Anticipating Lavender Season on the Farm
We love all the seasons on the farm, each perfectly flowing into the next with its own lovely distinctions. But summer really sings here at Los Poblanos, and our organic Grosso lavender is one of the high notes.
After months of watching and tending the fields with patient care, the lavender plants have begun to spike and our dedicated farmers are eager to see the fields flower. Yet they know regardless of when the plants were sheared, despite the impact of the drip irrigation system, and certainly no matter what happened in previous seasons, predicting precisely when our lavender will bloom is an exercise in futility. It's all up to Mother Nature. While this last long year has taken a toll, lavender moves at a pace that reminds us to be in the moment and appreciate the steadfastness of the natural world.
Lavender plants grow slowly at first. Each season, our farmers walk through every row in the fields, checking in on the plants and restoring irrigation lines. As the days grow longer and warmer, new growth speeds up. A shade of new green creates a halo over the old silver shades of last year's growth.
Once harvest season arrives, our farmers and gardeners will gather in the fragrant fields as the sun rises, scythes in hand and accompanied by our bees. A gentle wave of a scythe over the blooming plants causes the bees to move away, and handful by handful, produces a bundle of lavender. The harvested resinous stem, leaf and bloom are then weighed, logged and immediately taken to the massive copper alembic stills to be distilled. The process of steam distillation coaxes the plant material into giving up their oils, moisture and fragrance to be captured and separated into essential oil and hydrosol that are the base of our artisan lavender product line.
The harvest continues and the lavender not delivered fresh to the stills is carefully dried and stored until it is time to steam. The fragrance of the fields, of the harvest and of the distillation process permeate the air on the farm. Our lavender roots remind us of the legacy of the late Dr. Armin Rembe, who, with his wife Penny, had a vision to create a sustainable and regenerative approach to agriculture that marries the experimental nature of Los Poblanos at its inception with a more thoughtful use of land and water to carry us into the future.
Wes' Gardening Tip
Lavender is a drought tolerant plant and thrifty on water when established for three years or so. For the first few summers, it will need regular deep watering every two or three days.
-Wes Brittenham, Farm & Landscape Manager