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Farming for a ‘Living Soil’

Minimum tillage and respecting vegative cover is a key tenant of ‘living soil’ approaches to farming. Excessive cultivation leads to the breakdown of soil structure which rapidly leads to compaction and infertility. ‘Goat Valley’ is our largest planting area and it came to us in degraded condition which we are working to restore. Cultivation for planting simply involves the deep ripping of the planting rows, spraying out of bio-dynamic preparations to encourage biological activity before the plants are settled in the rows for their life on the farm. Existing vegetative covered is retained between the rows as a permanent and living source of organic matter above and below the soil surface.

Minimum tillage and respecting vegative cover is a key tenant of ‘living soil’ approaches to farming. Excessive cultivation leads to the breakdown of soil structure which rapidly leads to compaction and infertility. ‘Goat Valley’ is our largest planting area and it came to us in degraded condition which we are working to restore. Cultivation for planting simply involves the deep ripping of the planting rows, spraying out of bio-dynamic preparations to encourage biological activity before the plants are settled in the rows for their life on the farm. Existing vegetative covered is retained between the rows as a permanent and living source of organic matter above and below the soil surface. Minimum tillage and respecting vegative cover is a key tenant of ‘living soil’ approaches to farming. Excessive cultivation leads to the breakdown of soil structure which rapidly leads to compaction and infertility. ‘Goat Valley’ is our largest planting area and it came to us in degraded condition which we are working to restore. Cultivation for planting simply involves the deep ripping of the planting rows, spraying out of bio-dynamic preparations to encourage biological activity before the plants are settled in the rows for their life on the farm. Existing vegetative covered is retained between the rows as a permanent and living source of organic matter above and below the soil surface.

ESSENTIAL OILS, BORN OF THE EARTH

Essential oils are concentrated aromatic substances derived from plants and this origin in the plant world means that all essential oils have their start in ‘the soil’. How each plant’s relationship to the soil is nurtured is a pivotal question of most farming practice (hydroponics being the obvious exception), with the methods chosen, fundamental to qualitative difference in how plants grow and what they produce. These qualitative differences relate directly to how the plant is allowed to take up nutrients and how it relates and contributes to the environment in which it grows. At Snowy River Lavender we farm for a ‘living soil’ sustained through nurturing the ‘natural’ ecology of the landscape in which our farm is situated. We believe this approach and the soil culture it allows gives our essential oils their own unique signature of quality.

FARMING FOR A LIVING SOIL

In simplified terms a ‘living soil’ approach to farming falls under a broad rubric of beliefs and practices termed as, biological, ‘natural’, ecological, ‘organic’ and ‘biodynamic’ and while in practical terms all these titles do denote significant differences from one another, they nevertheless are all methods of practice which have as a central tenant the concept of a ‘living’ or biologically active soil.

  1. A ‘living soil’ is seen as a complex ecology of life forms which includes both macro- and micro-biology and is one sustained through an ongoing cycle of growth and decay constantly feeding back into itself.
  2. Importantly, in a ‘living soil’ approach plants are seen to take up their mineral nutrients in soluble form through organically produced colloidal matter known as humus, a natural form of feeding for which plants have specially adapted root systems.
  3. Soil minerals are assessed in terms of plant availability not simply by what minerals are materially present in the soil as is shown in soil tests.
  4. The plants humus feeding root system is different to their moisture uptake roots. Soil roots not only take from the soil, but are also instrumental in feeding back into the soil, both in terms aeration and organic matter, in an ongoing cycle of soil building and structuring biological activity.
  5. Humus has the ability to hold 75% of its own weight in water. It follows that soils high in humus have a natural resilience to drying out making them efficient consumers of moisture and less dependent on artificial irrigation.
  6. In this concept the plant and the soil form a synergy from which neither can be extracted without the detriment to the other. This has repercussions in styles of soil cultivation, with desired methods working towards maintaining soil structure and minimising tillage.
  7. Through photosynthesis the plant world is seen as linking the ethereal sphere of sunlight, air, weather, climate, seasons, to the earthly ecology of minerals and biological growth and decay. Plants are the key in the carbon cycle.
  8. Farming in this context is about nurturing and managing to sustain the balance of life forming activity while nevertheless still taking something out of this system in terms of farm production.
  9. Ref. A. Podolinsky, Biodynamic Agriculture Introductory Lectures Vol. 1, Chpt.1 Introduction: Soil, p.17- 36 Edition #6 2004, Gavemer Australia.

