Artisan Essential Oil Distillation

Artisan Essential Oil Distillation Internship at Yerba Buena Farm, Jamaica

Come wildcraft herbs, distill, swim in our beach, write, research, work, enjoy…

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We have been interested in essential oils for a long time.  We use them in our value added products to enrich and personalize them and also for personal health.  Now, interested in the medicinal use of our Jamaican herbs, we are on a mission to distill the essential oil of at least 100 local plants.  So far, we have distilled over 50 individual oils (some from the same plant, like Allspice berry, leaf and wood for three oils from one plant).

As an intern here, you will distill with us every day. Our philosophy is that guided hands-on experience brings learning. Our goal is to give you the information, skill and experience you need to start your own essential oil distillery when you leave us.

Your experience here will cover:

*essential oil chemistry;

*distillation equipment options;

*hydro-distillation;

*co-distillation;

*maximizing the yield of low-yield plants;

*working with heavier than water oils;

*working with wildcrafted and cultivated plants; and much more…

As an intern, you will sensitively wildcraft and photograph the plants with us, prepare the plant material for distillation and will finally distill, distill, distill.  You will clean the still and other equipment, keep excellent notes and spend time on the computer to find any research that has been done on that plant. It’s fine to enjoy the smell of an oil, but it is essential to have a good understanding of the oil’s chemistry and effect on our bodies to be able to use the oil properly and safely. 

We share a sample bottle of each oil harvest with interns who work on the distillation. When you leave, you will have a beautiful box of samples from the distillations that you’ve done.

Interns will be expected to work on this project 40 hours a week. We are a family farm, and cannot afford to support this project financially, so all interns must contribute $1500 per month for their room and three meals a day, along with plenty of snacks and fruit. We will also do our best to introduce the interns to the town and the people who live here in an informal way so that the interns can fully experience life in a rural Jamaican town.  We require interns to keep a blog and to write regular posts.

You will also participate in life on our farm. Past interns have gone to the bat cave to collect guano for fertilizer, built a charcoal and sand water filter, gone to the nearby bamboo forest to collect bamboo for a natural building project, built a clay oven, cut guinea grass with machete to cover the ground in the watermelon field, and gone to our hillside farms to gather mango, jackfruit, jelly coconut and other fruits. Our Internships page has a slideshow that shows more of life here as an intern.

We are happy to work with any student interested in obtaining academic credit for their experience with us, and with students who need to access funding through their school in order to participate.

To get a sense of what it is like to be an intern on our farm, please read the blog kept by one of our past interns, Erin Sullivan. Our website’s Intern Blogs page features links to blogs kept by other past interns.

You will choose how long you stay here (minimum one month and maximum four months), and when you come (we are always distilling, and are happy to be flexible about when we host interns).

To apply for this internship, please find the application here.

Please contact Agape Adams by email (yerbabuenaja@aol.com) or by phone (876-343-1121) for more information.

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