From our humble beginnings in 2004 when we opened our shop to the general public, we are now in our 11th year of business. We have expanded our culinary/beauty products greatly – Lavender jelly, Honey Mustard, lollies, Honey and fudge just to name a few and our popular Lavender Ice. Cream, Hand cream, soaps, scrubs and home care range all proving to be popular. Our latest addition has been the introduction of light meals deciding to add these in Jan 08, our visitors can choose from our light lunch menu as well as our coffee and homemade cake menu, we are keeping it simple with gourmet toasted sandwiches the above are offered with additional sauces including our home made lavender mustard. The lavender scones are a winner served with fresh cream and lavender jams along with espresso coffees or pot of lavender tea, we would have to say the home made lavender ice cream is very popular liked by young and old.
The outdoor eating area is tranquil and peaceful adding to the relaxing atmosphere overlooking our pond area and lavender fields, also viewing our general farming area with the Wisanger Hills and lagoon in the background.
When we first started planting Lavender in the paddock we did all our propagating by stem cuttings after a few failures in the early days 2003 – 06, since then we have been doing a method called layering instead of covering a few branches with wet dirt in the autumn we actually fill the whole bush up with semi damp dirt 150ml from the top of the plant. After the opening rains come in April – May the branches that are covered with dirt will sprout roots in about 6-8 weeks. The whole bush is then pulled out and dissected into as many as possible depending on the size of the bush (15 – 100) strikes. they are then put straight into the ground and planted up to the lateral branches for future dissecting.
By this method we have gone from about 20% to 90% strike rate depending on spring rains
We now have approx 6.5 km of weed mat which will have about 10,000 plants in when completely full. At this moment we have approx. 7500 living plants. Since our beginnings in 2004 we have had some mixed seasons some ups and downs but in general the Lavenders have survived maybe not producing at there best at times but still giving us a purple paddock.
This year we will be laying out all of the flower heads on black plastic to dry for about 5 -6 days in the sun depending on the weather of course, hoping for no wind. From there we will roll it to get most of the flower head out, this is easier and quicker than banding, bunching and hand stripping, we don’t waste anything, sticks are then mulched and used as Lavender mulch, a bit of value adding.
The tedious job of cutting and trimming is done with an electric hedge trimmer this has a 1 mtr long blade