Photography by Bill and Winnie Johnston
Quiet Shutter Photography
Nature has a way of surprising us consistently, this July is no exception. We had expected some of our earlier blooming lavender like Violet Intrigue, Munstead, and Hidcote to be ready for harvesting around the middle of the month. Our Violet Intrigue from our Bernice field was in full bloom on the 6th Overnight it seemed the bees were eating their fill of the delicious nectar, buzzing loudly with crickets as their steady companions. A heavenly scent swirled about us as we started our first harvest of the season. As you can see from the photo, we were as happy as our bees.
The next day our white culinary lavender Melissa was harvested and our drying shed was full of our crew tying bundles, making frames and hanging the hand harvested fresh lavender up to dry.
Visitors from as far away as Brazil and as near as Boyne City and Petoskey were delighted to see the unveiling of our recently renovated 96-year-old barn. A new roof, power washing of the interior and a wonderful exterior paint job was obvious to all. The doors were open as our new floor finish was drying and everyone was just blown away by how beautifully our new chandeliers glowed! It is a truly spectacular new look.
Our gift shop is full of surprises as well. Lavender chocolate covered local cherries, lavender maple syrup and chocolate lavender and lemon lavender small batch locally crafted ice cream! Fear not – your favorites such as our all nature Lavender Laundry Bar and hand made goat milk lavender soaps are always available.
We started distilling our own oil from the first harvest this morning. Operating the large still is quite complex: it takes patience and time. 3 bushels of fresh plants produce just 10 ml of oil. Hydrosol a co-product of the distillation process, which contains essential oils is often used for sunburn and other skin conditions was also bottled. To learn more about lavender hydrosol, see “The Benefits of Lavende” section of our website – LavenderHillFarm.com.
Lavender oil from New Zealand finally arrived – it is considered by many experts to be the most medicinal of all oils. Perfect for bees stings, a natural insect repellant and more.
Lavender Hill Farm is at its most glorious right now – come and visit us, we would love to show you our farm.
Bill, Erin and Rita