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Virginia Farming: White Oak Lavender Farm


[CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY WVPT] >>90 YEARS AGO, THE VIRGINIA FARM BUREAU MADE OUR LOCAL FARMERS A PROMISE TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE A WAY OF LIFE THEY WORKED SO HARD TO ESTABLISH. TODAY OUR INSURANCE AGENTS WORK TO PROTECT ALL VIRGINIANS, NOT JUST FARMERS. WE WANT TO KEEP VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA. MORE INFORMATION IS AT FARMBUREAUADVANTAGE.COM.>>WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN FRONT OF RURAL AMERICA AND THE AG COMMUNITY EVERY WEEK? WE HAVE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE THE WILL DO JUST THAT. GET IN TOUCH WITH US TO “HATCH A NEW PLAN.” AMY: HI, EVERYBODY. WELCOME TO “VIRGINIA FARMING.” I’M AMY ROSCHER. TODAY WE VISIT WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM IN HARRISONBURG AND LEARN ABOUT THIS AROMATIC PLANT AND ITS USES. THEN, CHRIS MULLINS HAS TIPS ON GROWING A VARIETY OF PEPPERS, FROM THE GROUND UP. WE WILL ALSO HAVE THE AG CALENDAR, A MINUTE IN THE FIELD VIDEO, AND OF COURSE, YOUR AG NEWS OF THE WEEK ALL ON THIS EDITION OF “VIRGINIA FARMING.” ♪♪ AMY: VIRGINIA IS NOT A MAJOR PLAYER ON THE NATIONAL STAGE, BUT CORN EXPORTS FROM THE OLD DOMINION ARE STILL AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE FARM ECONOMY. A STUDY BY INFORMA ECONOMICS IEG ESTIMATED VIRGINIA’S CORN HARVEST AND EXPORT SALES HAVE A TOTAL VALUE OF $495.1 MILLION. THAT’S $171.6 MILLION MORE THAN IT WOULD BE IF THE PORT OF VIRGINIA WASN’T SO CLOSE AND VIRGINIA CORN WASN’T SOLD OVERSEAS. THE ISSUE WITH EXPORTING CORN IS THAT VIRGINIA IS A CORN-DEFICIT STATE, WHICH MEANS IT CONSUMES MORE CORN THAT IT PRODUCES, MAKING THE PORT A MIXED BLESSING FOR OUR FARMERS. WHILE IT GIVES OUR EASTERN CORN GROWERS A READY MARKET TO SELL TO, POULTRY AND CATTLE PRODUCERS IN THE WESTERN HALF OF THE STATE NEED CORN FOR ANIMAL FEED, SO EVERY TRUCKLOAD OF GRAIN WE EXPORT HAS TO BE REPLACED BY CORN FROM THE MIDWEST TO MEET THEIR NEEDS. CORN IS NOT THE ONLY VIRGINIA PRODUCT BEING SHIPPED ABROAD. KENBRIDGE-BASED AMERICA BLUESKY LUMBER INDUSTRY HAS A NEW BUYER IN SOEST, GERMANY. THE TRADE DEAL IN GERMANY REPRESENTS THE OPENING OF A NEW INTERNATIONAL MARKET FOR AMERICA BLUESKY, WHOSE INTERNATIONAL SALES HAVE SO FAR BEEN CONCENTRATED IN CHINA AND SOUTHEAST ASIA. SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE AND FORESTRY, TODD HAYMORE, SAID GROWING SALES IN THE FORESTRY INDUSTRY NOT ONLY CREATES JOBS IN THE COMMONWEALTH, BUT ALSO ENSURES THAT OUR FORESTS REMAIN HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE, ENCOURAGING LAND OWNERS TO KEEP MORE ACRES UNDER FOREST. VIRGINIA EXPORTED $64 MILLION IN FOREST PRODUCTS, EXCLUDING WOOD PELLETS, TO EUROPE LAST YEAR. IN ADDITION TO GERMANY, ITALY, SPAIN, AND THE UNITED KINGDOM ARE THE LARGEST EUROPEAN IMPORTERS OF VIRGINIA LUMBER, LOGS, VENEER, AND OTHER WOOD PRODUCTS. WHEN IT COMES TO PRODUCING HIGH-QUALITY BEEF FOR CONSUMERS, IT’S IMPORTANT FOR CATTLEMEN TO UNDERSTAND HOW THEIR CALVES PERFORM BEYOND THE PASTURE. BOB CERVERA HAS MORE. BOB: IMPROVEMENT IS MORE OF A JOURNEY THAN A GOAL. FARMERS AND RANCHERS JUST AIM FOR A TOMORROW FAR BETTER THAN YESTERDAY. GENETICS ARE THE KEY TO THAT FOR FLORIDA RANCHER KEN GRINER. HE LOOKS AT REPORT CARDS FROM THE FEEDYARD TO SEE HOW WELL HE IS RAISING CATTLE TO MEET CONSUMER BEEF DEMAND. KEN: AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED, THAT IS WHEN WE GOT OUR EDUCATION IN THE COW BUSINESS. FEEDING CATTLE IS WHEN YOU REALLY LEARN ABOUT THE COW BUSINESS, AND WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND WHAT YOU’RE ACCOMPLISHING, AND WHY YOUR CATTLE SELL FOR FIVE CENTS A POUND MORE, OR FIVE CENTS A POUND LESS. BOB: GRINER SAYS KEEPING UP WITH DATA TAKES TIME, AS MUCH AS SOME SEEDSTOCK OPERATORS SPEND ON RECORDS. BUT IT OPENS A DOOR TO WHAT ARE OTHERWISE MISSED OPPORTUNITIES. KEN: NOT ONLY FROM A KNOWLEDGE STANDPOINT, BUT FROM A DOLLAR RETURN STANDPOINT. A LOT OF PEOPLE SPEND SO MUCH MONEY CHASING GOOD GENETICS, BUT UNLESS YOU FEED THOSE CATTLE, A LOT OF TIMES YOU’RE NOT GOING TO GET THE RETURN THAT YOU SHOULD. BOB: FOR PEOPLE ON THE FENCE, GRINER SAYS TAKE THE LEAP AND SEE WHAT YOU STARTED. HE HAS SEEN THE BENEFITS AND APPLIED THE KNOWLEDGE FOR MORE THAN A DECADE. KEN: IT GOES FROM WONDERING ABOUT SOME THINGS THAT YOU’VE WONDERED ABOUT ALL YOUR LIFE, TO UNDERSTANDING OF THEM BETTER, AND I THINKING IS ONE OF THE AM BEST THINGS THAT WE’VE EVER DONE. BOB: I’M BOB CERVERA. AMY: THANKS, BOB. NORTH CAROLINA-BASED PERFORMANCE LIVESTOCK AND FEED COMPANY, INC. WILL INVEST $4.2 MILLION TO ESTABLISH A NEW FEED PRODUCTION OPERATION IN HENRY COUNTY. THE FAMILY-OWNED BUSINESS WILL ADD 32 NEW JOBS, INCREASE PRODUCTION BY 50% OVER THE NEXT THREE YEARS, AND COMMIT TO PURCHASING NEARLY $11 MILLION IN VIRGINIA-SOURCED GRAINS AND OTHER FEED INGREDIENTS. PERFORMANCE LIVESTOCK AND FEED PROVIDES CUSTOMERS FROM FLORIDA TO MICHIGAN WITH FEED FOR THEIR CATTLE, HORSES, AND OTHER LIVESTOCK. THE COMPANY’S NEW PRODUCTION OPERATION WILL BE SERVED BY RAIL, ALLOWING THE COMPANY TO MAKE BULK PURCHASES OF KEY FEED INGREDIENTS AND CREATING COST SAVINGS FOR CUSTOMERS. JUST OUTSIDE OF HARRISONBURG LIES BRIGHT PURPLE FIELDS STREAMING WITH LAVENDER. TODAY WE WILL TALK TO JULIE HAUSHALTER, OWNER OF WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM, AND LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS UNIQUE PLANT. THAT IS STRAIGHTAHEAD ON AG INSIGHTS — ♪♪ AMY: TODAY, WE’RE IN CROSS KEYS, VIRGINIA, AND WE’RE VISITING WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM. I’M JOINED BY OWNER AND CEO JULIE HAUSHALTER. JULIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING US OUT TODAY. JULIE: OH, THANK YOU FOR COMING TO THE LAVENDER FARM ON SUCH BEAUTIFUL DAY. AMY: THIS IS ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS. AND THIS IS ONE DAY I REALLY WISHED THAT WE HAD SMELL-O-VISION BECAUSE IT SMELLS SO WONDERFUL OUT HERE. JULIE: YEAH. AMY: SO, TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHITE OAK LAVENDER. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN HERE? JULIE: SURE. WHITE OAK LAVENDER’S BEEN IN BUSINESS FOR ABOUT SEVEN YEARS THAT WE HAVE HAD PEOPLE COMING TO THE FARM. THE FIRST THING THAT WE ALWAYS TELL EVERYONE WHEN THEY COME TO THE FARM IS THAT YOU JUST NEED TO TAKE A DEEP BREATH AND RELA AMY: AND IT — IT’S NOT OVERPOWERING. IT’S JUST — IT’S LOVELY. IT REALLY IS. JULIE: THANK YOU. AMY: NOW, WHAT MADE YOU SAY, “HEY, LET’S START A LAVENDER FARM”? JULIE: WELL, AMY, YOU KNOW, THERE’S A LOT THAT’S GOING ON THE WORLD THAT’S REALLY STRESSFUL. THERE’S A LOT OF BAD THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE WORLD THAT REALLY ARE HAPPENING BECAUSE PEOPLE CAN’T — DON’T KNOW HOW TO MANAGE THEIR ANXIETY. AND IN MY CAREER, THAT’S