Back in the early days of our life together, Mandy and I lived with my little brother in a big, old, poorly insulated, and seemingly always wet house, on a wooded north facing slope, with massive single paned windows, that was too expensive to heat during the cold months. When it was 32 outside, it was 32 inside. There was a massive fireplace, but no matter how big the fire, the heat would all just escape up the chimney, or out the single paned windows.
After work each night, we’d put on our coats, grab our dinner plates, turn on some records, and pull our old couch right up to the fire and do our best to absorb as much heat as possible.
We would chat and laugh and scheme about our upcoming “real adult” phases of life.
It was during one of those cold evenings that Mandy brought out a bundle of dried lavender she got from who knows where and started to burn it like incense and I was in awe. One stick at a time. Slow burning and powerfully fragrant. It lasted forever and never lost its charm.
Somehow, when you are stripped down to a full analog existence, sensations make more of an impact. We didn’t have a computer or t.v. and nobody had a smartphone. There were no distractions at all. We had the fire, some records, each other, and that amazing scent of burning lavender. It made quite an impact on me.
Edging towards two decades later and 3,000 miles away, it is still one of my favorite fragrances on the planet and it reminds me of that nebulous time where we were all fledgling prototypes of our current selves. This life was a hazy and far off dream.
I never included in that dream the notion of actually commercially growing lavender myself, but there were a lot of things I didn’t know about scratching a living out of a plot of soil.
So here we are now with 6 or 7 rows of lavender in a climate it wasn’t designed for, twisting their arms and begging them to stay the full two years to maturity. Loss inevitably sweeps through and takes a bunch of the plants with it, but many still survive. On occasion, Mandy and I will plop down in the aisles between them and just lay back and take in the fragrance of these magical bushes.
Whenever friends come to visit we always make sure they run the flowers between their fingers and bring them up to their nose for a deep inhalation. Their eyes always soften and lips curl upwards into a grateful smile. It's an undeniable experience. A wave of comfort flows into any person imbibing lavender exhalations.
I hope all of you who have been emailing for the last few months about “When Lavender?!” are able to get your orders in and bring some rare Georgia Lavender to your homes for whatever magical use you have planned and I hope it brings you as much joy as it does us.
I should say that though the newsletter and email blasts will keep coming as per usual, this will be my last blog-gy section of the newsletter for a few weeks. Mandy and I are taking some much needed time to be with family and friends and to detach from our worker bee identities and re-connect with social life and leisure time.
For the growers curious about the variety of lavender we grow, it’s called Phenomenal and it does better in humid climates than traditional varieties.
Have a great couple of weeks and feel free to reach out to Rachel if you have any questions. Her and the rest of our wonderful team will be running the farm and taking care of everything for awhile.