AT 48 FIELDS, WE ARE A GROWING LOUDOUN COUNTY LAVENDER FARM SET IN THE HEART OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA WINE COUNTRY, AIMING TO BRING A BIT OF EUROPEAN ROMANCE TO A MORE LOCAL COMMUNITY.
In 2018 we planted our initial crop of lavender, an evergreen known for its unique fragrance and recognizable spiky purple blooms.
While we did get some of those iconic purple blooms in the inaugural year, most lavender plants take a couple of years to better and more fully bloom. The swoon-worthy shape and size of what most people think of lavender typically takes a few years to achieve.
WHEN DOES IT BLOOM
Lavender plants can be fast growing, but most of the year the plants are much more plain. When not in bloom, only their green leaves are visible. The sought-after purple flowers come only once a year, typically in late June and for a limited amount of time.
WHEN TO HARVEST
Given the short blooming season, lavender cuts are most often done during the summer months when the purple blossoms are present. Individual stems are best cut when about one-third to one-half of the flowers have opened.
OUR DRYING PROCESS
Cut lavender is most often and efficiently dried in bundles, and each bundle can contain about one hundred stems. These stems are then wrapped with a rubber band around the bottom and hung upside down in a dry area out of direct sunlight. Luckily, our barn provides this perfectly! Lavender bunches will be completely dry after about two to three weeks. They are then ready to store or process into an end use, such as soaps, wreaths, infused-oils, cocktails, honey, bath salts, and other DIY projects.
Plants are pruned in early spring or early fall down to one-half to two-thirds of their size, leaving about 2-3 inches of green stems. This helps them maintain their classic mounded shape year after year. Diligent pruning and weeding keep the beds clean and attractive.
PUBLIC FARM EVENTS
As our lavender plants expand and mature into fuller harvests, 48 Fields will be offering pick-your-own crops for the community as well as partnering with local florists to offer DIY lavender wreath building workshops during blooming season.