Young lavenders grow happily on ‘Shearers Slope’ among the summer grasses and field flowers. Biodiversity is important to a ‘living soil’, with the growing field conceived as a zone of plant co-operation in building an active and balanced soil. The specific methods of bringing the benefits of biodiversity into the growing field will vary according to individual farms and the crop being grown. With lavender, as a perennial crop we discretely control inter-row vegetation by way of mowing and hand pulling plants directly affecting the lavender at harvest time. Nothing is taken from the field but allowed to lie as mulch eventually to rot and be recycled into the soil. This contrasts to inorganic agriculture where the growing field is conceived as a competitive zone with soluble minerals in the form of expensive fertilisers, finite, and ongoing inputs meant only for the commercially productive plants. All other plants are weeds and must be controlled for usually by way of cultivation and herbicides.

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Young lavenders grow happily on ‘Shearers Slope’ among the summer grasses and field flowers. Biodiversity is important to a ‘living soil’, with the growing field conceived as a zone of plant co-operation in building an active and balanced soil. The specific methods of bringing the benefits of biodiversity into the growing field will vary according to individual farms and the crop being grown. With lavender, as a perennial crop we discretely control inter-row vegetation by way of mowing and hand pulling plants directly affecting the lavender at harvest time. Nothing is taken from the field but allowed to lie as mulch eventually to rot and be recycled into the soil. This contrasts to inorganic agriculture where the growing field is conceived as a competitive zone with soluble minerals in the form of expensive fertilisers, finite, and ongoing inputs meant only for the commercially productive plants. All other plants are weeds and must be controlled for usually by way of cultivation and herbicides.

The lavender exists as part of the broader farm ecology and life. Animals, birds and insects are constants in the lavender plantings. Here the lavandin, ‘Riverina Allan’, grows in vivid glory in ‘Stallion Paddock’, a field still used intermittently by our horses. This photo depicts Doc and Sonata nonchalantly grazing between the rows, but it could just as easily be a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos; a flock of wood ducks; a wombat; a herd of fallow deer or wild goats. All benefit from and contribute to the cycle of life which is our farm.
The lavender exists as part of the broader farm ecology and life. Animals, birds and insects are constants in the lavender plantings. Here the lavandin, ‘Riverina Allan’, grows in vivid glory in ‘Stallion Paddock’, a field still used intermittently by our horses. This photo depicts Doc and Sonata nonchalantly grazing between the rows, but it could just as easily be a mob of Eastern Grey Kangaroos; a flock of wood ducks; a wombat; a herd of fallow deer or wild goats. All benefit from and contribute to the cycle of life which is our farm.
At the height of summer, lavender, presents as a river of purple meandering thru Majesse Valley. It highlights how lavender as a crop binds within a more comprehensive and fully developed landscape. Planting within the contours of the land works to naturally hydrate the field but also shows where in the valley lies the suitable free draining soil necessary for a dry land herb such as lavender. This valley could never be fully planted out because the valley floor is the dense peat like soil of a wetland, while the valley slopes are the sandy loam lavender desires.
At the height of summer, lavender, presents as a river of purple meandering thru Majesse Valley. It highlights how lavender as a crop binds within a more comprehensive and fully developed landscape. Planting within the contours of the land works to naturally hydrate the field but also shows where in the valley lies the suitable free draining soil necessary for a dry land herb such as lavender. This valley could never be fully planted out because the valley floor is the dense peat like soil of a wetland, while the valley slopes are the sandy loam lavender desires.

FOR COMPARISON; ‘INORGANIC’ SOIL FERTILITY

Justus Von Liebig’s book, Organic Chemistry and its Application to Agriculture and Physiology,published 1840, set in motion understandings which laid the foundations of modern agriculture as a system which could be nurtured inorganically. Leibig’s discovery, that plants ‘use elements if they have been made water soluble’, allowed plant nutrition to be gauged in terms of isolated mineral values divorced from a ‘vital source’ such as that represented by organically derived humus. It was his belief, that organic and inorganically derived nutrients are materially the same and that the inorganic nutrient due to its ability to be measured, quantified and manipulated could be more efficiently used to increase agricultural production. Out of this seminal work, agriculture has since developed, globally, on the central efficacy of artificially synthesised fertilizers, with a special emphasis on, the balance of key nutrients; nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K). Some issues important to this inorganic approach to soil fertility:

