Hello again! A lot has happened since I posted last. I had visions of grandeur when I thought I could be in grad school and consistently keep up with my blog. But, I am going with ‘better late than never’ and give you the highlights of the last 8 months!
If this is your first time to the blog you can check out my other grad school posts on my page, Holy Basil Research.
This spring, my food science professor helped me with getting another distillation setup and a portable cooling water bath. I could set everything up on the counter instead of the fumehood and run two distillations at once. It saved me so much time!
Here are some pictures of the distillations. Grinding the plant material and adding water.
Collecting the essential oil.
Filtering the essential oil to remove water reside.
Weighing the essential oil.
Storing the essential oil in the freezer for further analysis.
I finished my last distillation from my 2015 plant samples the last week of April. It was a good day!
After that, I spent some days working in the lab starting to analyze the essential oils. It is going to be harder than I thought originally, so I put that on hold until I could gather more info.
Meanwhile, I traveled to Utah to present my research at the American Oil Chemist Society meeting.
Then I traveled to Atlanta to present a poster about my research at the American Society for Horticulture Science meeting.
I also had the opportunity to present about my research to the Georgia Chapter of the American Herbalist Guild at the stunning Atlanta Botanical Gardens! They were an amazing crowd!
I spent the summer working out at the UGArden farm and loved every second of it!
I need two years of data for my research, so in June I started more seeds in the greenhouse for the 2016 growing season.
It took about 6 weeks to get them to planting size.
I planted them in July, and watched them grow!
We harvested the end of August, and the process went the same as last year (Holy Basil 1st Harvest).
So, there is the last 8 months in a nutshell. I also took lots of classes, traveled and spent time with family, spent lots of hours weeding on the farm, wrote the literature review for my thesis and tried to find some moments of solitude amidst the business and chaos. I am loving what I am doing and I want to thank you all for reading, even when I don’t post regularly. Until next time!