Page 50 - The Hunt - Summer 2019
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                 Over the years, Saha and Voelcker built their own homes on the farm to be near their parents. The houses sit on either side of a long, shaded driveway that wends by pastures where horses can be seen cropping the grass. One lavender field is right behind Voelcker’s home. She began planting it in 2012, a year after she and her husband returned from a five-year stay in Brussels. “I worked and lived over there,” says Voelcker, the former head of client insight and marketing technology at Vanguard. “I got a chance to visit the South of France, and I just fell in love with the lavender.”
Voelcker started with 500 plants. There are now 1,200. “The first year we were harvesting it, I was like, ‘What the heck are we going to do with all of this?’” she recalls.
Soon, Saha became involved. A biochemist for West Pharmaceuticals, she wanted to do something with the plants. So they installed a still to turn the lavender into oil and lavender water. As an essential oil, lavender has many uses. Voelcker believes in it so much that she’s getting her certification in aromatherapy.
“[Lavender] is such a powerhouse of an oil,” says Venessa Levin, a registered aromatherapist who practices at Grateful Aromatics in West Chester and Mariano Holistic Center in Malvern. “It actually
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does a lot more than just smell nice. It has antiseptic, antimicrobial and anti- inflammatory properties, so it can help soothe burns, scrapes and insect bites.”
Levin also notes that lavender can help reduce anxiety and stress, and aid with in- somnia for some. “It helps so many parts of a person,” she says.
To harness those properties and share them with others, Saha and Voelcker established Mt Airy Lavender in 2015. Knowing nothing about lavender farm- ing when they began, they learned as

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