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.
Probably the best smelling conference you could go to! ^_^
What I need is a variety of lavender that I can't kill, although I'm pretty sure that's either a)one someone else grows for me or b)is made of plastic. I'm really, really bad with plants.
I had no idea there were hundreds of different varieties of lavender!
I love the smell and it is one of my best sellers for my candles, customers love it!
Would love to hear a little more about the tips you got for using Instagram. I'm just starting out and trying to find my way!
Thanks for the post, it sounds like a great conference!
Wow! Cindy, that looks like a great event. I am so excited about how lavender is increasingly cultivated in North America. It's one of my favorite plants and I'm thrilled to see you growing it. Hope to visit sometime and see it (and you) in person!
Heather, I like growing herbs because they are generally pretty easy. Some thrive on neglect even. I'm sure there is one out there you can grow if you want to.
Jamie, one tip for Instagram is to find good hashtags.
Donna Maria, yes, the number of lavender farms is increasing and it is exciting. You'll need to plan a trip out here.
Thanks for posting about his. I know a lavender grower in Sebastopol. I'll ask him if he was there!
Hi Cindy – thank you for sharing this information on growing lavender. I've been growing lavender for 20 years and want to expand my collection to about 300. I am very interested in learning more about the lavender USLGA group.
The website for the USLGA is http://www.uslavender.org.