The Lavender Fields
The Lavender Fields™ started as a dream in June 1998 when we moved to a nine-acre farm in the hills of California's San Diego County. The property seemed right for our crop of choice, lavender. Paul and I both love the herb for its lovely flowers and exquisite fragrance. But the main reason for choosing lavender is because it is one of the hardiest plants to grow, loves sunny southern slopes, needs very little care, really dislikes rich soil and cannot live with wet feet. Perfect choice for our skill level, climate, soil, and for where water is a scarce commodity.
In the winter of 1999 we built a potting shed and began the process of propagating. We have very generous neighbors who allowed us to make cuttings from their one-year-old plants. Soon we had 3000 little starter plants in the shed.
By the spring of 2000 we constructed a small shade house which we needed to "harden off" the baby plants. We began to move the plants from the starter flats into the shade house, where they would stay for another 4 weeks. By doing this, when they actually went into the ground they would be ready for our hot California sunny days out in the fields.
We began planting our first three fields in May 2000. By the fall of that year, the plants were in full bloom. We hand cut all the bundles, dried them and began hand stripping the buds. By the end of the fall harvest we had enough buds to begin to make our dried products. We also purchased a small copper distiller for oil production that summer. With the oil and the floral water (hydrosol) from distillation, we began producing our line of body mists, cremes, and lotions.
We’ve grown a bit since our humble beginnings. We now have a 600 square foot greenhouse, which we use as a nursery for the propagation and nurturing of thousands of baby lavenders of all varieties. We also have a small workshop which we use to manufacture our line of products and is open for the public to visit when they come to our farm.
We have a shed that houses our distiller, a larger model than the original, which allows us to produce more oil per batch in a more economical way. We have carved out a walking self-guided tour throughout the farm where we’ve installed signage offering varietal names and a brief statement about each variety.
Our goal is to continue to plant more of our acreage in lavender for oil production and testing gardens. We look upon our farm as a ‘work in progress’ and don’t really see improvement of the farm as ever being finished. We are excited for the future of our continued learning and love for this wonderful gift called lavender.
Phone: (888) 839-1489
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