On a mis­sion with laven­der oil

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By LAURA MCLEAY

One fra­grant bot­tle of laven­der oil sold. One more bi­ble bought.

For Pa­tri­cia Brown, laven­der farm­ing has al­ways been a hobby rather than a money maker but now she is sell­ing her laven­der oil to buy bibles to dis­trib­ute in Thai­land when she and her hus­band Mau­rice go there in Au­gust on a mis­sion trip.

One hun­dred per cent of the money she makes will go into the bibles.

‘‘ Where we are go­ing is above Bangkok, right out in the wop wops. The peo­ple there never see white peo­ple so it is re­ally a treat for them to. They are so lov­ing, and so kind and so gen­er­ous.’’

Mrs Brown started grow­ing grosso laven­der six years ago when she bought 130 plants for her farm near Mata­mata.

‘‘I al­ways had a pas­sion for laven­der when I was younger, then as I got older, I saw these plants and I fell in love with them,’’ she said.

‘‘When I bought my first plant I had ab­so­lutely no idea what to do with it.’’

But it didn’t take her long to learn and now she has 1000 plants in her back­yard.

‘‘I am such an out­doors per­son. I have been known to stay in the gar­den un­til 9pm,’’ she said.

But now she is in the gar­den less than she would like to be af­ter rheuma­toid arthri­tis spread through her body last year, re­strict­ing her move­ment and abil­ity to work.

‘‘It has been re­ally hard. I just love be­ing out in the gar­den but I can’t as much.

‘‘It is the essen­tials that are hard to do, like spread­ing lime and weed­ing – which all needs to be com­pleted be­fore I leave for Thai­land, other­wise my plants won’t pro­duce much next year.’’

So far this year, Mrs Brown has picked 545.50kg of laven­der, which pro­duced 11.20 litres of oil.

‘‘It was a re­ally good yield this year. We piled the laven- der into wool sacks and took it to a laven­der dis­tillery where it is pro­cessed for four hours and the oil ex­tracted,’’ she said.

‘‘We wait and watch it hap­pen. It is re­ally ex­cit­ing to see how much oil we get.’’ Mrs Brown is sell­ing 12ml bot­tles for $13 each and said laven­der oil is like hav­ing a first aid kit in one bot­tle.

It aids with heal­ing things like headaches, burns, wounds, eczema and bruises. ‘‘You name it – it will fix it,’’ she said.

‘‘ I have so much good feed­back. It truly is amaz­ing stuff. You can even put a few drops in the bath for re­lax­ation.’’

If any­one is in­ter­ested in buy­ing a bot­tle of laven­der oil, phone Mrs Brown on 888 7074.

Heal­ing scents: Mata­mata Laven­der farmer Pa­tri­cia Brown is now sell­ing laven­der oil and us­ing the money to buy bibles for peo­ple in Thai­land.

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