This was my third time being at the Young Living Lavender Harvest in the middle of the beautiful Provence, at Simian-la-Rotonde. And again, it was such an amazing, fun, informative and inspiring experience!
This is what we learned at this year's Lavender harvest:
- that 80% of the population Lavender in France is produced for Young Living.
- population Lavender is Lavender Angustifolia grown from seeds instead of being cloned. Population Lavender Angustifolia has much better quality due to its diversity.
- that the population Lavender seeds are planted in greenhouses; when they are tiny plants, they are seperated and still grow a bit more in the greenhouse. After they have been planted into the fields, the first year they produce 30% of Lavender essential oil, the third year it is 50% and then it's the full 100%.
- Young Living takes care of the earth where Lavender is grown: they will have rotation of the crops: after growing Lavender for 10 years, they change the crop to 2-3 years of Einkorn and then 2 years of Clary Sage.
- we learned a lot about Einkorn :)
- we also harvested wild lavender, distilled it and got each a tiny bottle of wild lavender essential oil to take home. It makes you realize how precious essential oil is, how much work, awarness and knowledge Young Living puts into producing our essential oils!
And part of this great experience is to meet the people who are doing the work on the farms, on the field, in the destilleries every day!
There is Nicolas Landel, the farm Manager of the Young Living Farm and Cooperation Partners in France : again what a great job he did at explaining how it all works and how patiently he answered all of our questions!
We also met Benoît, third generation Lavender Farmer. C and I went a day early to meet with some friends from Sweden and we wanted to show them the distillery in Simiane. Amazingly enough, when we arrived Benoît and another farmer were distilling Clary Sage - we could smell as soon as we left the car :) C. approached Benoît to ask if it would be ok to come and show our friends the distillery and he promptly answered in his français provencal: "of course, vous êtes chez vous! You are at home here"! WOW!
Later that week we had the pleasure to meet Nicolas mother Jane and his father Jean-Noel Landel, who talked about how Young Living started, how Gary and he ( Jean-Noel) met and how Gary showed up in France to learn about distillation.
Benoît's uncle, also named Benoît showed us the way they used to harvest Lavender by hand in the old days: together with his brothers, they would harvest a whole field of lavender in a day - by hand!!! He let us try it, it is definitly a skill that comes with a lot, a lot of doing it!
And then there is always the other participants: we met old friends and made new ones, had so many inspiring talks, could share our knowledge and learn so much in return. And sung beautifully in the Chateau of Simiane-la-Rotonde :)
Are you coming with us next time? Let us know when you want to go and we can organize a visit at the Young Living Farm en Provence!!!
See you in the fields! :)