The Island Lavender Farm Market’s fields were originally planted in the spirit of a “community barn raising,” with friends and neighbors helpingplant the first lavender surrounding the celebrated and newly re-purposed Historic Island Dairy. Beginning in 2013, the plants, fields and gardens continued to grow, resulting in greater harvests and new product offerings. The company’s lavender products are created with great care, by listening to our customers’ comments and suggestions, and working to surprise and exceed expectations.
At the Island Lavender Farm Market, lavender buds are harvested in late June into July, before they burst open and flower on the stem. This process allows the company to capture the fullest fragrances and deepest colors from each stem.
The lavender field harvest season begins when the silver lavender buds grow plump and ripen into a deep and vibrant lavender color. The stems carrying the buds are carefully removed from the plants, the old fashioned way, with a gently curved hand sickle. On sunny warm mornings, the fresh oil-filled stems and buds are placed into buckets of cool water to help contain their fragrant oils as they wait to be bundled for drying in the dark, cool drying barns. After weeks of drying, the stems and buds are gently sorted, separated and cleaned, awaiting delivery to specialty kitchens and artisan workshops where the Island Lavender field products are created.
The Island Lavender Farm grows primarily Lavandula Angustifolia, commonly known as English Lavender. Varieties include Royal Velvet, Maillette, Folgate, Edelweiss and Hidcote. English Lavender is noted for its soft, sweet fragrance, most often used in culinary products. Its buds (both whole and ground) and its oil are used in Island Lavender Co. teas, salts, sugar, vinegars, oils, chocolates, caramels and mixed spices such as Herbes de Provence.
The company also grows Lavandula X Intermedia, which is a hybrid cross of various Lavandulas and is also known as a Lavandin. Grosso is the primary Lavandin grown because it produces beautiful flowers and long stems appropriate for dried flowers arrangements. Lavandins have a higher level of camphor, producing a “cool” feeling and are used for scenting lotions, soaps, sachets, candles, potpourri, wreaths and table centerpieces.
The Island Lavender Farm and Market at the Historic Island Dairy is located at the intersection of Range Line Road and Town Line Road, in the heart of Washington Island, Wisconsin. www.historicislanddairy.com.