A Question and Answer Interview with Sabena


What were you doing before lavender farming?


Before lavender farming, we were farming this land as market gardeners. Growing a large selection of vegetables, fruits, herbs and edible flowers to take to farmer’s markets in Peterborough, Oshawa and Curtice.


What was your inspiration?

The inspiration was our son's (Logan) collection of lavender plant varieties. Logan had developed his own herb business "Grow Tasty" here on our farm. From the

many culinary plants he grew Logan started a collection of lavender plants. It would have stayed a private collection if it hadn't been for one of our customers that showed us a brochure of a lavender farm in Quebec. We did visit the lavender farm in Quebec and were blown away by the beauty of seeing lavender growing in fields in mass. It would have again stayed a happy memory if it had not been for a series of unfortunate events that left our family in a financially difficult situation. With the 2008 market crash my husband, who was working off the farm and bringing in the majority of income, found himself out of work. Not wanting to lose the farm and our way of life, we decided to find a way to increase the revenue the farm was generating. It seemed everything we had tried so far brought in some money but not enough to carry us all year. The organic culinary nursery "Grow Tasty" was very specialized and was great for the spring sale. The organic vegetable sale was great for summer and fall sales. Then we thought that the lavender plants, lavender fields and the value-added products that we make could round out our year. It was a leap of faith, we didn't have a plan B. 

Although the demand for time to maintain 4 acres of lavender was so high that we had to let go of the vegetable production and slowly had to let go of the herb business as well and depend solely on the lavender to provide our family income.


How did you get started?


It got started by doing a lot of research, we thankfully already knew a lot about growing plants although growing fields of lavender in Canada can be a challenge since being a semi-evergreen the lavender plant suffer greatly from wind desiccation (drying out) in late winter and early spring. We not only researched the best way to grow lavender, but also how to distill it, and I spent months researching formulas for my line of body care products and then after our first product sales haveing to rethink it all and enlist the knowledge of a chemist to formulate a product with a longer self-life but still retaining as many of the organic or Eco-certified oils and botanicals that I wanted in my products. Healthy ingredients, and health and wellness in general, are a way of life for our family.


How many years have you been open?


We opened to the public on July 1st, 2013. Three years after the plant where planted. It goes back further than that, in 2009 I started propagating trays and trays of lavender cuttings taken from our mother bed. My son and I propagated over 10,000 plants. We filled one of our, at the time four greenhouses, just with lavender babies and in August of 2010 the fields where planted.

What does your year look like regarding the maintenance of the lavender fields?


Maintenance Schedule for Our Lavender Fields


Early to Mid-May - Winter protective cloth covers are unpinned, removed, and support wires are pulled out.

Mid-May - Weeding and cultivation of lavender planting beds

- Often there is the repair of grass or planting beds required to do because of critter damage. (Mice, skunks, wild turkey)

End of May - Organic fertilizer applied to lavender plants and grass.

- Grass cutting, as required

June - Weeding and cultivation of lavender planting beds, as required.

- Grass cutting, as required.

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender planting beds, as required.

Early July - Selective harvesting of lavender buds for the culinary lavender market.

- Weekly grass cutting.

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

Early- Mid-July - Selective harvesting of lavender flower stems for dried lavender bouquet production.

- Weekly grass cutting.

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

End of July - Harvesting of all English lavender flower heads for essential oil production drying of flower heads before distillation.

- Weekly grass cutting.

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

Early August - Distillation of our essential oil.

- Pruning of all English lavender plants.

- Weekly grass cutting

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

Mid-End of August - Weekly grass cutting

-Harvesting of all the Lavandin lavender plants.

-Organic fertilizer applied to lavender plants and grass.

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

September - Weekly grass cutting

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

October - Weekly grass cutting

- Weeding and cultivation of lavender beds, as required.

Mid- October - Grass cutting and final weeding and cultivation of lavender beds.

- Pruning of all Lavandin lavender plants.

- Placing wire supports into the ground to support winter protective cloth covers.

End of October early November - Placing covers over lavender and stapling to the ground

​November to Early May - Lavender plant is protected from sun and wind.


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Our products are created in small batches, using formulas carefully formulated and tested with the help of a chemist to ensure that all our products have a good shelf life, use only all natural preservatives, and can be frozen so shipping products in the winter will have no freezing issues. This all helps to create spa quality products. Our products contain no parabens, sodium lauryl sulfates, phthalates, artificial fragrances/colours or silicon/petroleum bases and are never tested on animals. 



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