How to Harvest Lavender
In easy peasy steps
At this time of the year we harvest our incredible lavender -- all 43 varieties -- and then distill the world's finest lavender oil from the flowers.
Here’s a handy guide to take you through the process:
1. Plant 43 varieties of lavender in your own patch. Sensible people will think you have gone mad. They will be correct.
2. When your flowers have reached their zenith, select a warm day. Wait for the temperature to reach 25° Celsius. Listen carefully to old hand (Mike), then ignore advice.
3. Collect your harvesting machine from the shed. You will not have seen it since last year, so you may have trouble recognizing it. It will be clearly labelled “Tea Cutter.” Except this will be in Japanese, so fly in someone to translate this for you. You will probably have to fly them Business Class or they will lose face.
4. Stand and stare at your machine, for at least 10 minutes. This is very important – you cannot expect any machine to respond favorably unless it has been stared at for a good long period. New Zealand farmers have always known this to be true. Remember to stare at your machine as if you mean it. If it has tires – kick them. This will let your machine know who’s boss, and it will start first time. If your machine does not know who is in charge, you can expect trouble all day.
5. Attach collecting bag, and start machine. If it refuses to start, do not panic. Curse machine loudly, then kick it firmly if you have not already done so. Your machine will fall into line straight away. Trim flowers off bushes.
6. When bag is full, you can expect it to be equally full of agitated bees. Do not open bag unless you have qualified for the Olympic 100 metres recently, or you are on steroids. Or both. Run. Never look back.
7. Return cautiously when bees have dispersed. Rebag, and deliver to Still. Do not expect financial compensation, or even thanks - you have had too much fun.
Updated: 16 May 2013