Lost in Lavender

As a Digital Brand Manager, I don’t often get to see our products being made in the factory, due to the hustle and bustle of office life. More often than not, like our customers, I see the end product. So when given the opportunity to visit the Lavender fields in Kent, which produce the lavender oil we use in our products, I didn’t have to think twice.

 

I travelled to Castle Farm in Kent; the biggest lavender farm in the UK, which provides guided tours of the fields and distillery (there’s even an option to have a soothing massage in the midst of the lavender field! Unfortunately I was only there for a limited time..). Born and bred in the city of Manchester, I was left in awe at the beautiful scenery of Kent, acknowledging its aptly named title ‘The Garden of England’.

 

I couldn’t have asked for a better day, the weather was perfect and it was also the first day of the Lavender Harvest, so I was really lucky to see this live in action. The deep and vibrant colour of the lavender ran for miles, and was breathtaking. 

 

It was fascinating to watch the lavender being harvested, and I was told that it would only take one full day to harvest a full field! The way it worked is the tractor would essentially scoop up the lavender, thus ensuring that the lavender flower and the stem would remain intact.

harvesting lavender

 

I was also given a tour of the distillery and watched the process of the fresh lavender plant turning into Lavender Oil. The smell was overwhelming as it was in its most pure form.

 

The process from plant to oil was so interesting:

 

The Essential lavender oil is produced using an extraction method known as steam distillation. Steam begins to flow through a pipe into the large sealed trailer, which had been attached to the green tractor, that the lavender had just been harvested into.

The temperature is monitored throughout this process to ensure that the highest pure grade of 100% lavender essential oil is obtained. During the distillation, the steam causes the lavender plants to release their oil, and this oil evaporates into the steam. This vapour of steam plus lavender oil molecules go through to the tall condenser where cold water is running through the coils and it cools this vapour.

This condenses it back to liquid lavender oil and hydrosol (oil infused water). The lavender water and oil are then separated in the oil separator.  As the lavender oil is lighter than water, it rises to the surface of the water, and then goes through a pipe where it finally gets collected in a steel bucket.  

 

harvesting lavenderlavender oil

 

 

Watching the process from beginning to end, it gave me a new found appreciation for our products, and the authentic natural ingredients which go into making it.

 

After smelling all the beautiful Lavender all day, it’s safe to say that I slept soundly that night!

 

Lavender skin care

A special thanks everyone at Castle Farm for making this a wonderful experience 

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