28 June 2014

The lavender harvest

Some good friends here have a lavender patch. In spring, they dedicate considerable time into maintaining their crop. It is especially critical that no other fragrant plants grow in the patch, as the oils from other plants would corrupt the purity of the lavender oil during harvest. After days of storms and heavy rain this week, they were finally able to harvest ten trailer loads of lavender. As with most activity in this hilly country, the harvest is a staged event. First the flowers are harvested into a large trailer which is then carted up to the main road by tractor. The load is dumped on the side of the road and the tractor and trailer go down for the next load. Once all of the lavender has been picked and is in place at the roadside, a truck with a grabber arrives to pick the lavender up, dump it into its tray and carry it away to the still for processing. My friends say the aroma wafting around their house at harvest time is simply incredible. Today, in an attempt to get my own wafting thing happening, I "harvested" our lavender. Although harvest is a rather grand term for picking the flowers off two lavender bushes and transferring them to the kitchen in a bucket, I was able to get a little wafting happening. Six bunches are now hanging in the kitchen, their relaxing aroma permeating my very soul...




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