot and hoped that my husband wasn’t going to kill me for doing so! It’s kind of a big deal to just make an offer on a huge property after only being there for half an hour and not talking it over with your significant other first! But, for whatever reason, that is what I did.
Luckily for me, and for my marriage, my husband told me on our drive home that that was the first place I had shown him where he could actually see himself living. As soon as I got the stamp of approval from him, that one and only time, I just rolled with it. I called my Dad and his wife, sent a barrage of pictures and pleaded my case, hoping that they would help me get out of the parking lot.
Long story short, after many months of negotiations everyone totally pulled together and pinched every single penny and our family bought an exotic fruit tree farm! I’m still in shock that all the pieces fell into place, but they did, and we got possession last Friday. My love for plants has come full circle and I finally have a beautiful, magical farm to nurture, love, grow and distil on. There are so many more exciting things to come and I couldn't be more grateful.
So please stay tuned for all of the aromatic goodness to come!
Yours always in love and aromatics,