Thursday, July 31, 2014

White Oak Lavender Farm


Before tomorrow and the 1st of August, 
I'm getting this post up that I can still say that it happened last month!

I was invited to attend a Christmas meeting/party for the local Herb Guild last year.
Since then I've attended the requisite number of meetings 
and will become a full fledged member of the group after summer break.

My future herb bed will be along the kitchen side of the house
but right now, it's a wasteland knee deep in weeds and only weeds....and I'm not kidding.
Some of them may even be reaching waist height.  

This is the extent of the herbs currently at the house;
parsley, lemongrass, rosemary, mint, pineapple sage.  
Five in pots! 

Despite my masquerading as an herbal gardener, 
I went with the group on a tour of White Oak Lavender Farm in Harrisonburg
last month (late June).

Lavender was a plant that I never attempted in Louisiana.  
Humidity, clay and acid soil combines to make lavender a challenge to grow down there.  

First stop was CrossKeys Winery where we ate al fresco on a terrace
with a view of the Blue Ridge and the grape fields.
Then on to the farm where the lavender was in full bloom. 
The first harvest of 2014 was scheduled for the next day
so rich colors and smells were abundant.   

The farm was started 9 years ago with about 100 plants and has grown to over 9,000 mature plants! 
Lavender from the farm is sold for culinary use and crafts
as well producing lavender oil and water for sale.   
White and Pale Blue Lavenders
White Lavender in the Foreground not quite in Full Bloom
We had scheduled a guided tour 
given by the owner
and learned about their cultural practices,
propagation efforts,
distilling operations etc.  
I bought some tea and three young plants 
that are waiting in their pots for the day 
when I clear the weeds and start the herb garden!
Lavender Bunches Covering the Walls In a Drying Shed

7 comments:

  1. How beautiful! It's nice to know there's a lavender farm in VA; it would be nice to visit. Like you, I've always wanted to grow lavender..and to make lavender wands.

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  3. Hi Grace...it's so nice to see that you are doing well and enjoying your new home. I had good luck with lavender in Georgia and South Carolina. Now that I am in Houston, I don't know if I will try it or not in my own herb garden. Let's catch up!

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  4. Hi Grace...didn't know if you would know me by Rambosek...maiden name was Field...miss you and your family...Love, Tracy

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    1. OMG!!! Tracy!!! I've tried several times to track you down, but come up empty handed.
      I tried to email you back, but your settings don't allow direct replies to comments, so I'll have to make do here and hope you see it! It comes as "no-reply-blogger-comments" and is something you can change in your settings.
      But you can email me directly at GSimcoe at gmail. Can't wait to hear from you!!!!

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  5. I need to plant more lavender. I have made lavender bread and lavender cookies. All are wonderful

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  6. We have a lone lavender plant nowhere near as beautiful in bloom as the ones posted, Grace

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