Lavender Field

By | August 7, 2015
Lavender Field in foreground

Lavender Field in foreground

Yes, I am indeed working hard in an absolutely beautiful Lavender Field in Western Pennsylvania.  Who KNEW it grew here?

Obviously the owner of the CWKlay Winery did!

Maybe I am just one of the lucky ones who gets to DO something that is good for the Earth and for people too.  Besides, I LOVE the view, the plants, the fragrance and believe it or not, I love to WEED.

By the time I am finished, I hope I can still say that I love to weed! Maybe it goes all the way back to Junior High School when I avoided all the decorating committees for special events. I did not like meetings then either.  So, I promptly signed up for the Cleanup Crew. I could see a beginning and an ending for my work and see the results right away. I liked that feeling then and still do today.

I am learning about lavender everyday, even as I weed.  My knowledge bank includes a wide range of “weeds” and invasive plant species from my previous work at organic farms and as a naturalist in National Parks. Oh, yes, when I taught science, I had my sweet seventh graders learn to identify several common lawn weeds, from dandelion to plantain.  So I guess I have been learning about weeds and herbs for a long time. And teaching about them too.

I confess that I know more about “weeds” than I do about Lavender, but I intend to improve that balance as I proceed through the season.

You already know the old saying that “A WEED is something that grows where you do not want it to be.” By that definition, a prize-winning rose bush would be a WEED in a corn field.  I suppose if someone could come up with a reason why roses and corn would be compatible companion plants that would have to change the definition a bit.

I  make it a point to never remove a plant unless I know what it is and how it relates to the others around it.  All things in the world of nature, in the biosphere, are connected somehow. I want to know HOW these plants affect lavender and the health of the soil in the lavender field.  Why? Because it is the health of the soil that will determine the longevity and productivity of the lavender field.  The owner is striving to keep chemicals out of the lavender field so there is a considerable amount of hand weeding involved. I truly appreciate that.

In the back of my mind, I think, perhaps this will be declared an organic lavender field if all of the products used in it meet OMRI standards. (OMRI is the Organic Materials Review Institute, the people who provide resources and information to organic farmers about what is and what is NOT allowed on their crops or in the soil.)

As I learn about “all things LAVENDER” I will be sharing the information with you on this blog.  For instance, there are 39 different species of Lavender plants found in Europe, North America and even the Canary Islands.  In case you did not already know, it is a very fragrant plant in the mint family and it has MULTIPLE uses.  That is why I shall return to the theme of All Things Lavender, including weeding the lavender field.