IMG_9306.JPGHarvesting lavender…those words together sound pretty idyllic. Even in the heat and smoke from Okanagan fires it is a pretty amazing way to spend a morning. It is the only farm work I’ve done where you come home hot, dirty and sore but smelling better than when you started.

In movie speak It’s The Colour of Purple, Scent of a Woman and Attack of the Killer Bees all rolled into one. The glorious purpleness of the fields, the clean, stringent and all encompassing lavender aroma and the buzzing of a zillion bees make the time spent at Forest Greenman Lavender Farm in Naramata an intense sensory experience. This photo essay captures the sights of the morning…your imagination will have to fill in the rest.

The bunches are left to dry in the sun before being collected to hang to dry.
Farm owner Doug hams it up while Brian does all the work.
It was about 30 degrees by quitting time.
A neighbour, aptly named Harvest, dropped by to help.
Doug felt the bee population had never been as high. Two harvesters got stung, an occupational hazard.


It takes several passes with a scythe to collect enough lavender to make a big fat bunch.
The bees were everywhere. They seem to move along as you work and only sting if they get caught up while you are gathering the stocks or while transporting the bundles.


It’s the last year of Forest Greenman Lavender Farm for Doug and Karolina as they have sold the farm. Be sure to drop by this season to get your aromatherapy.  It’s not the last year for lavender though as the couple have a new venture in the wings involving this amazing plant.
Some of the lavender we harvested will be distilled for its essential oils.
Some will be sold in dried bunches.
The lavender fields are rimmed with lovely fruit trees.
This old Massey-Fergus is a beauty.
These are special cherries, Balatons. I traded my labour for some to make the best jam in the world.


A few bunches came home with me!
Thanks Doug and Karolina for letting me pitch in.