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Watch Our Film About Growing, Caring for and Distilling Lavender

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.

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Erin Stewart is an herbalist, NAHA certified aromatherapist, organic gardener and urban homesteader. She grows over 70 kinds of aromatic and medicinal plants for her own apothecary and distills essential oils and hydrosols in her PNW garden. Erin is the founder of Floranella and of AromaCulture’s herbalism + aromatherapy magazine.

Want to learn more about herbalism and aromatherapy?

AromaCulture Magazine is filled with educational articles, case studies and recipes written by practicing herbalists and certified aromatherapists. New issues are published each month and issues are available individually or via subscription. Visit www.aromaculture.com for more information.

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3 thoughts on “Watch Our Film About Growing, Caring for and Distilling Lavender”

  1. Christine Lamb

    Thank you so much for the lovely film all about lavender. I really enjoyed it, and learned so much about growing and distilling lavender! It really makes you appreciate even more how precious the essential oils and hydrosols are, because of all the time it takes to grow the plants, and then the long process of distillation. Also, the fact that it takes so much plant material to make just a small amount of essential oil! It’s so fascinating, and thank you again for providing this in-depth look, and the chance to meet some lavender farmers.

  2. Laurie J Hale

    Thank you Jon and Erin for making and then sharing this lovely video with us. I appreciate learning about the different lavender farmers in that area, and the entire process of propagating, growing, harvesting, and then distilling or drying the plants. I have been curious about this, so I am grateful to you for making an in-depth video showing the process. I especially enjoyed watching Derek and John show the distillation process. It gives me such a greater appreciation of the effort and care that brings the finished product we have in a bottle of lavender essential oil. So much plant material, and so much time. Thank you again.

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