Our first harvest was remarkable! Our lavender plants loved the very hot, dry summer that Northern Michigan experienced. Earlier than usual, our plants were in glorious ripe bloom and we got to work hand harvesting our plots.
The first to be ready was a culinary cultivar “Melissa”. This pale pink almost white lavender which is typically used for in making our Lavender Jelly and other edible treats, had such an amazing aroma that we decided to experiment and distill it. The distilling process takes hours, each batch of plants are gently coaxed into releasing their treasures – essential oil and hydrosol. Our reward was a uniquely sweet scented oil.
While some of us were busy in the “Still House”, our crew was hard at work both in the fields and in our “Drying Shed”. Harvesting the plants is just the first step in a process: our plants are either dried for various uses – including bouquets, buds for cooking and baking, for making soap, and the dozens of products you will find on our Shop. Other varieties are destined for distilling into oil. Our 2016 harvest provided four varieties of plants for essential oils: Melissa, Hidcote, Violet Intrigue and Grosso. The coproduct of this distillation process is hydrosol, and we were delighted to have reaped over 25 gallons of it! Our hydrosol (see the “Benefits of Lavender” section of our website for more information) is already available. Our oils will be aging for the next 3 to 4 months, and we will announce when they are ready.
The satisfaction and joy after months of careful watering, weeding, and care culminated with fields of spectacularly beautiful huge blooms. Photographers, painters, and guests alike were awed by the sights and scents. Local residents told us how they loved driving on Horton Bay Road! They would roll down their windows and be engulfed by the fragrance of our lavender. Cutting their own lavender was a much loved activity for our visitors this past month. We were host to visitors from as far as Cuba and Brazil, and as close as Petoskey. Their delight was contagious!
As the summer draws to a close there is still much to see and do at Lavender Hill Farm, so please stop by and enjoy the luxury of lavender with us.
Our heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to our families, friends and co-workers who have made this first season at Lavender Hill Farm most memorable. We love you and thank you!