Our Farm is set on a gently sloping hillside. That gentle slope can be a challenge for some because it does seem to go on forever on a hot day. The beauty of the hill is that when you’re at the top you can see nothing but lavender and breathtaking views for miles.We initially planted five varieties of English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia); and we have planted more each year including a few French lavenders (Lavandins) in the flower beds around the barn and along the drive. The neat rows of English lavender have different appearances at various times of the year; sometimes they’re silvery, others they’re bright green and then of course purple and blue; but they always look quite spectacular. We usually start seeing purple in the field in late May but the predominant color then is still the green foliage. As we move into June the purple wash gains traction and the dusting of purple moves from the tops of the stems down to the ground as a riot of color dominates into the middle of June. From mid June until the middle of July the color of all of our plants is striking. From the middle of July until the end of the month the color becomes gradually more muted until the end of July. We open in June and July because those are the flowering months but the strongest color is usually found in late June. Harvesting our lavender takes hundreds of woman-hours. It is for that reason that we begin harvesting as early as we can and sometimes we harvest the first culinary lavender just before our first festival. The harvest continues through the summer months with a large push at the end of July to get the harvest in before the color turns to a more muted purple.
We are members of the Southern Oregon Lavender Trail – a group of local lavender farmers who have created a unique attraction in the Applegate valley with a variety of events and lavender inspired products available at each farm.We started as a group of six venues but at this point have shrunk to just three. But things are changing and we will soon be welcoming new members to our group! Stay tuned.
We don't use chemicals or pesticides in our fields and our products are as natural as possible. We feed the lavender with Epsom salts in the spring and fall but by-and-large lavender seems to do well left to its own devices. We distill lavender oil in our copper still and this begins as soon as we start picking lavender each year. When all of the lavender is harvested and hung in the barn and the fields have become green again, the more attractive lavender bouquets are sorted, wrapped and boxed for the following year and the less attractive stems are either de-budded or distilled.We distill our own lavender. Its a slow process and with a small still it takes hours for each run. To clear the barn at the end of the season takes months. But the time it takes is kind of part of the process. When the lavender is fresh from the field we take the bunches and lop off the flowering end of the bunch. All of the oil is in the lavender buds. There is no oil in the leaves, the stems or even the little flowers (coronets) that burst out of the buds. We have heard that the flowers and stems have lavender oil in them but our attempts to distill just those parts have always resulted in not a single drop of oil. So the flowering ends of the stems fill a large stainless steel perforated drum and that drum, when packed with flowering stems, goes into the still. We bolt the top down with some very large thumb screws and begin the process. We use electric heat to boil the water and our glass essencier separates oil from water. We dont actually sell hydrosol. We used to, but so many people brought it back to us saying that they thought it would smell more like lavender oil, that we decided to discontinue sales. Instead, if you would like to bring a suitable container when you come to the farm we will happily fill it with the fresh hydrosol being produced that day at no charge.
The map below might be useful if you are trying to find us. GPS systems often direct travelers to an address which is a mile or two short of where we are. The entrance to the farm is at 8040 Thompson Creek, Applegate, Oregon 97530.For the more technically minded we can be found at: Latitude: 42.15983 Longitude: -123.23611800000003