Lavender Harvesting in New Zealand
The weather was very up and down this summer season – rain, cold, then finally we received some welcome heat from the sun. The heat, with a bit of rain here and there, sped up the lavender quite quickly for the upcoming harvest. You could almost see the changes daily in the lavender field, especially once the picking events were over – the lavender said “boof I’m ready”!!
It’s always hard to choose the “right” time to harvest, in the end it comes down to watching it intensely, smelling it daily, holding your breath and biting the bullet, then picking a day that suits all.
First it was our Violet Intrigue, harvested mid-January, a little later than the previous year. If you remember 2017/8 summer, it was fantastic, started in October, heaps of rain in December, but it was hot and the summer just went on and on.
2018/9 was a completely different kettle of fish. We had a frost in November which nipped all our lavender flowers off, so they had to reproduce again, that slowed things up.
Our VI harvest went well, it’s not a big oil producer but well worth the time and effort to get an amazing award-winning oil, hopefully another Gold Award this year.
Then we were on to the big Grosso harvest – this year it seemed a rather drawn out affair. We harvested twice, the day we were going to harvest, it rained earlier than expected, we could only take what we’d picked so far. Over to the distiller and back, 3 times this year – what a relief it’s all over now.
I was just folding up the bags we bring the wilted lavender home in, I saw the PYO lavender sign, the strings were the bunches were hanging and all the bags to fold – I thought “great, that’s done for another year”.
While lavender has become an intoxicating passion of mine, it is very busy and exhausting for the long summer season with visitors and markets. I’m so excited we only have three markets left, as we wiped out two this past weekend – yay!! Then we can rest, potter around the house and get chores done.
I’m not even going to say, ‘start planning for next seasons markets”, NO I’M NOT SAYING IT. We need time to rest, recover and hopefully have a couple of wee trips away and spend some quality time together.
This year could bring some exciting new products at Lavender Abbey, they are all conjuring up in my mind, so - WATCH THIS SPACE!!!
See you next month, keep calm and smell the lavender.
Monday 4th of March 2019