Take a moment– close your eyes. Imagine with your mind’s eye the dappled morning light on acres of lavender, the sound of little birds (ok, mostly chickens) singing, s soft morning breeze on your face, and the scent of lavender transporting you to a place far, far away, Dixon!
Two years ago we tried something new when we organized the first Lavender Harvest weekend. Folks came up to help us fill the drying room with thousands of bunches of lavender. It has been invaluable to have members come and help us power through the harvest, making it possible to get this done in just one weekend. June is the busiest month of the year for the crew, and they simply do not have the time to do it on their own. Our dried lavender has become so popular we have run out about this time the last couple of years - we are down to our last box right now. It is a very valuable crop for us, and getting that much dried in one weekend is impossible without your help.
Much like the grape harvest in France where groups of strangers from all over gather to help bring the fruit in, spending days working together, eating great food, and making new friends, we have tried to create that same type of experience here with the lavender. It is one of the most memorable experiences people have on the farm.
This year we hope to get close to 30 people up here to help. Nigel is hoping to pack even more bunches in, which is why we are opening this up to more people. The way it works is everyone comes up Friday evening and sets up camp. There will be a simple supper waiting for you whenever you arrive. We skip the formal dinner on Friday night since people get here at different times, but never worry, no one ever goes hungry here at Casa Eatwell!
Saturday morning early we gather in the house for breakfast, safety meeting/training and then we head out into the lavender fields. The crew starts cutting the plants at about 6 am. The idea is they have a lot cut before we get out there, to keep ahead of us throughout the day. We come back to the house for lunch, and then we head out to finish bunching what the crew has cut. Some folks work in the field bunching (rubber banding) and loading the truck and some folks will be in the drying room emptying the truck and hanging the bunches on the drying racks. When the day is done, everyone comes back into the house for a big hearty meal.
Sunday morning we start all over again and work till lunch. If all goes well, the drying room will be full and the work was done. There is a possibility of needing to work a bit more after lunch, but the goal is to get it all done beforehand.
This is a working weekend, so we ask that only adults come up. It is open to members and your invited guests. And as with all events on the farm, no pets allowed.