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Purple patch takes home silver

Jan Abernethy of Lavender Abbey in Dalefield, Carterton. PHOTO/GIANINA SCHWANECKE

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Carterton’s Lavender Abbey took home five silvers at this year’s New Zealand Lavender Growers Association Supreme Oil Awards.

‘Not bad’ for someone who knew next to nothing about lavender when she first bought the lavender farm 13 years ago, owner Jan Abernethy said.

Originally from Wellington, she and husband Stuart were looking for a lifestyle block when they stumbled upon a two-and-a-half-hectare property in Dalefield.

“We were looking for a lifestyle block and I liked the house,” she said. “[The previous owner] had just put the lavender in.”

About a year after moving in, she started making lavender oil of her own using online recipes and books for guidance.

“I was just doing it as a hobby. It was difficult trying to come up with new ideas when I knew nothing about lavender.”

She started introducing new lavender products as her confidence grew including eye pillows, wood polish, lotions, creams and balms, soaps and bags of dried lavender.

The essential oil is her favourite though and has performed consistently well at the NZLGA Supreme Oil Awards for three years now.

“The essential oil is good because it can be used for many things, including homemade cleaning products or as a perfume.”

This year they took home five silvers for their 2019 Lavandula and intermedia ‘Grosso’, 2019 Lavandula angustifolia ‘Violet Intrigue’, 2018 Lavandula angustifolia ‘Violet Intrigue’, 2020 Blend ‘Grosso, Violet Intrigue, Super’ and 2020 Blend ‘Violet Intrigue and Super’ oils.

She was pleased with the result in a year when competition was strong, with 105 entries including some from Europe, Canada and the United States.

It showed they were still on the right track, she said.

Abernethy is looking at developing a new range of products and has released a ‘Lads in the Lavender’ calendar to help raise funds for the Prostate Cancer Foundation.

It’s available for sale online, or in bookstores around the region – Take Note, Almo Books, and Paper Plus Masterton.

  • More information can be found online at lavenderabbey.co.nz can be found online at lavenderabbey.co.nz

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