FENLAND: Gifts for a king- including frankincense and myrrh- can be found on Ken's farm

PUBLISHED: 17:38 06 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 02 June 2010

Ken Goodger with his seasonal offerings

Ken Goodger with his seasonal offerings

FORGET travelling to lands afar, you can find gifts fit for a king in the Fens. Frankincense and myrrh can be found on the farm of Ken Goodger, who turned to essential oils while many of his neighbours were diversifying into holiday cottages. Christmas, n

FORGET travelling to lands afar, you can find gifts fit for a king in the Fens.

Frankincense and myrrh can be found on the farm of Ken Goodger, who turned to essential oils while many of his neighbours were diversifying into holiday cottages. Christmas, not surprisingly, is his busiest time.

While Jesus' golden gift remains a coveted metal, the growing popularity of aromatherapy is seeing demand for the two fragrances increase.

From his farm at Tipps End, bear Welney, his business Norfolk Essential Oils exports vats of frankincense, myrrh and other oils, around the world.

Around Christmas time he also gets the odd call from interested people who have found him in a quest to get hold of the Magi's presents during the festive period.

Today frankincense is mainly used in incenses and pastilles although the essential oils are often used in aromatherapy. It is still used today to treat a number of conditions including ulcers, bronchitis, snakebites and jaundice.

Mr Goodger does not actually grow the trees which produce frankincense and myrrh, but he has 150 acres of oil-producing herbs including camomile, lavender, hyssop and peppermint.

But with the distilling tanks already fired up for his own plants, he hit upon the idea of distilling frankincense and myrrh.

Large bags of resin are imported from Somalia where the resin is collected by hand from trees and turned into oil.

The price of distilled frankincense and myrrh has gone up this year due to the increase fuel costs and the political situation in Somalia which has caused delays in delivery, he said.

A litre bottle of distilled frankincense costs £100 and a litre of myrrh from Norfolk Essential Oils now costs £225.

So, as you are singing the words of the carol We Three Kings around epiphany and the presents sent seem to be from a time far away you could just find they are a little closer to home than you would think.


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