Annual lavender pick defies frosty Spring upset

By emily.norman@age.co.nz -
1 comment
PURPLE FIELDS: Stuart and Jan Abernethy will open their Lavender Abbey field on their rural Carterton property over the weekend, for their annual Pick Your Own Lavender event.
PURPLE FIELDS: Stuart and Jan Abernethy will open their Lavender Abbey field on their rural Carterton property over the weekend, for their annual Pick Your Own Lavender event.

Lavender Abbey in Carterton have overcome a frosty setback in Spring but are well on track to host their free "Pick Your Own Lavender" event for the next two weekends.

Jan and Stuart Abernethy have been living on the Dalefield property for almost eight years, harvesting their own lavender and manufacturing their own products.

"Unfortunately we had a late frost on November 11," Mrs Abernethy said.

"I didn't want to go out until two days after the frost because I didn't want to see it. When I went out they were all gone. Our whole paddock was dead. It was awful."

Mrs Abernethy said she and her husband "just had to deal with it and hope that the flowers would come back".

"And they did come back. It just means the crop is probably two weeks later than usual, because we haven't had really hot temperatures, it's been a bit sad.

We've had cold, we've had rain, everything that lavender doesn't like. So it's still a bit behind."

She said the flowers are "still perfect" to be picked this weekend and next weekend, which will be the sixth year to hold the free event.

"We've been living here eight years in March, and when we came here the lavender was there but no one had harvested it at all for anything. I loved the lavender and as soon as I saw the house I thought, yes.

"So we thought, well, we'll harvest the lavender and then I had six litres of oil and I went on the internet and got a recipe for soap, hand cream, and then we just made lots of products from there."

Lavender Abbey will be selling products this weekend from 10am until 3pm at the event and Mr Abernethy added that none of the products were tested on animals.

"Nothing is tested on animals, it's all tested on me."

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