  1. Plants in this system take up their nutrients in the form of soluble mineral salts (e.g. phosphate, sulphate etc) which are taken up through the same plant root system as the plant’s moisture up take and away from its natural propensity to develop soil humus feeder roots. Plants feed and drink by way of the same system where as for organically grown plants these are largely separately catered for processes.
  2. The dependency of plant feeding on soluble minerals means artificial irrigation is often the necessary accompaniment to this inorganic form of feeding.
  3. While soil biology is not denied in this approach it becomes secondary to a concept of soil as a medium reliant on the controlled input of industrially produced nutrients in the form of fertilisers.
  4. Centrally important in this approach is that the farm system is an intimately controlled and manipulated sphere where the plants access to nutrients is designed to obviate measured deficiencies in the farm’s natural environment for the purpose of optimizing and making predictable farm production.
  5. What is significant to this ‘input’ system of farming is that the plant’s relationship to the soil is changed from one where it is integral to its own fertility cycle to one where it is part of a cycle of dependency.
  6. Because plants lose their centrality in the life building cycle of the soil the important soil structuring and aerating they do is lost and mechanical cultivation is used to suffice. Over time this leads to soil compaction and loss of organic matter. The cycle is broken.
  7. Biodiversity is lost in this system of production, both on the level of the cropped plant, where species diversity is sacrificed for mono-cultures of high yielding and qualitatively standardised cultivars and seed strains (including GMOs); and, also extra plants in the farming environment which are vested as weeds and problems.
  8. Modern agriculture has developed mainly by way of this inorganic approach to soil fertility and it has been economically productive for many years, mainly because it has allowed industrial scale farming to flourish. Indeed, there is doubt that current mass levels of demand fuelled by wasteful cultures of consumption for agricultural products can now be supplied by any other method.
  9. However, currently, there are questions on many levels of the long term sustainability of this form of agriculture including:
    1. the impact on the broader environment, both land and water and in particular the oceans, due to the leaching in of excess nutrients and chemicals.
    2. as the soil loses its natural life force the traditional areas of permanent plant activity such as control of salinity and soil structure (compaction) is challenging the long term fertility of our soils and leading to irreparable degradation and desertification.
    3. surprisingly, even the economic viability of such high input forms of production are being questioned due to associated vulnerability of soils perpetually dependent on inputs.

The root system, on this 12 month old lavender seedling, displays the fine network of soil feeder roots so critical to soil life. It is these fine roots, as they perpetually grow and die which both, feed the soil biology living amongst them to create humus; but also create soil structure as a constantly changing network of aerobic channels. As Biodynamic pioneer Alex Podolinsky presents without these aerobic channels, soil loses its architecture, its form, like a building reduced to rubble. Structure is as much the space between as it is the material which defines it. It is more than a sum of its parts. (Ref. Biodynamic Intro Lectures Vol 1 p. 21)The root system, on this 12 month old lavender seedling, displays the fine network of soil feeder roots so critical to soil life. It is these fine roots, as they perpetually grow and die which both, feed the soil biology living amongst them to create humus; but also create soil structure as a constantly changing network of aerobic channels. As Biodynamic pioneer Alex Podolinsky presents without these aerobic channels, soil loses its architecture, its form, like a building reduced to rubble. Structure is as much the space between as it is the material which defines it. It is more than a sum of its parts. (Ref. Biodynamic Intro Lectures Vol 1 p. 21)

 


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A broken sod of earth shows the fine network of soil feeder roots. These roots define the sub-surface limits of biological activity and index topsoil depth. In soils constantly under cultivation these life sustaining roots are turned and fine aerobic structure burnt away leading to soil compaction and erosion. Worms are a good indicator of soil life and are primary agents in turning microbial decayed organic matter into plant sustaining humus. Humus is colloidal in nature and its presence is discernible when the compressed soil holds together, as this small ball shows.

