Monday, July 07, 2008
The only reason Martyn is smiling in this picture is he has subcomed to lavender overload, a common disease of lavender growers, brought on by a mixture of bending over for more than 8 hours and listening to bees buzz.
Harvest season is here, and to be brutally honest, I will not feel badly when it's over. This year we will have double the crop of last, since 1/3 of the field is mature. That means in two years we will double this years. There is only way to describe this. Oh s..t. I don't usually use cuss words in my blog, for I grew up believing what my grandfather told me: "Swear words are for people with little imagination." So I have created my own swear word for harvest overload: "Oh, lass-a-asinine". That one's for you, Grandpa.
We worked all week on the Angustiflio, seen here. It really has a lovely aroma, and after a couple of hours in the field, I give in, my mind starts accepting my fate - I will be in this field for some time today. And then tonight I will have to hang it all in the drying room. We ended up with 2100 bundles. And there's only another 1 million bundles to cut. Are we crazy? Naw. Stupid? Perhaps.
I am excited at how far we've come. We are getting to know what products sell best. We understand the process much better. And our name is definitely getting out there. We are also part of the Portland Wholesale market now and that is going pretty well. I am going to be working on some new bud product ideas, and my goal is to have others sewing them.
I always get a bit spent at harvest. You have to get the product off the plant, and you don't get to pick and choose the time. This year the heat brought on the Anugustifolia fast. It's a happy accident that when we planted our varieties, they mature at different times, so we get a tiny break between varieties. We had three man crew come on Saturday and that helped a lot. My goal is to have a crew for most of the harvest, but we aren't there yet. I brought down a pie in a picnic basket for everyone. One of the those romantic notions of the novice farm woman - oh, I'll grow lavender and feed everyone fresh pie...and eat it in five minutes and get back in my bent over position of choice.
The bees were lovely. No shortage here. It inspired me to do an illustration of the harvest, and today I'm in the studio and I'm not leaving.