History, history, history. KNOW your history. For those who are history buffs like me, this is fascinating. Young Living has a history which spans back almost 30 years! It all started with an injured logger (Gary Young), a passion for health and healing, and a chance meeting between two men who both knew the world needed more than what was being offered from essential oil companies at the time. Jean-Noël Landel, the man Gary met, forever changed the way he looked at essential oils. A French farmer, he did not farm plants the way Americans did. He did not grow or distill them the same. Such care, consideration, and research were put into his efforts. This type of farming had not been seen in the United States. Our culture of the time was to plant a bunch, distill quickly at high temperatures, and bottle with several added constituents to stretch the quantity, preserve the oil, or synthetically alter the smell and compounds to yield a more pleasing product to the senses. Jean-Noël listened to the plants. He grew without pesticides or weed killers. Rotated his crops perfectly. Added minerals and enzymes to the plants, harvested just the blossoms rather than uprooting and destroying the plant, distilled at a lower temperatures in beautiful old copper distills used in France for centuries, and made certain the utmost care and consideration were used when working with the plants and essential oils. Truly Providence, Gary just happened to meet and befriend one of the most amazing and knowledgeable men in the world of essential oils. How wonderful for all of us, he knew immediately how rare and valuable this experience was, saved up his money, and flew to France to learn everything Jean-Noël was willing to teach him. The two became best friends and partners. I have personally met Jean-Noël, and his son, who is continuing the traditions of his family. Honestly, I have never met a man so humble and kind. How lucky for all of us that he taught Gary how to properly farm and distill essential oils so we could have them in our country, too!
When Gary left France and Jean-Noël, he came back with smuggled lavender seeds filling his boots, and immediately set about planting and farming his two small pieces of land in Washington and Idaho, using all of the methods he had learned in France. Farming the right way has its rewards. The plants grew more beautiful and bountiful than those commercially grown in the US. Designing his first distiller to replicate those he had seen in France, Gary began distilling his own plants. As time went on, Gary, the ultimate researcher and farmer, learned to plant a larger variety of crops, build newer and more modern distilleries, and learn more about the science and history of essential oils. He traveled all over the globe to find the plants he wanted, study the environment, and develop more farms exclusively dedicated to the farming, research, and education of essential oils. Today we have about a dozen farms and partner farms. Our farms: dedicated to plants and essential oils grown in beyond organic conditions. Essential oils are used as pesticides on the plants. Some of these include lemongrass, clove, cinnamon bark, oregano, and eucalyptus essential oils. Plants are hand-weeded, so don't be surprised when you go to the farm and there are a few weeds in and among the plant rows. I've had the pleasure of helping out at one of the farms on numerous occasions and can tell you: it is hard back-breaking work! Most of our farms have distilleries on site. All of them have labs on site. Plants are given enzymes and minerals from composting, worm farms, and earth minerals/enzymes. While we strive to grow plants in native climates (most of our plants grow in the world zones they come from) we often look to the plant to figure out how it will grow best. Sometimes this means the best plant comes from planting it in a vastly different region. A prime example of this is our peppermint. While most species of peppermint grow at low elevations, Gary found by planting it up in higher elevation. At 2,000 ft on our Idaho farm, the peppermint we grow has shown to be one of the most amazing species of peppermint, with high levels of menthol and hundreds of amazing compounds shown to be phenomenal.
With our partner farms: all must use the same care and growing practices as our main farms. We are in close relation with them and monitor every step of their farming. Gary's farming mission: to continue to gain and grow farms. He would like Young Living to be entirely self-sufficient in our plants and farms. Some day, for sure!
Some of our farms:
Northern Lights, Canada Farm
Tansy Harvest at Idaho Farm
Ecuador In-Depth Farm view -- long video
Mona Farm, Utah
Newest Farm in Croatia -- not really a big farm yet
Oman Farm - Frankincense