The young lavenders planted at Snowy River Lavender are propagated, both from cuttings and seed stock, tuned to soil feeding. This is done by including soil and biodynamic colloidal rich vermi compost in the propagation mix and growing beds. We have found plants propagated in this way are more resilient to the sometimes harsh growing conditions of our farm where no artificial irrigation or fertilisers are used.
The young lavenders planted at Snowy River Lavender are propagated, both from cuttings and seed stock, tuned to soil feeding. This is done by including soil and biodynamic colloidal rich vermi compost in the propagation mix and growing beds. We have found plants propagated in this way are more resilient to the sometimes harsh growing conditions of our farm where no artificial irrigation or fertilisers are used.
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Agricultural Influences

Wingless grasshoppers are plentiful in the lavender fields during the summer months. In a bio-diverse environment they do no harm and while I am sure there is a good reason for their attachment to this plant it often seems like they just enjoy the smell. Insects are very much part of a balanced farm ecology, they are food for reptiles, birds and small animals and then there are the bees whose benefits to our production are irreplaceable. Needless to say on an ecological farm insecticides are never an option.

Wingless grasshoppers are plentiful in the lavender fields during the summer months. In a bio-diverse environment they do no harm and while I am sure there is a good reason for their attachment to this plant it often seems like they just enjoy the smell. Insects are very much part of a balanced farm ecology, they are food for reptiles, birds and small animals and then there are the bees whose benefits to our production are irreplaceable. Needless to say on an ecological farm insecticides are never an option.

Wingless grasshoppers are plentiful in the lavender fields during the summer months. In a bio-diverse environment they do no harm and while I am sure there is a good reason for their attachment to this plant it often seems like they just enjoy the smell. Insects are very much part of a balanced farm ecology, they are food for reptiles, birds and small animals and then there are the bees whose benefits to our production are irreplaceable. Needless to say on an ecological farm insecticides are never an option.

INFLUENCES IMPORTANT IN SHAPING SNOWY RIVER LAVENDER

Underpinning farm development at Snowy River Lavender are the concepts of: ecological nurture and preservation through sensitive and observant participation in the environment in which we farm and live; the nurture of a ‘living soil’ away from external inputs; and, the production of essential oils true to their origins in this environment. The following are some of the agricultural influences which are helping us to achieve our goals.

ECOLOGICAL FARMING

  1. Ecological styles of farming see farm production as part and parcel of a custodial relationship to land which is ecologically complex. From this perspective the farm production resides alongside an understanding and nurturing of the biological diversity that already exists in the ‘natural’ environment (topography, flora and fauna). The farm is acknowledged as part of a much larger living system.
  2. Farming becomes strategic, designed through observation and adaption with the aim of building resilience into the natural systems of fertility and hydration and away from a dependency on external inputs including fertilisers and irrigation. This is a bespoke attitude to farming, not a ‘one size fits all’ model.
  3. In this system the specifics of landscape, the geography, the indigenous flora and fauna, are cast as important to the productive cycle of a farm as whole. The inherent biodiversity of the natural world is a balancing mechanism through which the cultivated farm receives nurture and relief. Instead of land clearing as per most agriculture, re-vegetation in the form of hedging and land restoration is an integral part of farm activity.
  4. A key luminary in this holistic approach to farming and land restoration is Peter Andrews. His pioneering methodology of Natural Sequence Farming highlights the role of landscape patterns in land hydration; and, places great importance on permanent vegetation and ground cover in managing the landscape. Specially lauded by him are the pioneering capabilities of plants including weeds in restoring and managing soil nutrients, water and the carbon cycle. Select Publications:Andrews, P. (2006) BACK FROM THE BRINK: How the Australian landscape can be saved. Sydney ABC Books Andrews, P. (2008) BEYOND THE BRINK: Peter Andrews’ radical vision for a sustainable Australian Landscape, Sydney ABC Books
  5. Mulloon Creek Natural Farms is a working example of Peter Andrew’s Natural Sequence Farming and an experimental farm which seeks to draw together many different natural approaches to farm production including biodynamics and permaculture. Mulloon Institute, founded by Tony Cootes, is the very active research wing of the farm and seeks to explore possibilities, experiment and educate for a better future of land use in Australia.

‘TERROIR’ - THE ‘SPECIALTY OF PLACE’ IN BESTOWING CHARACTER TO WINE

‘Old world’, and premium wine making, use the French word ‘terroir’ to denote the ‘speciality of place’, the importance of how the landscape binds with the vines to produce qualitatively distinct wine. Indeed, the concepts of provenance and vintage in wine making, is a celebration of what is biologically and climatically possible from that ‘special place’. It is the site of origin which gives agricultural product character and authenticity. Our approach to essential oil production is dedicated to a similar sensitivity to the distinctiveness of place and how this produces natural variance in the essential oils.

