Sunday, June 8, 2008

Lavender Hollow Farm

I went on a field trip yesterday. I drove southeast through the land of Peaches and Cream. (Hey Miss Jean, I waved and said Howdy when I went by. Did you hear me?) Then I followed Santa Fe Road about as far southeast as I could go without leaving San Joaquin County. I ended up at a wonderful place called Lavender Hollow Farm. They grow and sell lavender and lavender products. You can bring a picnic and enjoy their lawn area or just walk around and admire their lavender. You can purchase all kinds of nice things from their charming shop, and you can cut your own lavender (100 stems for $5). And on Sundays they have teas. Unfortunately all the high teas are booked for this year, but simple tea and scones are available without reservations.

Here is the signs I drove past the first time, but when I turned around I spotted the lavender down in the hollow. Those are the test beds in the foreground. And in the distance is the picnic area and shop.
I had to park in this crummy spot. In the distance are the actual farm fields where they grow the lavender for their products and where folks can cut their own bunches.

The farm fields are well marked which helped me to decide that Royal Velvet was my favorite. It's not as big as Grosso and the flowers are a large deep purple.
The soil in this area of San Joaquin County is sandy and well draining; just right for lavender. They set the plants 3' apart and mulch with gray landscape cloth. They irrigate with black hose (you can see it in the lower right) that has holes every 3'. There were no weeds anywhere and the plants all looked happy and healthy.

In the shop you can buy bunches of lavender, sachets, live plants, and this lavender oil. It is made there using highly sophisticated and mechanized methods. Below is a photo of their oil production area.

Basically they take dried lavender bunches and put them in a still, yep, a still, to make the oil. The lavender is in the towel wrapped thing in the middle, the little burner on the left makes the steam, and the oil collects in the bottle on the right.

In front of the shop they had lots of tall pots with different varieties of lavender for sale. Remember how I liked Royal Velvet best? Well, lookie, lookie, three of them just jumped in a bag for me to take home. I hope they'll be happy living with me Amongst The Oaks.


Miss Jean said...

You were really close to me when you went to the lavender farm! In fact, I almost went that day but I was babysitting the boys. I love the farm. Did you get a chance to talk to Alice? - such a dear person. My quilt group has a Lavender Lunch there the last Saturday in June. This will be our second. We bring our own lunch and this time we're having a lavender quilt show. Stop by!

Beverly said...

Oh my gosh! How amazing. I have actually never seen lavender growing. I wonder if it would grow where I live. I'll have to check on that.

Such an amazing place.

Morning said...

We have a lavender farm not too far away, too, and I love the smell as you walk around. What fun!

Mary said...

What fun!!! I'd love to visit there. Lavender doesn't last too long in my red clay soil. I have a friend who plants it in containers every year. Love it!

Rhondi said...

Hi Laura. That lavender farm looks wonderful! Wish I could go there!
I am enjoying the photos of all the white flowers. You take great pictures.
Hope you have a happy day.
Hughs, Rhondi