In this picture, I'm standing next to a farmer who has just finished harvesting tea tree. We are in the Limpopo Province of South Africa, and I am so happy to be in this beautiful tea tree plantation!
After the tea tree is cut, it's brought to the distillery where Bruce, a master distiller, carefully distills the plant producing a high quality Tea Tree oil with a significant percentage of terpinen-4-ol.
I loved talking to Bruce. He is deeply dedicated to his plants and to the art of distillation. His plantation is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen! The setting is incredible. The tea tree grows alongside some small eucalyptus radiata plants. There are kiwi fruit trees off to one side (yup, kiwi!), avocado trees, and seven-some helichrysum growing wild.
As I watched the farmer cut the leaves and branches, I was reminded once again how much work goes into producing an essential oil. I am in awe of the farmers who grow the plants and the distillers who produce our essential oils. It is such an honor to meet essential oil distillers and acknowledge them for their extraordinary work!