Solstice Lavender Swoon!

Grosso Lavender

Wishing you all a happy Solstice and first day of summer!  I celebrated the day completely immersed in Lavender harvesting, distillation and garbling the bundles of Lavender I dried last week.

Harvesting different stages of Lavender stems

 These Lavender plants are 5 feet across, and the flowers are in different stages of bloom, depending on how much sun, wind, etc., affect that plant in that area.  So, since some of the areas of each plant are in full bloom, and others have only 3-4 flowers, the stems are purposed differently.

If you watch the bees, and notice which areas of the plants they are active on, it is easy.  They will show you which parts of the Lavender have the most flowers open!  That is another reason I like to cut Lavender with a sickle.  I wave the sickle over the plant just above the flowers before reaching in to grab a handful of stems.  It warns the bees I am coming in to their area, and I talk to them, too, reminding them there is plenty for us to share.  So far, so good. If using the buds dried, i.e., for sachets or in soap, I like to cut the stem when about 3 flowers have opened and the rest remain closed.  The reason for that is that the scent is fully developed, but the buds will hold on to the stems pretty well even while hanging in a bunch.  Once many flowers are open, the buds are great for Lavender Wands, and with all the buds open, it is perfect for distillation.  So though the whole plants look patchy today, there honestly is a reason for my madness.  🙂  I’m not just a bad barber.

Flower end cuttings of Stems for distillation – see all the tiny flowers that are open?

 The stems of fresh Lavender in the bowl were wilted overnight.  I can fit more wilted plants into the biomass sphere for distillation than I can when they are stiff and fresh cut.

First Lavender distillation!

Wow!  I got 3-5x as much Lavender essential oil over the amounts achieved with the other plants I have distilled.  And my kitchen smells like waving Lavender fields.

I cut this Lavender and hung the bundles to dry a few days ago

Hoping it is warm and sunny today in your corner of the world!


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Green Magick

I am an Herbie, and enjoy learning about and growing medicinal and culinary herbs, making herbal soaps, salves, tinctures, syrups and infusions.

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