For Donna Delikat, purple is her favorite color.
Considering, since 2006, she has planted about 1400 lavender plants, 7 different varieties, some early and some late bloomers— that’s a fitting choice.
The acre of land on Woodland Lavender Farm that Donna Delikat devotes to growing lavender used to be a walnut orchard that over time became overgrown with blackberry vines and first had to be cleared out. They bought their farm in 1986, it was originally homesteaded in 1898 and for a few years they lived in the original house. The Delikat’s are only the third owner of the property.
As Donna shows us in the video, each variety has its own special characteristics, but mainly she grows her lavender for their oils. Lavender oils are used in many different household products including soaps and shampoos. While all the different varieties are edible, some are more desirable from a culinary perspective because they are low in camphor oil which generally is not a desirable taste for most people. So while the Grosso variety, commonly referred to as Fat Spike, produces the most oil, the English Lavenders are “very sweet and they are very good for culinary” purposes, says Donna.
Lavender is a drought tolerant plant and the flowers produce a variety of wonderful scents. As you see in the video, bees are attracted to the flowers though they are not needed for pollination. These perennial plants are prized as well as dried flowers and their beautiful display while in bloom.
In 2007, Delikat and another Lavender farm joined forces and formed the Oregon Lavender Festival with the intent of educating the public about lavender and to give some of the proceeds to area charities. Over the years, Delikat says that they have about 28 participating growers and 75 members in the Oregon Lavender Association, a non-profit dedicated to the promotion of Lavender.
For additional pictures from the lavender farm check out this post: Visit to a Lavender Farm