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12:00pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A COTSWOLD lavender farmer says this year’s hot summer means the crop of the purple plant will be more plentiful than in a normal year.
Charlie Byrd from Cotswold Lavender in Snowshill, Broadway, said the Mediterranean plant flourished in the hot and dry weather of June and July and he was expecting a yield 15 per cent up on an average year.
He said: “Lavender grows on a 12-year cycle. Planted from cuttings at 5,000 to the acre.
“The first harvest takes place in the second year of a plants life.
“We get one crop per year in late July to early August.
Harvesting takes place using a specially designed machine which gathers up the sides of the plants and cuts off the stems leaving a neat mound of lavender.
“The stems are gathered and taken to the distillery to extract the lavender oil. We use steam distillation to separate the oils, a simple process using rainwater.
“The hot, dry weather in June and early July was perfect for lavender. It is a Mediterranean plant so loves hot weather.
“Last year was terrible due to the poor weather. This year is very good.”
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