Undeveloped land for the farm was purchased in November 2004. In spring of 2005, the land was cleared before adding 2 truckloads of rotted fir bark and aged horse manure from Family 4 Stables and 400# of lime. Bill Humphries tilled with his tractor to a depth of 6".
I pinned 20,000 sq. ft. of landscaping fabric to the ground, staying one step ahead of John (Dutch) Nuyten who was installing irrigation lines. Liza Ehle of By the Sea Gardens ordered fabric, pins, and liner stock and offered expert advice.
600 lavender starts were potted and watered through the summer as infrastructure was completed. By September 2005, we had planted 576 lavender plants into the fields.
Since the farm is organic, only bone meal and lime were added in spring and the plants tripled in size in about 2 months' time. The first harvest, 8 months after plants went into the ground, produced 660 bouquets of lavender in June 2006. In 2013, the farm produced 3,000 bouquets. The lavender is sold fresh, dried and in natural products made at the farm.
Propagation continues and the farm now has 1,000 lavender plants and a labyrinth garden new in 2011. The 8 lavender varieties being grown are 'Provence', 'Dutch', 'Super French', 'Grosso', 'Viridis' yellow, 'Madrid' pink, 'Willowbridge' white, and 'Spanish' purple. They were chosen for diversity of scent, color, hardiness, prolific oil production, excellent fresh and dried flowers for use in crafts and for culinary purposes. All plants are lavandins (lah-vahn-deens), an X intermedia hybrid, superior in disease and pest resistance to standard lavender, or are ornamentals from the Stoechas branch of the lavender family.
At maturity, plants are 36-40" and create a drought tolerant sea of color and fragrance which the bees love. During a normal growing year, blooms appear July-September. With Bandon's temperate climate, plants can flower even in December. It's all up to Mother Nature.