Page 53 - The Hunt - Summer 2019
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                 The pergola hosts yoga, workshops and the occasional wedding.
they went along, relying on organizations like the United States Lavender Growers Association, of which they’re members. To create the oil, they pick the buds from the plants—usually in May or June—then pack them onto a mesh grill in the still, using heat and water to create steam. As the distillation cools, they separate the oil and the lavender water (hydrosol). “A lot of cosmetic companies use that hydrosol for toners and a makeup base,” says Saha. “We sell [the oil] straight [and add it] to different products, like lotions.”
Distilling the lavender fresh from the fields can prove tricky for just two people. Each batch takes about two hours and yields just 50 milliliters of oil. “That’s why it’s so expensive, because there’s so much flower that goes into making just a little bit of [oil],” says Voelcker.
Fortunately, the water has a much larger yield, so they sell it as a spray. “It can be
a good face toner—it’s calming, it repels insects,” Voelcker says.
“It’s great if you have sunburn, or if you need to soothe skin or burns,” adds Levin,
who makes frequent use of hydrosol. Business is thriving at Mt Airy
Lavender. “Each year we expand a little bit,” says Saha.
Their products are so popular, in fact, that last year they ran out of oil. “It’s a craft product we’re making,” says Saha, who stresses their focus on organic pro- duction—though they’re not yet organic certified.
The plants themselves require a suitable environment in which to grow. “They need a lot of sun, and they don’t like a lot of
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