Interview with Jessica: La Lavanda y La Luna

We think conversation is one of the most fun parts of language learning. On Thursdays, we switch languages and ask each other questions to learn more about Tuesday’s topic. Today, Rober interviews Jessica about her trip to Six Mile Lavender Farm for a distillation workshop. You can read Jessica’s original post about the lavender farm here

Rober: Is this your first experience with aromatherapy and herbal medicine, or did you know anything about it before?
Jessica: I’ve bought them before, but this is my first real experience learning about different types of essential oils and how they are made. As we were waiting for the distillation, Karrie shared some oils she had gotten from different stores on her travels and others she had made from various lavender harvests. She had us smell them to compare. I didn’t know this, but essential oils can also be made through chemical extraction which changes the aroma quite a bit. I also didn’t know that essential oils need to age and they smell deeper after several days. And there were differences between the various lavender oils she had made as well, although I don’t know if I could discern the difference if I were smelling them separately and not one after the other. 

R: Have you ever thought of buying your own still to make essential oil?
J: I hadn’t really thought of it before, but the workshop made me more interested in getting one. I happen to live just down the street from Karrie’s store, though, so I have easy access to essential oils and all sorts of other plant-based products when I need them. It is very satisfying to see the oil start to flow, though, so maybe someday. 

The still during a distillation. Once packed, Karrie used plumber’s tape to seal all of the edges. Photo courtesy of Karrie Westwood

R: What kind of plants do Karrie and her husband plant aside from lavender?
J: They’ve built up several garden spaces over the years and she gave us a tour at the end of the workshop. A main garden down the hill from their house, has a couple of greenhouses, one of which she built with her grandson. They grow vegetables there, as well as some flowers. There was bee balm in the greenhouse that was in full bloom when we were there–this was one of the flowers that Karrie put in her full moon essence. There are several medicinal plants around the back of the house, tucked in wherever they fit and some citrus trees that go in a sunroom tropical garden during the winter. Karrie also recently bought a tea house in Idaho, and she received two tea plants in the mail while we were there for the workshop. 

The view from the lavender garden at Six Mile Lavender Farm

R: Did you see the eclipse in the U.S. last summer? Do you like to attend events like this?
J: Sadly, I just missed seeing last year’s eclipse in the area of totality! I was in Eugene, Oregon for a wedding the weekend before but we had to head back to San Francisco by the time the eclipse came around. As we were driving back, the traffic heading north was crazy, people driving all night to get to the eclipse and the atmosphere at all of the rest stops was festive, everybody talking about their plans for the eclipse–at one place we stopped around midnight, a guy had a huge lizard he was letting people pet–so we were clearly going the wrong way!

R: How do you think the influence of the moon is important to plants and the earth in general (human beings, tides…)?
J: I think that cycles are really important to life and the sun and moon represent a really fundamental one–powering things like photosynthesis, and the changing of tides. The moon in particular represents a rest and renew part of that cycle which is sometimes undervalued. I think it’s grounding to remember that everything we do is ultimately governed by these cycles.

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