Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lavender with everything

Note to self - learn to take photos with the iPad without fogging half the lens.
On Wednesday we made a beeline for Bridestowe Lavender Farm. As you can see it’s not the most impressive time of year to visit - that would be in January when it looks like this;

This pic is one of several beauties on Ross Tours website.
Even in July the place is beautiful; the contoured rows are very handsome. They don’t need to irrigate at all - the site was carefully chosen for its soil type and rainfall. Having learned this, it was a real shock to see that the original bush surrounded the farm is scraggiest you'll see, and the soil looks spectacularly unpromising.

85% of their lavender oil is exported. Their boom product in recent years has been plush bears full of lavender-infused wheat, to use as heat packs. They have a limit of one per person, and elaborate anti-piracy measures so you can register your bear and confirm it is genuine.

I think they are running into the problem of how to be a viable commercial supplier of lavender oil while meeting demand for these bears, and how to be an efficient working farm when they are swamped with visitors at most crucial time of year. I see on their site that they charge $7.50 per head to visit in December and January.

I think most of the visitors are Asian tourists, and there was some forceful home-made signage around to the effect that NO YOU CANNOT TAKE PHOTOS HERE, and a few oblique comments. Cultural diversity is a wonderful thing, but I felt that in this case WE were providing the diversity.

They sell lavender-infused everything. Foods, napery, bath oils and lotions etc. We bought lavender furniture polish, lavender and apple jelly, and a pair of lavender oven mitts. Then we had pancakes with lavender ice cream, and lavender scones.

The large pup was in the car during our visit, so we kept it short; but in truth there was not that much to do and few other visitors clogging up the scone production line. 

The day was turning rainy so when we got back to the shack, we went to the local library in two shifts, and loaded up on books. The rest of the day was spent working our way through them and spinning LPs.

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