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Hidden in the breathtaking hills to the south of Bath, in the village of Faulkland, is the Somerset Lavender farm. A peaceful sanctuary of flowering gardens surrounding a farm shop and cafe, in which to enjoy some lavender white tea and lavender cake.
Mr and Mrs Green have two five acre lavender fields which are harvested for both the essential oils they produce and the dried lavender flowers. At the far end of the lavender field is a small sunflower field and a lavender garden offering 20 different varieties of lavender for gardeners to choose from.
They harvest the lavender on warm, sunny days during the summer, using a traditional Massey Ferguson tractor. At first they bought an old copper distillery from France which works by steaming the lavender. The lavender sits on a sieve above water which is heated from below with gas. The steam rises and then condenses in the second tank where it separates into scented water and heavier essential oils. Mr and Mrs Green now have a much larger distillery which is housed in the old milking barn. This produces Lavender in much larger quantities, and essentially works in the same way.
Once collected, the essential oils are then left for nine months so they become even more fragrant