Friday, March 21, 2014

Winter 2014 Ice Storm

It was two weeks ago today that we woke up to more clean-up work than we have had in years! A winter 2014 ice storm that left us without power for days, a totaled farm truck and LOADS of downed trees!

This winter has been different than most we have experienced on the farm. It was colder, snowier and icier than usual. And although the lavender seems to have pulled through just fine, there are other plants (such as our 7 year old rosemary in front of the house) that appears to have gone to that big compost bin in the sky. 

As I've mentioned before, our farm is a small family run operation. There are not loads of employees who show up everyday ready to drive the farm equipment around and do whatever necessary to raise, harvest and use our lavender to make our products. It's just me and one part time assistant. It's just one farm truck.

So, when we walked outside to assess the storm damage, I must admit that I was devastated. Our only farm truck was completely totaled.

There are whole trees and tree limbs down everywhere...


It's obviously just "life" and there are more people in the world that have things MUCH harder than having to clean up a bunch of dead trees or find a new work truck. But, it will occupy my time for a few more weeks...time that I would much rather spend on lavender projects. 

So, if you need me, I'll be outside with the chain saw. Anyone need any firewood?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Lavender Holiday to Provence, France in 2015

When you think of Provence and you think lavender! Our 2015 trip is planned for July 7-16 so that we can enjoy the prime lavender bloom time in France.

Lovely villages and vistas under an azure blue sky in the most picturesque countryside you can imagine. This is a unique trip offering up a blend of local sights and flavors. In addition to fields and fields of lavender, how about a wine walk and picnic, goat cheese making, olive oil production, markets, gardens, and more? 

This trip offers the opportunity to travel about for excursions with the group and allows for free time to explore on your own too. Annie Greer Baggett of the farm will participate in her second adventure to Provence and is most excited about the behind-the-scenes visit! Limited to 10-12 travelers only, with many commitments already, so reserve your spot TODAY. (Paperwork required by 4/15/2014.) Thanks!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Lavender Care & Pruning Guide

If you have visited the farm or one of the Lavender Planting Clinics, you may have learned that lavender needs an annual haircut. Did you remember to prune your lavender back in the fall around Halloween? If not, around Valentine's Day is a good Plan B time to prune in our Zone of 7a. According to garden lore, the best days to give your lavender a buzz cut are February 17, 18, 26 and 27. But it's still not too late...this weekend in NC, we are going to have two nice outdoor days. If you missed your annual prune in February, due to the massive amount of bad weather days, why not use the perfect weather this weekend and take care if some serious lavender business?

If you live somewhere other than our region, plan a late winter trim about the same time you prune other woody shrubs, like butterfly bushes. When lavender is trimmed annually, it retains its nice bushy shape and blooms incredibly. A lavender plant left alone will eventually sprawl all over the place, weighed down by unhealthy woody limbs resulting in few blooms and a short life in the garden.

So, PLEASE PRUNE YOUR LAVENDER! See below for a step-by-step pruning guide…

A quick and easy step-by-step lavender pruning guide-

  1. Trim away the spent, brown stems from last year. You will notice several inches of green foliage after the spent stems have been removed.
  2. Next give your lavender a good haircut but, be careful to not clip too far into the woody stems. Make sure to trim all the way around, leaving at least 1 inch of green foliage.
  3. Use this time to cut out dead wood or sprawling limbs.
  4. Step back and marvel at your AWESOME lavender prune job!

Have a wonderful lovely lavender weekend!