The Challenge of Distilling Connifers

Gary Young: Challenge of Distilling ConnifersIt’s no secret that we will inevitably face new and difficult challenges throughout our lives. Ask yourself: “When I’m faced with one of these challenges, how will I react?” It’s important to realized that our actions and the ways we navigate through our personal development can have lasting effects.

When I first started logging and distilling conifer trees, I quickly realized that was going to be a new and difficult challenge. Luckily, learning to log with my father, my ability to drive semi-trucks in brutal weather conditions, and my growing knowledge of essential oils provided a good foundation. However, I still had so much work to do and so many things to learn.

In order to make this happen, I had to know Which trees to cut down and then how to chip, haul, and distill them. One of the most challenging parts of the process was hauling the chips to the St. Maries farm to be distilled during the winter months. This required pulling two trailers hooked together that carried 110,000 pounds of chips.

The roads were often covered in snow and ice, which make the journey very treacherous. Each trip would take around seven hours during the winter months—nearly double the drive during the other seasons. Despite these rough conditions and work, we were able to persevere though this and many other trials. After our first harvest, it was so satisfying to see that our efforts and operations were successful, in spite of the challenges.

As we distilled these oils, demand skyrocketed, and one winter harvest became many more. We began to expand our logging camp, purchase bigger chippers, and bring even more equipment on-site. We will continue to grow as more people come to the harvest and the demand for conifer oils continues to increase.

The journey presented so many challenges, and a lot of people would have given up, but I knew the importance of this project in helping to ensure the supply of essential oils members rely on—and I didn’t let anything stop me.

We all have the opportunity to take difficult trials and turn them into success stories. You can do it—we’re here cheering you on!

Gary Young
The Essential Edge, November 2016


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