Terre Bleu organic lavender is the heart of our farm. The relaxing, natural fragrance of our plants inspires everything we do, and it follows guests gently around the property as they participate in our tours, activities and events.
Harvested throughout the summer as our blooms come and go at different times depending on the variety, our lavender plants are either distilled or dried into a range of natural products. Our products include essential oils, sachets, lotions, soaps, dried bouquets, wreaths, truffles, shortbreads, maccarons and lavender for many other culinary, decorative and aromatic uses.
Terre Bleu lavender is harvested throughout the summer starting in mid July for distillation and drying. Given we grow eight different varieties our fields are never in full bloom at the same time. We harvest at different times when the flowers are in varying states of bloom depending on the intended use of the flower.
Lavender is at its best for distilling or drying before it is in full bloom, particularly when drying lavender, as the buds will retain their fragrance for much longer and won’t fall apart. We harvest the plants mid-morning on a dry, sunny day once the dew has evaporated and then remove any excess leaves from the stem.
Once the lavender plants have been harvested, we distill lavender essential oil in our distillery to use in our range of organic products.
The distillation process begins by steaming lavender plants in a large stainless retort. As steam travels through the plant material, essential oils in the lavender are released as vapour, creating the now richly fragrant steam. The steam then travels through a condensing coil, cooling the vapors and condensing it into hydrosol and essential lavender oil. The lighter, lavender essential oil rises to the top and the remaining floral water, called hydrosol, is seperated out in the recovery flasks. This process is carefully monitored throughout to ensure our oils are of the highest grade and purity.
The new lavender oil is then carefully aged for one year to purify it of extraneous plant esters and water. One batch of lavender essential oil at Terre Bleu takes 80 kg of fresh lavender, creating 1L of essential oil and 8L of hyrdosol.
We make more than lavender essential oil at Terre Bleu, we also dry lavender to make many fragrant, everyday items. These lavender products are made from dried bunches and buds, depending on its eventual use.
We hang long stems of lavender in bunches to dry in a dark and well-ventilated area for up to a month. The lavender must be bone dry before using, or else it could grow mould or fungus. Bunches of lavender are then used to make wreaths, dried bouquets and wedding favours; while individual lavender buds are used in sachets, potpourri, scented products and for cooking some fabulous recipes.