There is something about the smell of fresh balsam that says Adirondacks.
But how do you keep that sensory memory when you are not in the ‘dacks?
Hazel and David Flack have solved that problem by capturing that aromatic fresh balsam scent and making a range of pillows and doorstops that enable you to take ithe smell of the outdoors with you anywhere.
Flacks Country Treasures -- one of more than a dozen crafters at the Schroon Lake Thursday Crafts Market – specialize in balsam products, as well as dry flower arrangements, maple syrup and spectacular nature pictures made by their son Steven.
The Flacks have been making the balsam pillows for about 14 years, David told Schroon Laker.
“My wife started buying balsam because she wanted to make a few things but there was no smell to the balsam she was buying. So we started with our own balsam".
The Flacks, from Ticonderoga, source the balsam from local landscapers, who have left over Christmas wreaths.
“The wreaths have wire in them, so they cant take ‘em to the landfill anymore so we made a deal with them to take them off their hands, and we give them the wires back.
The secret to aromatic balsam is the drying process.
“It can’t get moldy and you can’t let it dry too much because its turns to powder”.
And how long does it last?
“I’ve had a balsam pillow in my slide out camper for 12 years,” a smiling David said.
The Flacks also make and sell their own Maple Syrup, which comes from their 650 taps. This year was a bumper season.
Schroon Lake Arts & Crafts Market, Town Hall, 9 am – 3pm every Thursday during the summer.