Peter Andrews speaks about the pioneering capabilities of ‘weeds’ to restore land which has been misused. We learnt this inadvertently when in our original land preparation we used to disc plough and row form raised planting beds. What is now known is that we were de-naturing the soil and allowing compaction to occur, which induced a proliferation of various plants, especially the blue flowering Vipers bugloss.
Peter Andrews speaks about the pioneering capabilities of ‘weeds’ to restore land which has been misused. We learnt this inadvertently when in our original land preparation we used to disc plough and row form raised planting beds. What is now known is that we were de-naturing the soil and allowing compaction to occur, which induced a proliferation of various plants, especially the blue flowering Vipers bugloss.
Vipers bugloss is a vigorous plant with a large tap root. Allowed to grow to full expression this plant works to initiate soil restoration both above and below the surface of the soil. The tap root works on de-compaction and restoring organic matter to the soil, while the cut top forms a thick layer of mulch to maintain soil hydration and overtime the decay adds life sustaining organic matter.
Vipers bugloss is a vigorous plant with a large tap root. Allowed to grow to full expression this plant works to initiate soil restoration both above and below the surface of the soil. The tap root works on de-compaction and restoring organic matter to the soil, while the cut top forms a thick layer of mulch to maintain soil hydration and overtime the decay adds life sustaining organic matter.
The young lavenders are semi protected by weed matt which helps to demarcate rows amongst the exuberant growth.
The young lavenders are semi protected by weed matt which helps to demarcate rows amongst the exuberant growth.
The previous photo of the field full of Vipers bugloss is Corolla Paddock in 2008. This photo is the same paddock 2015. The soil is repaired and grass now grows between the rows. We no longer plough as land preparation for planting .Minimum till methods help to maintain soil structure and soil fertility from the beginning.
The previous photo of the field full of Vipers bugloss is Corolla Paddock in 2008. This photo is the same paddock 2015. The soil is repaired and grass now grows between the rows. We no longer plough as land preparation for planting .Minimum till methods help to maintain soil structure and soil fertility from the beginning.

BIODYNAMIC AGRICULTURE

Seminal in the 1924 lectures of Rudolf Steiner, biodynamic agriculture centralises the concept of a ‘living soil’ as a jointly cosmic and earthly ecology. Plants through their dependent metabolic processes; transpiration and photosynthesis; and, by way of their integral place in both the carbon cycle and the development of soil humus; critically and naturally bind the ethereal sphere of sunlight, air, water, cosmic rhythms (climate & seasons); and, the earthly ecology of animals, minerals and biological processes of growth and decay. The understanding and nurture of these connections are fundamental to natural or ‘organic’ farm fertility. As Podolinsky, states, it is ‘farming within the organisation of nature, and that is not only what goes on in the soil’ (2004, p.32). Biodynamics is a comprehensive set of specific practices through which the farm as a complete ecology is nurtured and sustained. Some influential Australian exponents of biodynamics are:

