Harvesting Lavender In our Garden
On our farm in Cobble Hill we grow 4 types of lavender:
- Munstead Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia
- Hidcote Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia
- Melissa Lavender, Lavendula angustifolia
- Lavandin, Lavandula x intermedia
These flowering plants have a sweet-smelling aroma and many soothing medicinal properties. It takes 3 years for a lavender plant to grow to its peak and will grow successfully in full for up to 15 years. We are currently working to propagate and plant new lavender plants, including our lovely Munstead lavender pictured above, as we planted these on our farm 13 years ago!
Lavender loves warm sun throughout the day. When harvesting for distillation, it is important to make sure the plants are dry and have been exposed to an extended period of warm weather. Our farm is located on Vancouver Island, on the West Coast of Canada, where it is common for us to get rain during each season of the year. July is the peak time of flowering for lavender and one of the warmest months of the year, making it the best time for harvesting.
We start our harvesting in the morning when the heat is low. The harvesting process is done by hand. We collect a handful of flowering tops and cut the stem, above where the bush of the plant begins. The vast majority of the essential oil exists in the buds of the lavender flowers, so we do want to minimize the amount of stem we cut, as this will reduce our yield. Including the stem does make a nice mesh of the lavender in the still which creates an even space for the steam to travel through during the distillation process.
Lavender is a powerful essential oil that can help soothe skin, ease breathing, and relax the nervous system. It can be diffused in your home or applied topically to calm breathing and the nervous system. Lavender works to both revive and soothe, so it's a mainstay in most diffusers.
Lavender water, or hydrosol, is an excellent daily skincare treatment for all skin types. It is especially cooling for eczema and is regenerative for fragile or damaged skin. Both cleansing and refreshing, add it to masks; use before and after shaving to prevent inflammation and ingrown hairs; or use in the home, car, or office to promote calmness. It is excellent and effective when used as a cleanser and a helpful healer on cuts and scrapes for adults and children.
July is an exciting time on our farm as most flowers and herbs are hitting their peak for the season. This is prime harvesting and distillation season for many plants that we grow, but lavender is by far our favorite!
Questions about lavender and its distillation? Write us a comment below!
Want to be the first to know when our locally grown, harvested, and distilled lavender oil and hydrosol will be available? We invite you to join our email list to be the first to know.
Happy Lavender season everyone!