Life is sweet at local lavender farm

Elbert County operation creates essential oils

Geraldine Smith
Special to Colorado Community Media
Posted 6/24/19

Laura and Jonathan Bergh may have created quite a stir if they were moving to the area north of Elizabeth today. The couple came in 2014 to farm and eventually planted 2,000 plants on their land and …

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Life is sweet at local lavender farm

Elbert County operation creates essential oils

Posted

Laura and Jonathan Bergh may have created quite a stir if they were moving to the area north of Elizabeth today. The couple came in 2014 to farm and eventually planted 2,000 plants on their land and in time placed a “still” on their patio.

Neighbors might have wondered at the volume of an unspecified herb and a thought-provoking still on the patio. Was there mischief afoot? Not so much. The curious activity was the birth of the Indigo Blooms Botanicals and Lavender Farm. Laura and Jonathan planted 2,000 lavender plants and use the “still” to steam-distill lavender to extract essential oils from the harvested plants and capture the hydrosol, an aromatic water that remains.

The essential oils and the hydrosols can be used in many beneficial ways. Hydrosols contain the same properties as the distilled botanical but are not as potent and are more likely to be found in sprays for face, body, room and linen. Essential oils may relax or stimulate their users.

The properties of lavender may seem contradictory when claims vary from relaxing to stimulating. Laura explains that results often depend upon the variety of the plant used. English lavender is known for its soft relaxing properties, while lavandins (a hybrid) has more camphor and tends to stimulate. She also cautions people to know exactly what plant extract they are using for this reason.

To help people make informed decisions and to encourage new lavender farmers, Jonathan and Laura run classes to teach others how to grow lavender for profit. The course is a two-day event with intense study the first day and practicals on the second day, weather permitting. Laura and Jonathan have graduated 28 potential farmers in the last two years.

Lavender not only benefits clients but Laura’s bees love it too. Laura does admit she is a hands-off beekeeper but the symbiotic relationship is one of many on the farm.

Along with all lavender needs and associated products for the body, pets, children and the new invigorating organic vinotherapy, vegetable plants are also available for sale. Available products are listed on the Facebook page along with other informative postings.

Spoiler alert! In the future looked for a possible purchase of a heritage chicken with a purple hue (imagine that).

Laura spoke to all things lavender in a conversation with the Elbert County News.

Where do you buy your plants?

We buy our plants from the Western Slope because they have bigger growers in that area.

How many types of lavender do you grow?

We grow 20 different kinds of lavender plants that vary in size, aroma and properties. Some work best as ornamental plants where others provide the best essential oils and hydrosols.

How do you feel about the expensive essential oils on the market?

Essential oils do not need to be expensive. Any small lavender farm can distill essential oils with minimum expense.

How do you extract the essential oils and hydrosols from your lavender?

Lavender essential oil extraction is through steam distillation. The lavender is placed in a basket above the water line in the still and when the water is heated steam rises and permeates the lavender bud and oils are released. In the end the oil and the water separate and the aromatic water (hydrosols) is saved and the oil is stored in mason jars.

Where do you sell your products besides online or at the farm?

We will attend the Denver Botanical Gardens at Chatfield annual lavender festival. We make most of our sales at this event, which will be held in July of this year. We will also be at the Palisade Lavender Festival June 28-June 30.

Do you also have your own lavender festival?

Yes. Our second annual Indio Blooms Lavender Farm Festival will be held on July 6 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at our farm. Local artisans will be present with live music by the Crow Hill Bluegrass Band.

For more information, call 720-220-1812 or email info@indigobloomsbotanicals.com. The farm is located at 8276 Centennial Trail, about 15 miles north-northeast of Elizabeth.

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