22 August 2023

Lavander harversing days

Last week we went to Carrascosa del Campo (Cuenca) to see how our friends from the Alcamancha Cooperative were harvesting “lavender”. It was our first contact with this crop and the truth is that we were surprised. This reaction came as soon as we got out of the car, because the village smelled like lavender and that meant that there was a very pleasant aroma. We are used to our village, for example in summer the smell of garlic is more than perceptible or during the grape harvest, in other villages we have visited, the smell of grape juice is also more than obvious, so on this occasion the smell of lavender was especially pleasant.

Once in the field, we were able to see the harvesting work as can also be seen in our video and photos. The Claas Jaguar forage harvester with the three-furrow cutterhead and the New Holland tractor with the single-furrow side cutterhead gave very good yields and the harvest was very comfortable. We were told they were harvesting around 10 he/day... the total harvest for this year is about 300 hectares. Once harvested, the lavender is taken to the cooperative's facilities where it is distilled to extract the oil that is then used by cosmetic companies.

As for the field you see in the video and photos, it was 3 years old, which is when it went into production. In the first year there is no production and in the second year there is a minimum yield. The life of the plant will be about 12 years of production. At that time, it will be necessary to replant. In terms of yield, the most common is around 4,000 kg/ha of lavender which, once distilled, produces around 60 kg of oil. The price has fallen considerably in recent years and has even put the viability of the crop at risk. We told you about it because we asked about the possibility of planting it ourselves and it was not clear to us because we need a nearby distillery and a harvesting company that harvests the lavender in its optimum days.

We will tell you what we do and also we are going to talk about the distillation process in future posts.... stay tuned!

Versión en español.

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