Breathe in deeply and if you are feeling relaxed as you traverse the Farmer On Your Plate event that will be held in the Perth CBD on September 2, you probably have arrived at the Nannup Lavender Farm stall.
Third-time attendees, owner and grower Heather Walford returns to the event because of the opportunity it provides her to connect with consumers.
“It offers us the opportunity to have something in Perth,” Ms Walford said.
“We struggle to get any presence in Perth and we haven’t been able to find anyone to stock our product.”
“It’s been getting better each year, we wouldn’t be keeping going if we didn’t feel that it was getting better and that we were getting more people coming and selling more products.”
Operating for more than 20 years, the business has been a labour of love for Ms Walford.
Initially planting the first lavender after seeing the farms in the Eastern States.
“Most Western Australians would know it as the English lavender, it’s got a high perfume, a really great colour,” she said.
“We dry it and put it in lots of products that require dried flowers such as lavender bags, heat packs, eye pillows, teddy bears that sort of thing, then we also buy in lavender oil from other lavender farms and then on our farm we produce a whole range of products from sprays to balms to soap and candles.
Initially starting as a tourism business, Ms Walford soon found that her location made it difficult as they weren’t in a well-trafficked tourist area.
But since COVID they have had a burst of business with many people seeking them and calling to find out if they are open.
With a tearoom and a small campgrounds, the business is so much more than a nice smelling wheat bag.
“There is a big crew that are really keen on lavender and lavender products, it’s one of those things that some people just hook onto and that’s it for them,” Ms Walford said.
Lavender is best known as a relaxing herb often used for sleep, found often in massage oils, it also has surprising antibacterial properties and can be used as a disinfectant.
In some of her products Ms Walford blends the lavender with other products that fit well such as Lemon Myrtle and Eucalyptus.
Her knowledge of gardening and flowers helped her to create beautiful, relaxing and luxurious products.
“For me it was about growing flowers,” Ms Walford said.
“I love gardening and growing things, that was the impetus for me wanting to grow something, and in my research lavender kept on coming back as such a versatile flower, and I could make so many things from it.”
While her products can be found in her own shop front and in various locations around the South West, Ms Walford is searching for a Perth stockist so she can continue to grow and offer her customers somewhere to collect products other than online.
“We will bring up as much product as we can, so visitors can expect to get all the things they see online,” she said.
“It’s always awesome when you sell out of many of the products that you bring up, that’s always a buzz for us.
“But this year it would be great if we could find someone who just wants to stock our products in the Perth market, at the moment the closest store that’s stocking us is Pinjarra, and people go down there.”
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