All of our sticks have been harvested about 20 miles outside of Eugene, Oregon. This year’s crop includes Cherry, Cascara, Viney Maple, and lots of Hazel. Now all we have to do is make all those sticks in to brooms. OMG, my poor back!
For the past five years we have worked closely with an award winning reforestation group called the “Oregon Woodlands Association.” By cutting out invasive undergrowth, it allows the native growth to reestablish itself. Instead of simply burning it, we recycle and make brooms out of them.
From the forest they go to the kiln where they are dried for about three weeks. This takes a lot of the weight out of the wood and the heat will dispose of any insects that might be hiding there. We usually start cutting the saplings in November and they get out of the kiln sometime in April.
So, whenever someone asks me, “How long does it take to make a broom?”, I tell them that there’s a lot of time spent harvesting and preparing the raw materials before we can actually start making a broom.
When we get our new supply of broomsticks, it’s always fun to imagine where they will all go. Some will be flying around playing quidditch with children, some jumped over in people’s wedding ceremonies and hand-fastings, some blessing new homes, some used in various rituals by our witchy friends and mostly just doing a great job of sweeping. Broom-making is a lot of work, but it is worth it.