Today I happened upon a draft resolution by the Nevada State Energy and Forestry Committee. It said, every year 100,000 acres of over mature pinyon crowd out other plants.
It went on to say the State of Nevada was desirous of a biomass industry etc. So there is no common sense to the resolution. The people on this committee do not know enough about forestry to know how slow the pinyon grow. This myth was created by Dr. Robin Tausch who I heard say it. In his paradime trees that touch are over mature and that happens when they are 75 to 100 years old prior to the species even reaching seed bearing maturity.
One of the basic premises of pinyon native range is debunked by this and other publications which state that the real range of pinyon trees in 2000 - 7,000 feet. Of course, the higher it is the colder it is, and this greatly interfers with coning and seed maturing, so the pine nut crop is deminshed greatly as well as the ability of the trees to regenerate. The higher it is the steeper it is, and the less the land is grazed. I cannot believe this elected body was so driven by biomass fuel (burning the world's most expensive nut orchard to generate electricity is nie on stupid) that they forgot their 5th grade science.
Spring has had a slow start in the hills of the Ozark Plateau, Wild Crop Farmers Penny and George Frazier don't mind at all. During mid April, the plum flower harvest was two weeks behind, and trees began to leaf out with a sudden burst heat from two 80 degree days. The Fraziers were concerned that there would be only a marginal plum flower bloom and they would not be able to fill the standing orders for the product. Then everything slowed down and cooled off again, leaving a magnificent harvest of native plum flower blossoms for the Fraziers and their team. Production of plum blossom floral water in the end was actually twice that of the harvest goals.
Plum flower blossoms are highly sought after for their unique essence and errotic scent. Harvesters got as much as $5.00 per pound for the deilicate blooms, which were steam distilled by master distiller George Frazier on the Salem farm. It takes 8 pounds of flowers to make each gallon of hydrosol or distillate produced by the farm. Every flower is hand harvested and despite the on the job risks of ticks, chiggers, snakes, bees, wasps, rouge bulls and deep mud, the harvesters brought in around 600 pounds of plum flowers safely.
The Frazier family includes 19 year old Zeb, who does a great deal of the leg work on the ground with local farmers. As first other farmers in Dent and Texas counties found it confusion that the Fraziers were harvesting flowers of all things. However, in the enviroment of rural poverty the neighbors have come to embrase any rural enterprise that supports the community and once landowners understand the care taken in the harvest, the team is welcome back again. Zeb is also quick to explain that the inner blooms are left on the trees. These blooms closer to the crown have better support and protection from weather elements that might cause the plums to drop before maturity. Also, the fruits are larger if a landowner wants to make jams or jellies, there is plenty left. Finally, while harvesting bag worms are removed out of the trees. In short, the plum flower harvest does nothing but improve the plum stands.
Throughout the month of May, the farm has been distilling witch hazel using various formulas for production. First, they distilled just the spring twigs, which is the monograph for witch hazel for use in some Eurpeana countries. Then, as the spring leaf began to emerge the farm began to produce witch hazel distillate made exclusively from the leaves, .Finally producing a product which was a distillate of both spring leaves and twigs. There was a substantial waiting list and the clients seemed to enjoy the variations in the products.
The farm is very specific about not making medical claims about their distillates, but rather rely on people's ability to intergrate traditional knowlege about the native plants when using their products. Witch hazel has a long history of production in the United States and Penny discovered that by-in-large, the single commercial producer of witch hazel distilled the entire plant, rather than the specific plant parts traditionally know to have active ingridents. This is one of the reasons the farm feels confident in challanging the big box store brands that sell for a fraction of the Wild Crop Witch Hazel produced on the farm. Penny likes to compare the off the shelf product to vegitables on a child's plate in school lunch program.
"What is the point of putting it out there, if it is basically just filler? We want to make products that are 100% PURE, real and authentic. "
The enter Frazier family is often seen on the back roads of Missouri looking for fields to lease for wildflower harvest. As June arrives, the family will be harvesting various Monardas, yarrow, elderflower and wild mints, not to mention the wild flowers that are not native to the Ozarks, but have established themselves on lands around the farm. The farm is proud of the fact the largest tool used is a weed wacker, which cuts down the brush around the flower stands. Using a weed eater, George is able to makes sure the seeds hit the ground and the native plants have a greater opportunity than they would if only nature was at work.
This year the farm has a few contracts for wild plant tea leaves, including some mints and fruit leaf teas for export. Together with standing orders that take up the bulk of their summer season. Due to the growth in the natural products industry, the farm finds there is more of a demand than they can fill. The solution is to expand laterally engaging with community youth in cooperative production. The young people learn skills, plant id and regional ecology while at the end of the season, the profit sharing provides a greater return than had the Fraziers just purchased the botanicals. Meanwhile, Penny is happy to advance the kids money for their gas and other needs. It seems to be working for everyone concerned.
The farm lives by the sseasons all the way through the winter, when they switch gears and harvest nuts, including the pinon pine nuts from the Western States.
I picked up a 1917 Government Publication on Pines of the Rockies. Hopefully, get it scanned (great maps of Nevada pinyon!) and uploaded on this blog for everyone. Noted the range of pinyon from 2,000 - 7,000 feet. It is no wonder the American Pine Nut is struggling for production numbers. The species was pushed to the highest part of its range and the frosts are playing havoc with coning.Interestingly enough, other older work on pinyon pine nuts (pre 1920) shows massive pinon tree plantings in Nebraska that appear to have done well until a fire wiped them out. We are still waiting to hear if a particular park still has remnants of that planting (something like a half million pinon trees) . Also the booklet on Western Pines notes that pinon trees were planted in Great Briton and at least pursuant to the publication, did fine. This little gem of a book was purchased on ebay for $11.99 and I could not be happier with that investment. It is the second reference to pinon trees having a historical elevation in the 2,000 foot range.
