Monday, June 1, 2015

The Press!

A while back, Heidi (our main medicine maker) and Eli came to the realization that if we had a tincture press, we'd be able to produce not only more medicine, but more POTENT medicine than we have been by using only our hands.

Let me explain: the process of making a tincture is quite simple. First, we harvest the herbs, dry them, and (in most cases) remove the stems. Next, we put them in a glass jar along with a menstruum, or solvent. Common menstruums we use are alcohol, vegetable glycerine, and vinegar. We let the solvent do it's work of drawing out the medicinal properties of the herbs for a few weeks or even months. Then we strain out the herbs and squeeeeeze them in a cheesecloth to get out the good stuff that is left lingering in the soaked herbs. We squeeze and squeeze and squeeze. We even take turns squeezing once one person's hands get tired of squeezing. Eventually, we call it. The liquid tincture is bottled, labeled, and sent out to our CSM members or sold at events. The spent herbs get composted, turning into the soil we'll use next year to grow more herbs and start all over again. BUT, we know there is much more very potent medicine deep within those spent herbs. And we'd LOVE to get that into the jars and ultimately into our bodies. The best way to do that is with a tincture press. These bad boys are made to exert 6 tons of pressure onto the herbs-FAR more than we'd been getting with our hands, in order to REALLY squeeze the juice out of them. 

So, we asked our good friend Eli Mailey (otherwise known as HEli) to help us out. HEli is a builder, fixer, and maker-extraordinaire. We knew he had experience with fabrication and would be able to help us build our very own press. And he did! HEli values locally-made goods as much as we do, so he contacted Smucker Laser CuttingRubin Steel, and The Restaurant Store -ALL Lancaster County companies, to source his materials. He custom designed and welded the press to meet our needs and even painted it purple!


Now we can be sure to extract ALL of the plants' goodness straight into the jars and into our bodies. Thanks to Eli Mailey and the local companies he worked with for making our medicine stronger and saving our hands!

To have Eli Mailey work with you on your next project, contact him at and tell him we sent you!

Loving our new tool,