Many years ago, when we first heard the call to build this apostolate, we had a very strong impression that lavender was going to be a large part of how we would sustain our family and ministries. After many years dreaming, four years after buying this farm, and two years after being here, we have saved enough to purchase plants to cover approximately three acres of land. In three years’ time, the yield from these plants should replace Deacon Brian’s income, allowing him to leave his current employment, and provide some extra to help fund various other projects.
We have three hilltop acres alongside a public road, and within site of the farmhouse, that has previously been used as a hay field. It is out of the general flow of grazing and is readily accessible to equipment.
This autumn, trees need to be cleared back from the stone wall along the road, and along the other three borders of the field to give us maximum plantable space and access around the crop. The wood from the clearing will be used to fuel the syrup evaporator and/or house. The field will need to be burned at least once before breaking ground in the spring. Weed cloth will need to be laid, as well as a drip irrigation system consisting of hose, emitters, and a water silo (usually used for livestock).
Next spring, probably in May, several thousand plants will arrive from our supplier. Those plants will need a cursory pruning before being planted. The process will most likely take the better part of a week to accomplish.
In late summer, we should see the first harvest of lavender buds. It will be quite a bit smaller than we will expect at maturity, in three years. However, the harvest should be enough to pay back most, if not all, of the original cost of the plants, leaving enough to put toward other important projects.
- Muscles and know-how
- Chainsaws to loan
- Log splitter
- Weed cloth
- Drip irrigation hose
- Water silo
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