Today we visited a farmer that does not grow crops, does not have cows and does not have sheep. Lawrence, the farmer, does not use any sprays and no chemicals are used. He plants and cares for native Kangaroo Island Narrow Leaf Mallee eucalyptus trees. This is not one of the varieties of eucalyptus trees favored by the koalas.
We were at Emu Ridge, the only commercial Eucalyptus Distillery remaining in South Australia. The eucalyptus oil is distilled in the traditional method. The eucalyptus plant is cut every few years and then taken to the distillery.
The leaf is placed into a pot containing water, beneath which a fire is lit. The steam carrying the oil is passed through a system of cooling pipes. The oil separates and is piped off into containers. The raw oil undergoes another refining process to produce the final product, crystal clear oil. This is the process used to produce or distill eucalyptus oil over 100 years ago.
All parts of the plant are used in this process. There is no waste and any byproducts are recycled. They even produce their own electricity. Lawrence and his wife, Beverly, were sheep farmers, but in 1991 the wool prices took a sharp decline. They decided to revive the old custom of producing eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil was the first true overseas export of Australia.
The old shearing shed is now a plant nursery. Emu Ridge farm has been a major tourist destination since 1991. There is a retail outlet where you may purchase pure eucalyptus oil and other products.
Mom really liked some of the lotions and creams. Of course, the products also may be purchased online. Please visit http://www.EmuRidge.com.au for more information. The 4 minute video on the home page is really interesting. The humans were watching these kangaroos.
We really enjoyed seeing these kangaroos, too
This is an emu, the inspiration for naming the farm Emu Ridge.
When you visit Kangaroo Island in South Australia, we hope you will visit Emu Ridge also. We loved it and we think you would enjoy it also.