Lavender the hero at Shepherds Flat harvest festival

Lavender may be known for its calming properties, but festivities at the Lavandula Harvest Festival in Shepherds Flat were lively and bright. 

Sunshine and blue skies helped attract over 3000 people to the lavender farm, an increased attendance from last year’s popular festival which celebrates the harvest of the purple herb. 

Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm owner Carol White said the lavender at the farm bloomed just in time for harvest which began during the festival on Sunday. 

“We had five people hand-harvesting but we couldn’t get it harvested fast enough for people wanting to buy the fresh flowers,” Ms White said. 

A gypsy band, Morris dancers, tours of the original stone farm houses, artisan stalls, and food and drink provided entertainment while visitors explored acres of the farm’s gardens. 

A horse and carriage with lavender coloured feathers added to the beautiful purple scene. 

Only two rows of lavender were harvested on Sunday and with another 120 rows remaining, Ms White said the team will be hand-harvesting fields until mid February. 

The first of the harvest will be sold as flowers and cut and dried before the distilling process creates lavender oil. 

Ms White said now was the best time to see lavender and visitors to Lavandula would be able to experience the purple fields until the end of the month. 

In its 28th year, the traditional festival is set to continue.

“As long as we have lavender we will keep having the festival,” Ms White said.