18th November 2021
Last week, the Year 5’s travelled to two different local factories that produce oils made from plants found in this area.
First we went to Fairoils, which is located in Burgeret. This factory makes essential oils that are sold both locally and internationally. We were shown around the farm of one of the suppliers and saw where the different plants used are grown. We then went to the factory where we saw the machines that turn the plants into oils. We saw tea tree limbs fed into the chipper prior to being super-heated to release the oil. The factory also had a separate area for producing geranium oil.
Our other stop for the day was at EcoFix. This is a factory north of town that makes croton nut oil. We learned that this is the only croton nut oil factory in the world! This was a very loud tour as we got to see all the machines in action. We saw the nuts placed into the machine and broken apart to separate the seed from the shell. The seeds are then taken into another machine that crushes them to extract the oil. The remains of the seeds were compacted into a hard ‘cake’ that is crushed in another machine to produce chicken feed. Seeing the whole process from sacks of croton nuts to the end products was very cool to watch! Eco-Fix is a zero waste factory, so they even use the outer shell of the nuts for organic compost. They are not used to having school groups visit but gave us an incredible tour and showed us some of their products that are available to buy locally.
This was an extremely informative trip as we have been studying Properties of Materials in our Science lessons. Students have learned about the different states of matter and how to separate and combine materials. This half term they have learned about physical and chemical changes of materials when mixed, and this trip complimented our Science learning.