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Purple Mountain Lavender: More Than a Calming Crop

Photo of Deb Davis harvesting her crop at Purple Mountain Lavender farm.

By DIANNA TROYER

Every year since 2004 in late April and early May, depending on the snowfall, Deb and Gregg Davis anticipate their big reveal on an exponential scale at Purple Mountain Lavender near Lakeside on the northwestern shore of Flathead Lake.

After a long winter, the pleasure of deferred gratification infuses them as they inspect springtime growth of their 1,500 lavender plants, representing 40 varieties in a third-acre field they tend by hand with friends and volunteers.

“Mother Nature is in control of our crop,” said Deb. “We don’t use a freeze cloth like some farmers do for overwintering. It’s completely natural, too, no fertilizers or pesticides. We weed by hand.”

In spring, Deb finishes up winter production and packaging of handmade items using their essential lavender oil in wellness products and bundles for home decor. She begins planning her upcoming classes and posts them on purplemountainlavendermontana.com.

Retired as a health and wellness coach in 2020, Deb, 72, is a lifelong instructor. She offers lavender sessions about using culinary lavender, making wreaths and self-care products, and demonstrating oil distillation. By appointment only, they offer tours and photography opportunities.

Gregg, 70, who retired from teaching economics at Flathead Valley Community College in 2021, handles essential oil steam distillation of their crop and works in the field.

“We planted our lavender in 2004 and soon people who heard about it just wanted to come and be in a calm, relaxing place in nature,” said Deb. “People started asking us if they could see the lavender in bloom, and soon we began offering other events here.”

In July and August, volunteers help with cutting, bundling, and hanging lavender.

“People love it for lattes, ice cream, lemonade, scones—just about anything you can imagine,” said Deb. “We never take for granted our harvest season. Every year is a little different, but whatever happens, it’s all wonderful. MSN

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