Archive for October, 2010

Nova Scotia Lavender and Cashmere Goats

October 21, 2010

A Beautiful Rooster

An old copper still

Beach Lane Lavender Farm

The final lavender farm we visited in the Maritimes was Beach Lane Lavender Farm. It is located along a very pretty drive along Hwy 6, (The Sunrise Trail) from Tatamagouche to Marshville. Since my journey with lavender began 10 years ago, I’m constantly amazed at the efforts people go to, to grow lavender. Beach Lane Lavender is no exception. Their property is clay soil. Not only have they amended it to improve the drainage but used the opportunity to plant on the slope of a hill.

They have several varieties, all Lavandula angustifolias including L. a. ‘Hidcote’, L. a. ‘Munstead’ and L. a. ‘Kraja’, which is supposed to be very winter hardy.

Their shop had a complete selection of lovely lavender products and the woman working there told me that the business had recently been sold to a local couple who are planning a major expansion of the business. They will be moving to a larger acreage and will eventually have 10,000 plants. I will look forward to seeing it! In the meantime, you can find out more information at http://www.LavenderCanada.com

Cashmere Goats
On the way to the lavender, we passed a sign for a Cashmere goat farm. I have a secret to share – I have a spinning wheel. In my previous life at a farm, I had some angora rabbits and had the pleasure of meeting Leslie Samson, who wrote THE book on Angora rabbits and she taught me how to spin. Not that I was ever really good, but I enjoyed knitting and spinning my own fibers opened up a new world of creativity. This trip to the Maritimes also included visits to fiber places. This wasn’t planned but we found information at the tourist sites, or like this visit, the places just appeared. In fact, it was these unplanned encounters that made this trip special.

Earth Art Cashmere turned out to be one of the largest Cashmere Goat farms in Canada. Unfortunately the goats were in another field, so I don’t have any photos of them. However, as soon as we parked, my attention was caught by a large, beautiful grey goose. My mother had decided to stay in the car, but I lept out with camera in hand and got down on my knees to take some photos of the goose. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man carrying a very large Barred Rock Rooster over to the car! My mother told me later, the man explained the rooster liked to have his wattles rubbed and she was encouraged to pat him. The photo does nothing to indicate how large this rooster was!

Their store was filled with lovely lacey scarves and sweaters knit by local women. There was also local jewelry, honey and soap. They had ready to knit cashmere blends in practially every color you could imagine. The beautiful blue wool I purchased has already been knit into a simple hat for me!

You can find more information about them at http://www.earthartcashmere.ca

Here at home it is now nearing the end of October. I’ve had L. angustifolia blooming again and have noticed it blooming in neighbourhood gardens as well. What a wonderful plant!

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