We have just completed a succesful Lavender harvest: the true lavenders (Vera and Mailette) in December and the lavandins (Abrialis and Grosso) in January. Although flower production was lower than usual, probably due to the extreme heat over the preceding weeks, the oil yield remained constant. Fortunately, the price of organic lavender oil has risen sharply, so the ultimate benefit has been good. We have now also just finished our first Rose Geranium harvest for the year. The rest of the year will include harvesting Rosemary (February), Buchu (March), Tea Tree (April), Eriocephalus (June/July), Rose Geranium (September) and the remainder of the Tea Tree (October). Interspersed amongst this will be harvests of Wormwood, Blue Mountain Sage and Peppermint Geranium – looks as if the steam-still will be busy in 2013 !
If you would like to come and observe a harvest and the stilling of oil, please contact us and we will be only too happy to make an arrangement. We recently had a group of aromatherapists attend the lavender harvest, which they enjoyed immensely.
The shop serves guests who are staying on the farm and is not open to the general public. We sell our range of essential oils, as well as a variety of soaps, bath salts and room sprays. At the moment we also have honey. Stofelina sells rusks, fresh bread and free range eggs from the shop as well.
We have noticed an interesting occurrence on the farm recently – as the lavender has come into flower, so we have seen an increase in wildlife spending time in the field. In particular, a family of Rhebuck have taken to spending at least an hour in the field every evening before they move off to sleep – they are not eating the lavender, and there is little to eat between the rows, but they seem content to sit in the field and soak up the good aromas !
We have recovered well from the serious fire that swept through the Winterhoek Mountains in March 2010. The fynbos has bounced back beautifully and the farm is looking green again. We have replaced many of the hives that we lost, and are helping the olive and apricot trees with extra nutrition and irrigation during the dry summer months. Some damage to essential oil plants occurred, but this has been limited and we are now back in production. Rockhaven expresses its gratitude to those who have assisted us over this period.