Our Gift ShopOPEN 10AM -4PM, CLOSED Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Christmas day.
The shop is well stocked with many products unique to and made on the property.
We sell dried bunches, dried "stripped" lavender in a range of weights.
Many different lavender bags of fresh season lavender.
We carry a wide range of soaps and lavender cosmetics, many of which are made on the farm.
We also stock china, hats, jewellery, stationery, framed prints, pnen, jams and confectionary and much more.
Essential lavender and rosemary oil is distilled on the farm.
The decision to grow lavender was based on an impulse! We knew very little about lavender at all!
We planted a trial plot of 4000 plants at Aloomba in early 1999 after visiting farms in Victoria and southern NSW. In 2001 Peter and I started building our new home and during gaps in construction time we planted the majority of the lavender. Since then we have become convinced of the viability of the Lavender Industry. Over 95% of all lavender used in Australia is imported. The lavender covers 6 acres with approximately 12,000 plants.
The planting has continued through the three years as time permits. The lavender is grown mainly for the dried flower market. There is some Angustifolia (true English) grown for its intense blue flowers and beautiful perfume grade oil, but the main production is Intermedia. There are eleven different commercial varieties grown for their specific qualities. Italian (Stoechas) and French (Dentatas) are grown to provide colour throughout the year for the increasing level of tourism. The main flowering and harvest is during early to mid November - so it is a very busy time for the whole family.
We sell virtually all of our lavender and its products through our own gift shop on the farm. From the dried product we sell dried bunches. "stripped" lavender of various weights and we distil our oil on site.
Harvesting begins in mid November and takes approximately one month with 8 pickers. Harvesting is only carried out during the cooler parts of the day, hung to dry for a week to ten days then packaged/ stripped for later use. Oil may be produced from dry or fresh lavender so the still is very busy throughout the harvest period.
As the plants have grown, our harvest (measured in bunch numbers) has grown from 500 bunches from the tube-stock planted in the winter of 2001 to 6,000 in the second harvest; 18,200 the next year and over 25,000 this last harvest with a projection of 35,000 in the following years.
Our choice was to have a small number of angustifolia varieties with a greater emphasis on Intermedia's (lavandins) as they are more robust and yield more oil. The different named varieties have been planted to allow the hand harvesting of the majority of the crop due to slight variations in the time of maturity of the flowers.
We make much of our own product and the business consumes much of the family effort from sewing, weeding, mowing, maintenance of plants, potting, catering, B/B, cleaning, bookwork, ordering, advertising details etc. Each of the family members takes some responsibility for various aspects of the business.
We have chosen to take the tourism path with sales of products on site, value adding of the stripped lavender and products as well as distillation of sufficient oil for our own sales. It is not a business to take on part time but is very rewarding with the contact with the guests. The product is so versatile and useful and one in which great pride can be taken. The more we have to do with lavender, the more we respect its qualities of healing and repose. Hospitality Meals and morning and afternoon teas can be prepared for larger groups with prior booking. Good coffee (and a range of teas) and homemade biscuits are available to guests at any time but for the superb Devonshire tea it is advisable to book ahead to have the scones fresh from the oven.
We are fortunate that we chose to grow lavender suited so well with our land, climate and proximity to the rapidly growing tourist centre of Stanthorpe and the surrounding Granite Belt. This area is on the border of New South Wales and Queensland. We are in the Tenterfield shire which is also a very popular tourist destination.
Tenterfield has a historic background and beautiful national parks. Our cattle property lies along the Mt. Lindesay road which is the scenic alternate route from Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Since we are only 15 mins from Stanthorpe we provide a short Scenic drive with the opportunity for Queenslanders to visit a genuine lavender farm. We have plenty of space for Coaches and caravans to park and to turn in comfort.