permaculture orchard*
Permies likes ancestral skills and the farmer likes Free source of wax for candles making. permies
  Search | Permaculture Wiki | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies | World Domination!
Register / Login
permies » forums » wilderness » ancestral skills
Bookmark "Free source of wax for candles making." Watch "Free source of wax for candles making." New topic
Author

Free source of wax for candles making.

                                


Joined: Jun 20, 2007
Posts: 44
Location: Middle Georgia
I know you are probably thinking a bee hive but this is even better cause I dont get stung LOL
Bayberry trees or Wax Mrytles if you are in the south are two trees that create berrys covered in a wax like coating that can be used to make bright clean burning candles.
Wax Mrytles grow mostly in the Southern U.S. Zones 7-10 and are extremely drought tolerant all others would want to look at the Norther Bayberry.
You do need both mae and female plants to create the berries.


I thought this was pretty cool for Earth Day this year I was given about a dozen free trees or so. 4 of them were Wax Myrtles or Bayberry trees for you folks from the north. Anyway they are an evergreen and they produce little clusters of berries. You can cook down the berries to get a wax coating off of them to make candles. Heres an article I got online about how to do this. I thought this is cool a free source of wax growing in my own backyard.
http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/carolina/96655
Kelda Miller


Joined: Jun 30, 2007
Posts: 763
Wow, what a great idea: to grow a local source of wax for candles! I read the article, and that talked mostly about the southeast-native plant. But there's also the Pacific Wax Myrtle, Myrica Californica. A quick search and I found out that wax can be made from those berries as well.

Does anyone have experience? How many berries per tree per candle?


Divine Earth Gardening Project
                              


Joined: Jun 08, 2008
Posts: 79
The Wax Myrtle berries are also great winter forage for many wild birds. The berries stay on the shrub/tree throughout the winter, not actually dropping off until spring, when the new buds come out.

So if you plan on collecting the berries in the fall for wax making, please be sure to leave some for the birds.

Leigh
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 151
Location: North Central New York
    
    1
I was just wondering...  if your bees collect pollen from the wax myrtles or bayberry will their honey taste like bayberry?       I like the smell in candles but not so sure I would like it in honey.

- And I like the new topic, thanks, Paul!


Furthering Permaculture next to Lake Ontario

Rocket Mass Heater workshop in October 2014 - https://www.facebook.com/events/298154697021978/?ref=2&ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
                          


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
I don't know that the bayberry smell translates into the same kind of taste in honey. Lavender smells good, but tastes like soap to me, but lavender honey tastes pretty good. Eucalyptus honey is divine*, but I wouldn't particularly want to eat eucalyptus, not being of the koala persuasion.

*excuse me for showing my swishiness here.
                              


Joined: Jan 09, 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Ohio zone 4-5
I had a wax made from Bayberries that I used exclusively for my wood furniture as polish. I think it was diluted with another type of wax but made polishing an aromatic wonder. It was in a small flat can like paste shoe polish. It wasn't synthetic, but contained real Bayberry wax. I'd love to try my luck making some!
Joel Hollingsworth
volunteer

Joined: Jul 01, 2009
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
Kerrick wrote:
Eucalyptus honey is divine*, but I wouldn't particularly want to eat eucalyptus, not being of the koala persuasion.


Eucalyptus is good in cough drops.

I think the process of making honey gives lots of opportunity for the most-volatile odors to waft away, though. Also, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if a plant's nectar had a different mix of compounds than its sap, particularly in the case of insect-repellent plants.


"the qualities of these bacteria, like the heat of the sun, electricity, or the qualities of metals, are part of the storehouse of knowledge of all men.  They are manifestations of the laws of nature, free to all men and reserved exclusively to none." SCOTUS, Funk Bros. Seed Co. v. Kale Inoculant Co.
                          


Joined: Dec 01, 2009
Posts: 211
Location: Northern California
Eucalyptus is good in cough drops.


