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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.