Last summer, Jon and I spent a few weeks getting to know the lavender farmers of southern Oregon. We were so inspired by their work and we wanted to share it with you, so we ended up filming a series of videos all about their farms and how they grow, care for and distill lavender. That video is now ready to share with you, so I wanted to take a moment to introduce it to you today!
We hope to inspire you to visit your local lavender farms this summer and perhaps even travel to southern Oregon to visit ours. We also hope that some of you will be inspired to start lavender farms of your own! I think you’ll find the information in the film to be a helpful start if you do decide to grow lavender – whether just a few plants in your urban garden or a whole field of aromatic blooms.
What You'll Learn in the Film
- how each of the farms was started
- how to grow and care for lavender
- how best to harvest lavender
- how and when to prune lavender
- how to propagate lavender
- how to distill lavender in a copper still or a stainless steel still (one is propane-powered and the other is electric)
- how the farms came together to co-market each other
The Farms We've Featured
There are four farms we’ve featured in the film. The first is the English Lavender Farm in Applegate. They produce the most exquisite, slow-distilled lavender essential oil. I’ve tried lavender oils from dozens of farms and commercial brands and theirs is my favorite. (You can order it here.) You’ll meet the owners, Derek and Sue Owen, and will get to see Derek distill lavender in their copper still. He has a unique and clever set up that I think you’ll appreciate! You can order products from their farm here.
You’ll also meet John, Bonnie, Bob and Caryn of Lavender Fields Forever in Jacksonville. John and Bonnie founded the farm and, as you’ll learn, met clinical aromatherapist Caryn at one of her aromatherapy classes! Caryn now owns the farm with Bob and they continue to host educational distillation classes using their custom-made stainless steel still. You’ll get to see John walk you through a distillation and learn from Bob how best to harvest lavender. You can order lavender products from their farm here.
Jim and Dotti, founders of Goodwin Creek Gardens in Williams, will teach you how to care for, prune and propagate lavender. Hear the story of how they bred the Goodwin Creek Grey variety, which is now grown by lavender lovers all around the country. You can even see it growing at the Getty Center in Los Angeles! Jim and Dotti have now retired, but their organic plant nursery continues on with the new owners, Jered and Anna. You can order their organic lavenders, herbs, and pollinator plants online here.
Lastly, you’ll meet Irv, the head Master Gardener of the Lavender Garden at the Southern Oregon Research & Extension Center. Irvin helps care for the Lavender Garden, which contains over 250 lavender plants and at least 100 different varieties of lavender. He’ll show you how to prune lavender to prepare it for a wet, rainy winter.
How to Watch the Film - It's Free!
I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know these lavender growers! Click on the image below to watch the film.