Our gift shop has switched to fall, and our team is enjoying all that comes with the upcoming season. Autumn colors in our post and beam barn make Long Row feel like a hug when you walk inside. This season, one of our “statements” in the gift shop is our stunning copper distiller. Yes, it is a functioning distiller that can be used to make lavender essential oil! Or as we like to refer to it as, LEO.
Did you know that Long Row Lavender does not produce its own lavender essential oil? Here’s why - It takes up to 750 lavender plants to distill one gallon of the precious oil. Our farm has approximately 1,000 lavender plants sown on the property. If we were to produce essential oil, one gallon would completely deplete our floral supply. Since lavender can be difficult to grow and nurture, producing essential oil would be near impossible for our little lot. Additionally, one gallon of lavender essential oil would not stretch our handcrafted products very far.
With that being said, owner and head farmer Chad took a weekend two summers ago to educate and show the public what the distillation process looks like. In the middle of June, when the lavender was at the height of its bloom, Chad hooked up the distiller and harvested the necessary plant material. Our distiller uses steam distillation, which means two products come out of the distillation process. One is lavender essential oil, the other is lavender hydrosol. All of the steam from the distillation is caught, and funneled out the side to separate it from the oil. Simply speaking, that hydrosol is “Lavender Water.” Unlike lavender essential oil, hydrosol is much less concentrated and easier to extract. On our front porch the copper distiller was put to work for two full days. The result? Just about one inch of LEO and lots of lavender hydrosol. Distillation is hard (and hot) work!
Hydrosol has many uses; from a refreshing room spray to a cooling facial mist. We have so enjoyed sharing our steamed distilled lavender hydrosol with the public. However, once it is sold out, it is gone until we distill again making this product a “limited edition.” To purchase, visit our website at longrowlavender.com or stop by the farm; we are open every Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00-4:00 through mid-December.