Good as in medicinally useful; IMO, not good as in tasty! But that gets me wondering two things: Whether my violently allergic to eucalyptus friend could tolerate eucalyptus honey in small amounts (NOT going to spring it on him, BTW; anaphylaxis is not something either of us feels like playing games with), and whether eucalyptus honey makes for a better cough and throat remedy than other honey or whether the volatile oils are too dispersed by that point.

But yes, that's a good point--wax on the berries and nectar in the flowers will certainly be chemically different. They serve different biological functions and have different physical properties. If I had to guess, I would guess that bayberry wax protects the berry from insects, moisture, or fungi, or protects the seed from the effects of the berry being digested by birds.

I didn't know how they were pollinated so I did a quick search, and it seems like they're wind pollinated anyway... so lavenderdawn you may not have anything to worry about in any case; the flowers might not be attractive to bees.
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 151
Location: North Central New York
    
    1
Kerrick wrote:
I didn't know how they were pollinated so I did a quick search, and it seems like they're wind pollinated anyway... so lavenderdawn you may not have anything to worry about in any case; the flowers might not be attractive to bees.


Whew!  That's a relief.  That sort of had me going there.  Thanks for looking that up. 
                          


Joined: May 12, 2010
Posts: 52
I was a child when I made bayberry candles.
They were 100% bayberry too. That was hard to find until Lehman's had some in the catalog.

I remember seeing the pot and from my memory as a child, so it could have been bigger, but from that memory, The pot was 10 or 12 inches across by 20 inches tall... many quarts like 10 or 12. (remember to leave some for the birds)

I also remember that the wax got skimmed off the top, so not much of what came out of the berry was wax.

I am pretty sure we made 2 or maybe 4, 4 oz dixie cups sized candles.

I am sorry I cannot be more specific.
I would definitely be up to making those again.
I bought some as soon as I saw them in the lehman's catalog.
They burn nicely and have a nice smell.

Maybe I will check to see if the nursery has them now.
thank you,

jeanna
                              


Joined: Jan 09, 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Ohio zone 4-5
After participating in this topic, I ordered 10 bayberry seedlings from the New Hampshire Forestry Dept nursery. The healthy, big seedlings arrived about 2 weeks ago. Very impressed!!! They were 10 for $10 plus S & H. Here's the link if anyone is interested. (Not certain what is left at this late date):
http://www.dred.state.nh.us/nhnursery/seedlings.htm
Valerie Dawnstar


Joined: Dec 07, 2009
Posts: 151
Location: North Central New York
    
    1
Thanks for that link, Amadou.  Let us know how your bayberries do.  As one link often leads to another, I wondered if there were anything similar in my state.  I found - http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/9391.html
Also, I know that in my neck of the woods the county Soil and Water Conservation Depts. have spring seedling sales.  And then, I believe I remember at one of them hearing that this DEC nursery was where they got their stock from.  It looks like anyone can order from them -- if you want a hundred plants!       Then you could make lots of candles and still have some to spare for the wild life.
Delilah Gill


Joined: Dec 03, 2010
Posts: 35
Location: Southern Georgia
Wax myrtle berries made into candles are also good at keeping misquitos away. Bay tree (Gordonia) leaves have a waxy coating and can be used for candle making to and they inhibite flea eggs from hatching and are sometimes sold for that purpose.
Rebecca Dane


Joined: Aug 31, 2010
Posts: 211
Location: Missoula Montana
That is so cool...I had no idea.  Did you know you can make candles out of shortening also?  That is what it was originally intended for, and then when electricity came about they sold it as a food source.  Not very good for eating, but I would be willing to burn it as an oil lamp or candle!


Missoula Massage
                        


Joined: Mar 25, 2011
Posts: 107
Thank you, Amadou!  (Est-ce que vous-etes de Mariam et Amadou? )  I appreciate the link, as Valerie Dawnstar above, after reading your post I found that the KY Division of Forestry has similar deals with a lot of trees- including various nut trees!
 
permaculture playing cards
 
subject: Free source of wax for candles making.
 
cast iron skillet 49er

more from paul wheaton's glorious empire of web junk: cast iron skillet diatomaceous earth sepp holzer raised garden beds raising chickens lawn care flea control missoula electric heaters permaculture videos permaculture books