Our members and guests were treated to a most interesting talk about the history and uses of lavender by Nick and Tim Buckler on Monday 14th May. Nick explained how their farm was originally one of the last hop farms in Hampshire but changed to lavender in 1999. For many years Nick had worked in the banking industry whilst Tim, his father, was on the farm. Tim is now beginning to wind down and Nick has transferred his interests to the family business now known as Lavender Fields
The history of lavender goes back to Roman times, but Nick explained how the antibacterial effects of Lavender oil was discovered in 1887 and was applied to the wounds of soldiers during the first world war. We were shown the 4 different varieties grown on the farm although only 3 are used for lavender oil production, namely :-
Folgate - this has a mild aroma which produces a top quality English lavender oil.
Maillette - originally from France, this variety has a strong perfume and produces high quality essential lavender oil.
Grosso - this hybrid variety is grown for its distinctive aromatic lavandin oil. But with its long elegant stems and light blue-grey fragrant flowerheads, it's also perfect when cut and dried for lavender bunches and sheaths.
We were informed about the distillery process for lavender oil and after a question session were invited to sample and purchase the many products on display.
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