With such a beautiful harvest, how could we produce anything other than wonderful! These young spring leaves from Hamamelis Virginia are simply glorious.
We are the only people who hand harvest fresh spring leaves for distillation. There is no one else that can work on a small scale close enough to the forest to distill fresh spring leaves like these. Needless to say, we are delighted with the quality of this year's harvest. Leaves are removed, then ground and distilled at a rate of 1 pound of fresh leaf to 1 lb of pre-distilled water to one pound of final product. We make amazing beautiful products and I work hard to tell the story of a forest that is more valuable for its wild harvests than any other land use.
Cortex - EU Monograph - Spring collection of bark from twigs, branches and stem (trunk)
WHO - World Health Organization - Monograph,
Folium et Cortex Hamamelidis consists of the dried or fresh leaves and/or the dried bark of Hamamelis virginiana L. (Hamamelidaceae).
(Not more than 2% other material (non-bark or pulp wood) European pharmacopoeia, 3rd ed. Strasbourg, Council
Spring leaves, twigs
Sclereids abundant, vary considerably in size, are of 2 types: rounded to oval, or subrectangular; heavily thickened, usually in groups of just 2 or 3 cells, but smaller cells often form larger groups; walls have numerous, conspicuous branched pits and striations, particularly in the larger cells; other type of sclereids more regular in size and form, frequently found associated with the cork, occurring as a layer of small, polygonal cells with no intercellular spaces. Fibres occur in groups surrounded by a sheath of prismatic calcium oxalate crystals; individual fibres very thick-walled and lignified with indistinct lumen with calcium oxalate prismatic crystals scattered as well as in the parenchyma surrounding the fibres. Crystals also occasionally found associated with thickerwalled sclereids; crystals fairly uniform in size, although a few very large prisms may occur. Parenchyma cells thin-walled, several filled with dark brown contents. Medullary rays uniseriate, composed of rounded cells with slightly thickened walls. Cork cells thin-walled and polygonal. Fragments of lignified xylem tissue from adherent wood infrequent and consist of narrow tracheids with conspicuous bordered pits, accompanied by thin-walled fibres and pitted medullary ray cells. Starch grains rare; a few small, spherical grains may be found in some parenchymatous cells (12).
Channelled, seldom quilled or in strips, up to 3 cm wide and 2 mm thick. Outer surface light yellowish-brown or reddish-brown, has thin, whitish or greyishbrown cork with numerous lenticels; inner surface yellowish-brown to reddishbrown, longitudinally striated. Fracture splintery and fibrous (9).
Not more than 6% (2).
Not more than 1.5% (2).
"Hamamelidis folium" consists of the dried or fresh leaves of Hamamelis virginiana L. It contains not less than 3% of tannins, expressed as pyrogallol (C6H6O3; Mr 126.1) and calculated with reference to the dried drug. The material complies with the monograph of the European Pharmacopoeia 6.1, [monograph (04/2008:0909)].
Hamamelidis cortex" consists of the dried bark from the stems, branches and twigs of Hamamelis virginiana L.
Hamamelidis ramunculus (twigs)" have structures called buds, leaf scars and bundle scars that can differ for different species. Hamamelis twig is the herbal substance used in the preparation of hamamelis water, or as Witch Hazel as described in USP monograph.
We had a wild plum flower harvest like no other, due to our long cool spring. In celebration of our wild spring wild flower bounty, we would like share the most erotic and sensual floral water we produce, wild plum flower. It blends so well with our pulp free witch hazel, that we combined the two products for our monthly special. No Coupon Need, - special on shopping cart check out page.
Over the last few weeks, we have studied witch hazel production in the United States, only to discover that the whole tree (Hamamelis ) is chipped up and delivered for processing. Hence 90% of industrial witch hazel is made from inactive ingredients.The idea that witch hazel is made from twigs, as specified in the FDA's pharmacopeia appears to rather mythical. Given everyone in botanicals and forestry knew about the practice for decades and in our innocence with product purity, we were the only one surprised.
We do not offer witch hazel for medical purposes, our product are not intended to cure, treat any conditions of the human body. We do offer REAL witch hazel made from fresh twigs, without any additives or preservatives. We also offer witch hazel made from FRESH spring harvests of leaves and twigs (really!!!) and it is beyond amazing. http://www.pinenut.com/pine-nuts-sale/buy-pinon-pinenuts-shell.shtml
We are down to our last 100 lbs of shell free hard shell, P. Edulis. We sold out of Nevada Soft shell (shell free) and have less than 100 lbs of dehydrated in shell pine nuts. By the way, many of our clients reported excellent results in rehydrating the pine nuts for the fresh, fruity flavors which the Nevada Pine Nut is renowned.
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This blog is about my passion for a forest, The Great Basin Pinyon Pine Forest in Nevada. Its about how I express passion, through with talking about pine nuts. Tne nuts are forests and when you are eating the pinyon forest, you are helpling to protect it.
This blog and my work represents my life long love affair with forests and my commiment to protecting the blessing of creation. We also had a certified organic wild crop farm and we distill flowers and make other cool wild products. You will find them on our order page. email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org