At one level in my life, I used to be drawn to the attract of lavender. I believed to myself that I wished to develop lavender and have a lavender and natural farm. It appeared like a bucolic life-style to assist steadiness the science / lab life-style I had and I used to be simply drawn to. And whereas rising lavender entails much more than simply sitting round and watching lavender bloom, I nonetheless discover it fairly satisfying and all this train has to maintain me younger, proper?
We attempt to hold our farm at round 1000 lavender crops. Though yearly we lose many crops, we attempt to replant them to maintain a continuing variety of crops. This 12 months the loss seems to be larger, probably as a result of scorching, dry winds within the spring.
Kinds of lavender
There are two predominant kinds of lavender grown in the US; Lavandula angustifolia and Lavandula x intermedia and inside every of those species are a whole bunch of types which all have barely totally different traits. Each belong to the mint household (Lamiaceae). They’re native to the Mediterranean and love dry climates and rocky soils.
Lavandula angustifolia is typically known as English lavender and even true lavender. Nevertheless, we need to use the botanical title in order that there is no such thing as a confusion. Inside the angustifolia species we develop the next varieties: Maillette, Folgate, Hidcote, Royal Purple, Irene Doyle, Melissa, Munstead, Buena Vista, and possibly a couple of others that I forgot. My favourite is Folgate. It appears to do properly in our local weather (Colorado) and has lengthy stems, which makes it nice for bouquets. Royal Purple is simply behind with its darkish purple flowers.
The second species, Lavandula x intermedia is a cross between L. angustifolia and L. latifolia. It’s generally known as “lavandin” and generally known as French lavender. It appears very related and you will not discover the distinction besides that the crops themselves are generally taller and have longer stems. The scent can be somewhat extra camphoric than angustifolia.
On this species we develop the next varieties: Grosso, Large Hidcote, Provence, Tremendous and Impress Purple. This species doesn’t develop very properly. I planted Provence the primary 12 months we planted and I believe most at the moment are lifeless. The Tremendous is new this 12 months, so I hope it’s doing properly.
We individually harvest and distill the 2 species of lavender to provide hydrosol and important oil. Many farms may also distill every selection individually. We have not executed it but, however we’d have sufficient this 12 months to do it.
The primary parts of Lavandula angustifolia important oil are linalool and linalyl acetate. These parts give lavender its enjoyable and anti-anxiety qualities. Though the principle parts of Lavandula x intermedia are additionally linalool and linalyl acetate, it additionally incorporates excessive quantities of eucalyptol and camphor which provides it a barely harsher aroma. However, it nonetheless has enjoyable qualities, however can be used for respiratory results.
We harvest lavender in three totally different phases. The primary being when the buds are simply beginning to seem on the stem. We bundle and dry them and use them as buds for culinary functions and in bathtub merchandise and our Dream Pillows. When the flowers begin to open on the backside of the stem, we harvest them to make bouquets. These are giant bouquets of contemporary flowers to have round the home or we dry them to be used as dried flower bouquets. And third, as soon as the flowers are in full bloom, we harvest them for distillation.
Our predominant distillation product is the hydrosol or the aqueous a part of the distillation. We take away the important oil floating on prime and bottle the portion of fragrant water generally known as hydrosol or distilled water to make use of as a face and physique mist. These fantastic sprays will tone, hydrate and refresh not solely the pores and skin, but additionally the thoughts. If you’re feeling down you’ll certainly really feel higher after a couple of sprays! We then use the important oil in a wide range of merchandise, however we by no means have sufficient to make use of.
If you’re considering any of our lavender merchandise, you could find it right here. They embody Lavender Cleaning soap (with Shea Butter), Lavender / Rose Physique Oil, Lavender Mountain Mist Hand / Physique Lotion, Lavender / Rose Salt Scrub, Dream Pillows, Natural Foot Bathtub, Inexperienced Tea Natural Bathtub, Clear Creek Hand / Physique Wash, Yarrow. Lavender / rose cleaning oil and bathtub salts.
Are you drawn to the attract of lavender? If you’re considering rising lavender, take a look at the United States Lavender Growers Association. It was created in 2012 as an expert group for lavender producers. I’m proud to have been a part of the organizing committee. There’s additionally Colorado Lavender Association. Each teams are of nice assist to lavender growers.