Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The harvest season is winding down. We still have some Super lavender left, it's not done blooming. The sunflowers are going nuts, though! We planted three acres of them to hold the dirt down in our new field.

It looks like I'll be getting a life back so I can write in the blog. This farming life is very intensive, but I've never been happier. We are a small lavender farm with a BIG view and some great gardens - this all takes a huge amount of work. We are also intimately tied into our community, which involves volunteering with various organizations including the uniquely Whidbey sort of thing - Lighthouse Environmental Programs. Then, last January, I went and said yes to being the president of the Central Whidbey Chamber of Commerce. It's a real stretch for a farming type to be president of such an organization, especially when anything at all is expected during harvest season, which for lavender lasts three months. What was I thinking?

It looks like we'll be getting our jams and jellies into a relatively small grocery chain. I'm really excited about that - it's a large step for our product line to grow beyond the farm.

The distilling with the copper still has been, simply, just fabulous. It helps people see how essential oils are made, and I get to create some fine hand-crafted oils that smell amazingly good right away. Our farm is still small enough that we can distill with 100% copper and that makes a huge difference. The quantity is small, so we sell it mostly to our own customers and use it in our own products and can't consider wholesaling much of it.

Our new gardens with pond and gazebo have been a hit this year. Though the pond has evaporated much more than I had planned. We are looking forward to the rainy season so it can fill up again. We created it to catch the rain water that falls on our roofs and driveway in order to use the water for watering our nursery stock. It has been a lesson in more forces of nature while we watch first the wind and then the sun suck up the water. We expect the pond to fill this winter. It didn't last year due to last construction. Even though this summer was wetter than normal, the water still left us. We do have lots of fish (goldfish and coy), though, that have grown and now we are seeing tiny new ones, so they are doing very well.


Anonymous said...

i miss the farm.


Betty C. said...

I am the person who asked about culinary lavender on Béa's blog and coincidentally, I am originally from the Pacific NW (Olympia.) I now live in France and have for 18 years. I have four lavender plants but have no idea what kind they are, so I might need to plant one that I am sure is "culinary." We're planning on planting a lot of lavender anyway -- it's so beautiful and seems to do well where we live.

Sarah said...

Maxwell! The farm misses you, too!

Betty C. I've recently discovered Bea's blog. (For those of you who haven't found it yet, is a fabulous blog about food and she recently wrote about a lavender creme brule). How cool that you are originally from this area, too!

One way to tell the lavender plants, is by how they look. The Angustifolias tend to look like regular lavender, and in the winter they'll not look like much, even look dead like normal deciduous plants do. Then they put out new growth in the spring even coming from deep within the plant. They are smallish, too. Ask some of your neighbors or friends what they call the lavenders you have, if they say "La lavande vrai" or something like that, then you can probably cook with it. In any case, enjoy the new plants that you'll be putting in over time!

Cheers to both of you!

bean said...

Hi my name is Erselle Im a student at The Evergreen State College- I was wondering if you needed any help havesting the lavender this summer? Please email me at if you are interested.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you soon:)