Fields of lavender

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We got there just in time. A day or two later and the lavender fields would have been “stubble.” Last week, my friend and colleague Signe Langford invited me for a tour of Terre Bleu, a lavender farm located in Milton, Ontario. Owner Ian Baird gave us a tour as employees hand-cut the last of this season’s lavender from the fields. 

Terre Bleu grows seven varieties of lavender that were chosen based on their hardiness in Ontario (Milton is about 5b on Canada’s zone map.): ‘Betty’s Blue’, ‘Imperial Gem’, ‘Purple Bouquet’, ‘Melissa’, ‘Grosso’, ‘Folgate’, and ‘Phenomenal’. Despite an especially harsh winter, Ian says they didn’t lose too many plants. The lavender is made into a variety of culinary and decorative products that are sold on-site, including shortbread, truffles, maple syrup and honey.

The farm has only been around for four years, but this was the first year that it opened to the public. Ian, who owns the farm with his wife, says the response has been overwhelming. They received thousands of visitors, with no advertising, except through a special Facebook program. “You see everything you planted in the earth, you see the reaction of the public and it’s amazing,” he says.

We arrived in time to watch some of the lavender harvest.

We arrived in time to watch the lavender harvest in progress.

Harvested lavender, waiting to go into the big, split-column copper still.

Harvested lavender, waiting to go into the big, split-column copper still.

The copper still, where the lavender oil is produced.

The copper still, where the lavender oil is produced.

I couldn't resist purchasing lavender-infused honey from the gift shop!

I couldn’t resist purchasing lavender-infused honey from the gift shop!

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One Response to Fields of lavender

  1. Rudie V says:

    ‘Phenomenal’ lives up to it’s name. I have one in my garden and I can attest to it’s durability. It thrives even in our sultry summer heat and humidity here in Virginia, and doesn’t look any worse for wear after a cold snowy winter. It’s always loaded with blooms and maintains the fragrance of old standby’s like Hidcote and Munstead. Highly recommend!

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