Saturday, July 16, 2011

Lavande de Lherm

Sally, our walking tour guide, recommended we visit her friends' lavender farm in Massarrat. We thought that was a great idea. We made reservations and were on our way Friday afternoon.

Our hosts, Suzie and Ian were lovely, gracious people. She's from England and he's from New Zealand. They've lived and worked all over the world and came to be lavender farmers in France quite by accident. They run a wonderful operation. They offer tours of their farm, put on an English tea, and run a B&B on their property.

Who knew lavender was so fascinating? We sat under a grove of walnut trees and learned so much about that plant!

While Suzie taught us about the plants, Ian showed us the machine he used for harvesting the lavender. It looked like something out of 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang'! He imported it from Japan where it is used for harvesting tea. He pushes that contraption uphill to cut the lavender flowers. Everything is done totally by hand.

After the tour, we gathered in an old stone barn for tea. Scones, cucumber sandwiches, creme fraiche, and raspberry jam were washed down with pots and pots of English tea. While we ate, Ian demonstrated how he extracted the oil from the lavender plants.

After our tea we bought soaps and lotions from the boutique they run out of their garden shed. We wandered around for a bit more taking photos of their beautiful farm.

A lavender farm in the French countryside. What a beautiful way to spend an afternoon.

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