  1. Alex Podolinsky, who has been a critical figure in developing the biodynamic method for Australian conditions and for large scale agriculture. His, BIO DYNAMIC AGRICULTURE, INTRODUCTORY LECTURES, VOL 1 & 2 (Gavemer 2004, 6th Ed.), are a helpful way of coming to terms with the subtleties of this approach. Available through Biodynamic Growing.
  2. Hamish Mackay and John Priestly make biodynamic philosophy and practice accessible to everyone through experience based workshops and consultancy. www.biodynamics2024.com.au
Plants only assimilate minerals in soluble form. In bio-dynamics these soluble elements are available through the microbial colloidal soil substance, humus, for which plants have a specific root system distinct from their moisture uptake roots. This is different from ‘in-organic’ agriculture where mineral elements are made soluble in the soils moisture forcing the plant to take up nutrients every time they need moisture. The important issue is that the plants need for nutrients and their need for moisture do not always coincide and key metabolic processes are disrupted.
Plants only assimilate minerals in soluble form. In bio-dynamics these soluble elements are available through the microbial colloidal soil substance, humus, for which plants have a specific root system distinct from their moisture uptake roots. This is different from ‘in-organic’ agriculture where mineral elements are made soluble in the soils moisture forcing the plant to take up nutrients every time they need moisture. The important issue is that the plants need for nutrients and their need for moisture do not always coincide and key metabolic processes are disrupted.
The vortex is important in bio-dynamics, the flow form uses a lemniscate (figure eight or infinity sign) action to create and disassemble the vortex as it cascades down the form into a pond at the bottom before being pumped back up to be cascaded again.
The vortex is important in bio-dynamics, the flow form uses a lemniscate (figure eight or infinity sign) action to create and disassemble the vortex as it cascades down the form into a pond at the bottom before being pumped back up to be cascaded again.
Bio-dynamic preparation 500 is sprayed out in large droplets in the late afternoon. This image shows the deep ripped rows where the young lavenders will find their home.
Bio-dynamic preparation 500 is sprayed out in large droplets in the late afternoon. This image shows the deep ripped rows where the young lavenders will find their home.
Unique to bio-dynamics are special biologically active preparations which are stirred and sprayed out at times guided by a very specific cosmological understanding. The flow form is one way of stirring the preparations. Preparations are run through the flow form for an hour during this time it is energised and becoming silky to feel. The preparation will be sprayed out within an hour of being stirred.
Unique to bio-dynamics are special biologically active preparations which are stirred and sprayed out at times guided by a very specific cosmological understanding. The flow form is one way of stirring the preparations. Preparations are run through the flow form for an hour during this time it is energised and becoming silky to feel. The preparation will be sprayed out within an hour of being stirred.
Through photosynthesis, plants are fundamentally ‘creations of the sun’. Bio-dynamics, by understanding the living soil and its life blood humus as intricately bound in the life processes of plants, also sees a naturally fertile soil as energised by the sun. For this reason silica has found a special place in bio-dynamic practices.
Through photosynthesis, plants are fundamentally ‘creations of the sun’. Bio-dynamics, by understanding the living soil and its life blood humus as intricately bound in the life processes of plants, also sees a naturally fertile soil as energised by the sun. For this reason silica has found a special place in bio-dynamic practices.
 

ORGANIC AGRICULTURE

Generically, organic means a living and self sustaining system, continuously capable of developing out of its self through processes of growth and decay. In this way it has influenced the way we have developed our agricultural practice around a concept of a ‘living soil’, farm ecology and low inputs. Organic is now mostly used as a legal term commercially associated with specific certifying organisations and their respective standards for agricultural and industrial practice. We have not gone through certification, so it is not legal for us to tag our farm ‘organic’ or ‘bio-dynamic. Key organic certifiers are Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). They are also mediate bio-dynamic certification, as does The Bio-Dynamic Research Institute, who mediates the prestigious Demeter Certification, based on the Podolinsky developed Australian Demeter Bio-dynamic Method and Standards.

Mid spring sees the tawny winter lavenders transformed into lush green. By late November these bushes will have tripled in size with long stems and immature flower spikes. The grass between the rows is mowed allowing the sunlight to envelope the plant unimpeded.
Mid spring sees the tawny winter lavenders transformed into lush green. By late November these bushes will have tripled in size with long stems and immature flower spikes. The grass between the rows is mowed allowing the sunlight to envelope the plant unimpeded.
Mid - summer, the lavender fields are transformed into the picture book version everyone is familiar with. Unfortunately at this point the flower is harvested and distilled for essential oil and the beauty is lost for another year.
Mid - summer, the lavender fields are transformed into the picture book version everyone is familiar with. Unfortunately at this point the flower is harvested and distilled for essential oil and the beauty is lost for another year.
Essential oil and hydrosol are the only things taken from the farm. Lavender straw, the spent stems and flowers, left over from distillation will be returned to the farm as nutrient rich vermi-compost.
Essential oil and hydrosol are the only things taken from the farm. Lavender straw, the spent stems and flowers, left over from distillation will be returned to the farm as nutrient rich vermi-compost.
Lavender straw is layered with manure, kept moist and allowed to decompose in heaps. Red compost worms soon proliferate in the heap, turning the composted straw into a colloid rich substance used in the nursery and farm.
Lavender straw is layered with manure, kept moist and allowed to decompose in heaps. Red compost worms soon proliferate in the heap, turning the composted straw into a colloid rich substance used in the nursery and farm.
Lavender is dormant throughout the winter months and pruning is a significant farm activity at this time. Pruning, especially when the plant is young, is necessary to keep the plant compact, let sunlight into the plant and keep the flowering bountiful. Prunings are left on the paddock as mulch.
Lavender is dormant throughout the winter months and pruning is a significant farm activity at this time. Pruning, especially when the plant is young, is necessary to keep the plant compact, let sunlight into the plant and keep the flowering bountiful. Prunings are left on the paddock as mulch.