“Heaven is a place on earth...” so the song goes, and we stumbled into heaven when we found this gorgeous 25 acre (10H) property at Little Hartley, nestled into the western foothills of the Blue Mountains, near Sydney, Australia. It has a lovely northwest aspect on gentle slopes and the climate is dictated by our altitude of 800 metres, meaning warm to hot dry summers and cold, frosty and sometimes snowy winters.
We wanted to make good use of the land and grow some type of horticultural crop without negatively impacting the health of our water supply, remnant eucalyptus bush land and the native birds and animals of the area. The variety of plant needed to be resistant to insect attack and diseases and be unpalatable to visitors like kangaroos, wallabies and wombats.
We wanted a long lived plant that thrives with minimal water, produces a seasonal crop with low fertiliser requirements and can be managed by hand without large equipment. If that wasn’t enough of a wish list, the crop ideally should be of high value with possibilities to value add into products to sell locally. Phew!
The choice was obvious, it had to be LAVENDER!
OUR BEAUTIFUL LAVENDER
The first lavender tubestock varieties went into the ground in November 2018, just in time to experience the worst drought in local history throughout 2019 and then historic bushfires burned all around in summer 2019/20.
We are so lucky that lavender is one tough herb.
We now grow four cultivars of L. angustifolia, four varieties of L. intermedia which we harvest for distillation into essential oil and dry for culinary and craft uses. We also have planted out our gardens with multiple ornamental L. stoechas, L. pendunculata hybrids and L. pinnata in amongst roses, lilacs and salvias.
FARM TOURS & SPECIAL OCCASION PHOTOGRAPHY
We are now closed for the 2020 season, harvest is underway and we will be distilling all our flowers during January. I'm sorry if you missed us this year, but we look forward to welcoming visitors back in Nov/Dec 2021.
During the peak lavender flowering period in December, we take bookings for our farm tour, a 1.5 hour fully escorted small group visit with time for exclusive photography sessions amongst the rows of purple lavender.
Visits are by appointment only with no more than 15 people in the one session which gives you exclusive access to uncrowded lavender paddocks, one on one information from the farmers, a unique learning experience located close to Sydney, in the calm and beauty of our mountain landscape.
We also welcome inquiries from professional photographers about exclusive dawn/sunset time slots for special occasion photo shoots.