Letting Go

My Feldencrais practitioner told me that the human nervous system  is organized around two bipolar processes at birth: Pushing and being pulled; and latching onto the nipple and letting go. He said the most difficult action is letting go. 

Letting go of Harms Lavender business has been a saddening process. We have received wonderful e-mails from you, our loyal customers,  you whom we have met through e-mails, at open houses, through packing your orders. Some of you are our neighbors.

We do want to explain some of the timing of our…Read more

New Eyes on the Ranch!

New Eyes on the Ranch!

First published March 9, 2016. Casey and Melissa and their two sons are living on the ranch with us. Both boys know where the sweetest blackberries grow, when to pick wild strawberries and where. They have helped with the lavender harvest every year and they continue to be a joy in the rediscovery of everything else that also lives here.

Donald and I are delighted that our youngest son Casey, our daughter-in-law Melissa, and our grandsons Wesley and Sabien, are joining us on the ranch!  In the next months they will be  taking over the lavender and…

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We Are Closing Our Business on December 31, 2018

We Are Closing Our Business on December 31, 2018

With some sadness, we wish to announce Harms Lavender will be closing our lavender and aromatic business on December 31, 2018. We have loved growing lavender and distilling lavender and then, in more recent years, helichrysum italicum and rose geranium. Working with these lovely, medicinal aromatics has been humbling and instructive in learning to listen to the earth and the plants it supports. Every time I package an order, I imagine the energy of the plant and of the soils and air in which it grew traveling to you, spreading the…

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Old Growth Lavender: Lot#Toyon17

Old growth, gnarly vines produce fruit which in turn results in prized wine, but seldom do we hear of old growth lavender. We have a small acreage of lavender that we decided not to replant, but we didn’t pull it either. Its short stems are good only for our still yet so short they are difficult to harvest. But the work is worth it!  The distilled essence of those ancient plants is ebullience! It has all the tones of the earth it grew from and the resonances of the sun which blares hot in the afternoon. The earth there…

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Lavender and Memory: Evocative Pleasure!

Lavender and Memory: Evocative Pleasure!

Lavender is a paradox: the scent  brings you into the immediacy of the senses, and this experience evokes memory.  Lavender has provided an unexpected  journey to my husband and me over these 20 years since we planted it.

Casey was still in high school when we first planted the 3500  tiny lavender plants. He and our friend Andy placed irrigation for the lavender and  then weeded, over and over and over! Now Casey’s wife, our daughter-in-law Melissa, and their sons, Wesley and Sabien, help harvest and process the lavender that you receive.

Three great surprises in my life are my love…

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Lavender Harvest is Over. Now We Collect for Acorns to Oaks Program.

Lavender Harvest is over. Now We Collect for Acorns to Oaks Program.

Wesley, Sabien and I collect valley oak acorns from the oak savanna by our home for the Acorn to Oaks program in Napa County. School children will plant them in a program to re-oak the Napa Valley.

IMG_4255 3We collect perfect acorns, count them and put them in labeled bags. We note the number and kinds of acorns, and the date and place they were collected.

Both boys are astute at distinguishing black oak acorns from valley oak; valley oak from coastal oak. The bag in this photo…

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Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers

Tall Grasses and Goat Trainers

by Melissa McLaughlin

I have been spending the early mornings and evenings pulling weeds in the lavender while the boys play various games throughout the large lavender plants.

I work my way up the rows, clearing out the tall grasses within the plants so that, when we harvest, the bouquets will be clean and grass-free. It feels like summer and the work has been pleasant. The boys run to pull the California Red Oats out of the aromatics, as they know that it is a favorite treat of the goats. They run down to the…

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Lavender and the Ice Cube: Preparation for Life (and Birth)

Lavender and the Ice Cube: Preparation for Life (and Birth)

by Melissa McLaughlin

From the time I was pregnant with our first child, lavender has been a part of our “toolkit” for surviving and thriving through birth and parenthood. Over time I will share some of the ways we have used lavender as parents.

Our first experience with lavender and parenthood came at our Birth Education class about a month before the birth of our first son.

The childbirth educator led us through an exercise to demonstrate our ability to manage intense (perhaps painful) experiences….

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Spring and Lavender

Spring and Lavender

Our son Casey, daughter-in-law Melissa, and grandsons Wesley and Sabien, join us on the ranch with the lavender and aromatic cultivation and marketing. They will be sharing their experiences over these next months as they weed, harvest, and distill to get the lavender to you!

Our Family

By Melissa McLaughlin

After a week of heavy rain which soaked the fields, the ground has finally dried up again, and we are finishing the final weeding of the Sophia lot of lavender. In Biodynamics, we carefully track which field crops come from for…

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Ticks and Aromatics

Ticks and Aromatics

by Melissa McLaughlin

Winter is receding and Spring emerging. It means more time outdoors–time spent picking wildflower bouquets, time hiking in the fresh green of Spring. For the lavender, it is a time to weed all of the opportunistic weeds and grasses that have grown up under the freeze cloth, which means wading through fields of tall grasses.

It is also a time when tick nymphs emerge and are especially plentiful.

Because ticks are the carrier of numerous diseases, it is important to do all we can to protect ourselves…

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