Night Pollinators

Sphinx or Hawk moth, about the size of a hummingbird.  Perhaps it is the patron moth for a garden of a Jungian analyst (me!)— a sphinx moth!  Otherwise unnoticed, she mysteriously shines in the flash of the camera as she searches for nectar from lavender, Lot Goatsong. These moths work primarily at twilight or night…. Read more »

Bees in Lavender

The bees are letting us know it is time to distill! The calyxes are open and ready to go.  Sitting in the lavender is like sitting in a hive (I think. Not that I have done it!) Listen and watch these busy ladies! (We always leave some unharvested so the bees get their fill.) View… Read more »

Some of the Visitors

Photographer Lowell Downey of Art and Clarity photographing Clare Cooper Marcus.(You need to contact him to see the photo!) A number of photographers were present Saturday at the Open House. This is Lowell Downey of Art and Clarity, a local Napa photographer and land activist who actually helped us get started with our marketing ten… Read more »

The Bees are Beginning to Speak!

A native bumble bee visits the lavender this morning. The bees tell us when the lavender is ready to be harvested, and they are beginning to speak!  They notice when the first calyxes open and pollen is available. This is the time that we harvest the lavender to be dried as it will not “shatter”… Read more »

Nature’s First Green is Gone! —or Farewell-to-Spring

Clarkia, or Farewell-to-spring. I always have a sadness when this little flower blooms. Clarkia, or Farewell-to-spring, means that the succession of wildflowers is almost over. Of course, the farming harvest has only begun!  The lavender will be cut very soon for drying, the garden is coming on. In July when the lavender is more fully… Read more »

Full Bloom Only Eight Weeks Away?

Lavender is still in its wintering mounds, just beginning to send up growth. Yesterday a friend said, “It’s only eight weeks until your Open House!” Yikes!  I thought. This time of year I always go through the same anxiety: will the lavender be in bloom for the Open House? Right now it is just beginning… Read more »

New Life: Young Sophia Lavender

We planted the 130 new lavender plants we had propagated by Morning Sun Herb Farm from our own plant material. We chose a moon sign flower day in which the moon was also descending, ideal for transplanting lavender. Given that our plants last 10-15 years, we want them to have the best start possible, which… Read more »

A Way to Begin a Biodynamic Garden: Spring Spraying

Stirring the horned manure, “500”.  We begin the growing year with a biodynamic spray sequence: Barrel Compost (BC Prep), Horned Manure (500), Horned Crystal (501), andthen fermented Equisetum tea. This is a kind of awakening sequence, awakening the soil, the vines, the lavender, and the many other plants growing here, as well as our own… Read more »

Lot Number Goatsong 11

Lot Number Goatsong 11 This year 2011 most of the lavender we cut to dry came from field Goatsong, an area between our house and the labyrinth. This lavender grows in thin topsoil and the plants have grown more slowly over the years. But even now, at age 12, they are putting out the long… Read more »

Lot Number Labyrinth 11

 Lot Number Labyrinth 11 Labyrinth after the 2008 fire.   The labyrinth has many stories: The morning after Donald and I laid it out using only a rope and stakes, we found a snake skin, shed overnight, in the center. The labyrinth lavender often distills twice as much oil per pound as the lavender nearby… Read more »