LION SPRINGS LAVENDER FARM
The lavender at Lion Springs Lavender Farm in Carmel Valley, California…
2016: the first year
At Lion Springs Lavender Farm in Carmel Valley, California, we practice organic farming methods to bring a healthy lavender product to our customers. As a result, it’s a lot of hard work done by hand, but worth it…because we strive to help preserve our land and environment for our fellow neighbors, families, friends, guests, local wildlife, and future generations. We specialize in organic culinary lavenders. Our first year, we planted 1040 lavender plants.
However, things were never this easy.
In 2017, we had a paltry, small harvest for our first year since the farm was so new. We struggled with controlling the erosion from all the torrential rains.
Then, after it finished raining for three months straight…btw, the great Califirnia drought ended as soon as I got my building permit for my new house and started to plant a lavender field. That figures. The sky dumped billions of buckets of water on us. As a matter of fact, the weatherman said we were in a 30 year flood, and then they said it was a 100 year flood, then they raised it again to a 500 year flood. My driveway washed out and I had to build a retaining wall. It’s Murphy’s Law. So, the next time you want California drought to end, just have me build a house and start a lavender farm because then it will surely rage a monsoon for the whole state of California – the whole West Coast that is.
Next, as fate would have it, all the abundant rain water made the weeds grow like crazy.
So, we weeded and weed-whacked…and weeded and weed-whacked again and again. I would weed wack down between all 24 rows of lavender over a period of days because it was so hot I only did a few rows st a time. By the time I finished the last row, the grass had grown so fast that I had to start on the first row right away again.
Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore, the weather got super hot and dry. Then all the weeds died. It looked like a big golden mess of horse hay everywhere. The lavendet got dry. Unfortunately, my well wasn’t hooked yet. So, Anthony would fill up 10 five gallon buckets with water for me using his electric generator and a hose. Then, I had to carry two five gallon buckets at a time across the building site to the lavender field. And yes, I watered all the 1040 baby lavender plants by hand by slowly dribbling bits of water out of five gallon buckets, going up and diwn the steeply sloped lavender field rows (the slope is good for drainage). Things really sucked. The only saving grace was that after a few weeks of hiking up and down the hill, it inadvertently gave me buns of steel. I was super stoked about that.
Then, the construction guys noticed me carrying all these heavy buckets and they helped bring hundreds of feet of hoses from the generator so I could water the lavender. I was still exhausted from hoisting the hoses up and down the hill in the blistering heat. I dripped with sweat and was covered in the salt from it. Finally, my brilliant boyfriend ran to Home Depot and got these big tripod sprinklers attached to the hoses. When he got it all set up and turned the spigot, it was like heaven had opened up and God blessed us with water spraying everywhere. I felt so happy not to have to water each lavender plant anymore.
Then, a nice friend of mine helped me put down irrigation tubes, and we did tons of weeding, and weed whacking, and added natural wood chip mulch to control the soil erosion as well as retain water for the plants.
Then in 2018, we were thrilled to have a much bigger harvest!
…to be continued…
…the 2019 Lavender Harvest was much better! The lavender grew in beautifully. We were fortunate enough to discover a wonderful third generation bee keeper, Thomas, who helps to make delicious lavender honey on our farm. The bees help pollinate all the plants and help the surrounding environment in Carmel Valley as well.
Now, we are working hard at the farm and greatly looking forward to the 2020 lavender harvest. In the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, with the terrible economic shutdown in California, we are now following and practicing the CDC guidelines to help keep everyone healthy and happy here at Lion Springs Lavender Farm. These tough economic times are inspiring us to work even harder than before to struggle to keep the organic farm and honey bees alive here at Lion Springs.
We hope to some day soon to be able to open up to give folks tours of the lavender farm …and to try our delicious Carmel Caramels homemade right here with a cottage kitchen permit using the lavender honey from our organic lavender farm. Until then, we hope to see you soon…healthy, safe, happy, and enjoying delightfully scrumptious Carmel Caramels while enjoying the heavenly scent of organic culinary lavender from Lion Springs Lavender Farm!
Thank you very much to everyone who has helped to support our small family farm. We greatly appreciate everyone who has helped to keep alive the old tradition of the agricultural history of Carmel Valley. Most of all, our straw farmer hats are off to those who always encouraged us…we salute those who strive to work to help make other’s dreams, and their own dreams, into positive realities. We really all are in this together! 💜🌸🍯😋