What a great few days I had with other lavender growers in San Antonio last week for the United States Lavender Growers Association (USLGA) meeting. I have to say that lavender grower meetings are the most fun meetings I get to attend. USLGA is a relatively new organization, officially formed April 27, 2012 after more than a year of hard work by an organizing committee. I am proud that I was part of that organizing committee, a founding member and a founding board member of USLGA.
So let me tell you a few things I learned while there. Photographer Scott David Gordon gave a great talk on tips for taking farm photography as well as using social media such as Instagram. I think its great that Johnson’s Backyard Garden
, which is actually a quite large farm in Texas, hires Scott to take farm pictures on a weekly basis. His work there has helped the farm grow and be more successful.
I went to Robert Seidel’s (of the Essential Oil Company) talk on distilling. He has traveled the world observing and consulting on distilling projects of every kind and had great stories to tell. Aromatherapist Mindy Green talked about some of the properties of lavender essential oil and about making claims (or not).
Another good talk was Mary Bergstrom talking on the importance of taking measurements; a definite weakness of mine. However, taking measurements in any type of business is important so that you can grow your business. Mary is the President of USLGA and has an extensive background in project management and business solutions. For someone like me with no business background her information is always welcome and I constantly get good ideas from her about how to track and measure outcomes in my business. So if you are not recording any measurements in your business yet, start today. Once you start its easier to add more measurements and understand their importance.
Did you know that there are hundreds of different varieties of lavender? And yes, they look rather similar. Andy Van Hevelingen talked some on distinguishing these varieties. The photo above are some of the bunches he brought.
There were also round table discussions on growing, advocacy, weather related issues, and more. No one went away without new ideas and inspiration.
If you are a lavender grower or enthusiast, I hope you will join USLGA.