It sounds so simple. Freeze-dry your samples and pulverise them. But sometimes it's easier said than done! The core we took in Connecticut is all roots. With a mortar you're not getting anywhere. I was a bit at a loss. Luckily we have an inventive lab technician. She looked at my struggling, and said "maybe you should try one of these half-circular herb chopping knives!" And it sounded worth the try. She also knew a nearby kitchen untensil shop, and off I was.Such a thing seems to be called a "hachoir". And I hachoired away! Blimey, these roots don't stand a chance. It's a heck of a lot of work, and the thought that that core is a meter long makes me want to cry, run away, and stick my head in the sand somewhere, but at least I'm homogenising these samples better than I ever figured I'd be able to do!
I was chuffed with the results, but I still wanted one of the guys from the CORiF lab have a look at it. I mean, it says "mortar" on the description of sample preparation, not "chop".
When the bloke in question came up he became all lyrical. He said he'd never seen such organic sediments being homogenised so well. And then packed so well, with my famous upside-down chisel action. He immediately started taking pictures of me and my samples to send them to the head of the CORiF lab, so they'd have documentation of how it should be done. I'm not joking!
One of the pics in questionNo need to mention I continued with extra motivation. And still, that entire meter is still intimidating me, but I will end up on top!
And who knows. If somewhere in the distant future I'm done with that core I still have a most classy and culinary hachoir! If I can convince myself to find use for it in my kitchen my sister will perhaps be proud of me...