A few weeks ago, my mom and I took Kiera to Mountain View Lavender Farm! We went last summer, but she was only 5 months old and rode around in my Tula baby carrier. This year, she was big enough to toddle around on her own.
This is the second summer that Mountain View Lavender Farm had u-pick events. It’s a nice little piece of property with several rows of lavender in a field behind the owners’ home. The family that owns the farm is so friendly.
I’ve compiled a list of some things that will be helpful for anyone going to their first lavender picking event!
Know the Size of Bundles and Pricing
When we arrived, the owners’ son came to greet us. He was a sweetheart! He showed us the two different varieties of lavender that they grow, showed us how far down the stem to cut the lavender, and had a piece of PVC that was the diameter of a $10 bundle. He let mom put her fingers around the PVC so we could gauge when we had a full bundle.
Most lavender farms probably put bundle sizing and pricing on their website. It helps a lot to have a physical way to gauge the size of a bundle though.
Ask About Various Types of Lavender
Before we went lavender picking, I was reading a little bit about different varieties of lavender. (I was mainly reading about them to see if any would grow in one of my flower beds and come back each year.).
The boy who greeted us at the lavender farm showed us their two varieties of lavender in their field: English and French. The English lavender was closer to the ground in tighter bushes, while the French lavender was a little more spriggy.
He told us that English lavender is good to use for culinary purposes and French lavender is better for medicinal uses.
I would recommend asking about the different kinds of lavender available at the lavender farm you visit and how to distinguish them.
Bring Scissors and a Basket
In order to cut and gather the lavender, a pair of scissors and a basket are important. Check the website of the farm you are planning to visit to see if they provide these items, just in case.
We nearly forgot a basket this year! And then, I couldn’t find a decent lavender basket, so we ended up taking one of Kiera’s Easter baskets along. It served the purpose! And like the owner said, we got to use it more than one day per year!
Don’t Damage Any Plants
When the owners’ son was giving us instructions, he showed us how far down the stems to cut the lavender. He explained that if you cut too far down into the woody part of the plant, it can cause damage to the plants.
As a guest at the farm, it’s best to be respectful of the property. Which means doing your best not to damage part of the owners’ livelihood! And even if you don’t have a friendly greeter at the lavender farm you visit, just don’t cut down the stems too far!
Use the Opportunity to Take Photos
While we were at the lavender farm, a handful of moms dressed their young daughters in pretty sundresses with large bonnets. They were taking photos in the lavender. What a great idea! Usually I am on top of picture opportunities, but I really wasn’t this time!
Kiera had on a cute yellow romper, but she had her play shoes (jelly sandals) on and a bright pink polka dot sun hat that didn’t match. I took some pictures, but it was nothing coordinated! I’ll have to remember to dress Kiera up a little more next year!
Watch for Bees
There were so many bees in the lavender when we were picking! Which is a good thing for the plants, but I am not a fan of bees.
Thankfully, these bees really did not care that we were there. They were minding their own business, buzzing from flower to flower. As long as we didn’t bother them, they completely ignored us.
We did have to watch Kiera kind of closely though, just so she didn’t pinch or smack a bee by accident when she was patting the lavender plants.
Enjoy the Fragrance!
Honestly, the smell of lavender has grown on me over the years. It wasn’t my favorite, but as I used essential oils more, the scent of lavender began to grow on me.
There are two interesting things I’ve learned about a lavender field. If it rains, the aroma becomes much stronger. Last year, it rained on us while we were picking, and the plants smelled so much more afterwards! I don’t have an explanation for it.
The other interesting tidbit is that lavender seems to be a little like honeysuckle. When we come upon honeysuckle while walking, the plants don’t smell that strong when we sniff them up close. But back up in a large area of honeysuckle, and the aroma is impressive. Lavender seems to be the same way. Yes, the flowers do smell individually. But in a field of hundreds of plants…the scent is intoxicating!
Explore Any Other Goodies They Have Available
At Mountain View Lavender Farm, they have a cute little shed where you go to pay for your lavender bundles. Inside the shed are also baked goods, jams, soaps, drying lavender, lavender plants, and some other items.
If the farm you are visiting has things like these available, take advantage of the opportunity! Try something new! Even if you don’t purchase anything, you can glean some ideas of what you can do with your freshly picked lavender!
You could also ask the owners if they have any lavender recipes or crafts to make that they can share with you. Chances are they aren’t going to share recipes of things they are selling, but there may be cookies, or a drink, or something of the like that they may be willing to share with you.
A morning spent at a lavender farm is a great way to start your day! I look forward to going back each summer and picking lavender with my mom and daughter!
I am currently working on a lavender lemonade recipe (that is slightly different from many others I’ve seen on Pinterest) and hopefully I’ll be able to post that soon!