If Vashon Island ever needed a trio of fairy godmothers, I have no doubt the positions would be immediately filled by my friends Katy Jo, Merrilee and Dana, aka, the Lavender Sisters. Their respective lavender farms are nothing short of magic, magic cultivated by hard work, kindness and a generosity of spirit that never fails to leave me gobsmacked and asking for my three wishes.
This week the lavender harvest began, and as you can see the volunteers were all too eager to help the tireless trio bring their flowers to market, in this case Vashon Farmers Market and Seattle’s Metropolitan Market.
Rose (our favorite bouquet bunch runner) has a smile that can upstage any bouquet.
Don’t let the smile fool you; nicknamed “The Enforcer,” Rob was all about quality control, “tighter bundles, more lavender!”
Karen of La Biondo Farm gave us an idea. How about a calendar: Sexy Farmgals of Vashon!
Beauties (and the Beast) making play of work.
The sisters have a system, one where farmhands morph into a fine-tuned lavender harvesting machine: cut, scrape, bunch, band, and deliver. Basically farmhand one cuts the lavender from the plant, and hands it off to the scraper, who removes the lower leaves. That handful is given to the buncher who collects the cut lavender and evens out the stem bottoms. When the appropriate bouquet size is reached, the banding boss takes over and regroups the mass of stems with a rubber band. Up goes the bander’s arm like a posie-packing Statue of Liberty, which signals the runner to grab the banded baton and place it in a delivery bin filled with one inch of water. Teamwork makes quick work of a once laborious task.
And as for my three wishes, I consider them granted; cornbread, butter, and raspberry jam appeared on the snack table just about the time this farmhand needed a break.