WHAT I’VE DONE FOR A LIVING, IS WORK WITH A LOT OF FOLKS THAT HAVE SOME ANXIETY PROBLEMS. SO I ALWAYS TELL PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY THAT AS A FARMER, I DIDN’T SEARCH FOR LAVENDER, LAVENDER FOUND ME. AMY: HOW MUCH OF YOUR FARM DID YOU DECIDE TO GIVE OVER TO THE LAVENDER? JULIE: WELL, OUR FARM ACTUALLY IS A HISTORICAL FARM. IT WAS FOUNDED IN 1901. AND SO, IT PRIMARILY HAD BEEN CATTLE, AND HORSES, AND HAY THROUGHOUT THE YEARS. AND SO, AFTER MY HUSBAND AND I PURCHASED THE WORKING PART OF THIS FARM ABOUT 10 YEARS AGO, WE DECIDED THAT WE WOULD START GROWING HERBS, AND WE WERE GROWING HERBS FOR SHENANDOAH GROWERS. AFTER THAT IS WHEN I SORT OF DISCOVERED THE LAVENDER INDUSTRY AND DECIDED TO GROW SOME TES ROWS. I WAS TOLD BY LAVENDER FARMERS ALL AROUND THE UNITED STATES THAT IF I DIDN’T LOSE MORE THAN 10% OF MY CROP IN THE WINTER TIME, I WAS DOING GREAT, AND I NEVER DID LOSE THAT MUCH. AND SO, I JUST KEPT PLANTING, AND NOW, IT’S HOBBY GONE WILD. AMY: WOW. I’D SAY IT HAS GONE WILD. THIS — LOOK AT THIS — ALL THESE LAVENDER AROUND. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY STUNNING. [LAUGHTER] JULIE: YEAH. WE GROW ABOUT 9000 LAVENDER PLANTS IN ABOUT 30 DIFFERENT VARIETIES ON THE FARM IN ORDER TO MAKE OVER 100 PRODUCTS THAT WE MARKET TO OUR VISITORS. AMY: 100 PRODUCTS? JULIE: YES. AMY: OH, MY GOODNESS, THAT’S AMAZING. I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE PLANT ITSELF. JULIE: YEAH. AMY: WHAT IS YOUR GROWING SEASON AND WHEN DO YOU HARVEST? JULIE: GOOD QUESTION. LAVENDER IS A WOODY SHRUB, SO IT STAYS IN THE GROUND FOR ABOUT 20 YEARS. IT GOES DORMANT IN THE WINTER TIME, BUT IN THE — IN THE SPRING, IT STARTS TO GREEN UP AGAIN. AND YOU CAN SEE THAT AROUND MAY TO JUNE AND JULY, IT STARTS BLOOMING, ALL OF THESE BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL BLOOMS. IT COMES IN WHITE, AND PINKS, AND DIFFERENT SHADES OF PURPLE. THE DIFFERENT VARIETIES OF LAVENDER ACTUALLY COME INTO BLOOM AT DIFFERENT TIMES. AND THAT’S WHEN WE BEGIN TO HARVEST. WE’RE ACTUALLY HARVESTING FOR THIS BUD THAT’S ON THE STEM. WE USE THE BUD AND NOT THE LEAF OF THIS PARTICULAR PLANT. SO WHEN WE HARVEST THE LAVENDER, WE’RE USING IT FOR TWO THINGS. ONE IS THAT WE ARE DRYING THE LAVENDER IN ORDER TO TAKE THE LITTLE BUDS OFF OF THE STEM SO THAT WE CAN USE THEM IN OUR SPA PRODUCTS THAT WE SELL AND IN OUR COOKING PRODUCTS. THEN WHEN THE LAVENDER IS JUST FRESH IN THE GROUND, WE HAVE TO HARVEST IT AND TAKE THE FRESH LAVENDER TO THE DISTILLERY AND STEAM IT IN ORDER TO GET THE ESSENTIAL OILS. MOST OF OUR BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS ARE MADE WITH LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL OR THE FLORASOL. AMY: OK. WELL, YOU HAVE A DISTILLERY HERE ON-SITE THAT YOU MAKE YOUR PRODUCTS WITH. WILL YOU SHOW US THAT? JULIE: I’D LOVE TO SHOW IT TO YOU, YES. AMY: OK. GREAT. OK, JULIE. SO HERE WE ARE AT YOUR DISTILLERY. JULIE: YEAH. AMY: TELL US WHAT HAPPENS HERE. JULIE: SO WHEN WE HARVEST THE LAVENDER, WE BRING IT FRESH HERE TO THE DISTILLERY. THERE ARE LOTS OF WAYS THAT YOU COULD EXTRACT THE ESSENTIAL OILS AND THE HYDROSOL FROM A PLANT, BUT WE WANT TO DO IT THE CLEANEST WAY POSSIBLE BECAUSE WE ARE MAKING AROMA THERAPY ITEMS AND BATH AND BODY PRODUCTS. AND SO WE’RE GOING TO USE STEAM DISTILLATION. IT IS VERY CLEAN, IT LEAVES NO RESIDUAL AT ALL IN THE OILS, AND IT DOESN’T DAMAGE THE EARTH A BIT. AND SO, WHAT WE DO IS THAT WE FILL A WHOLE HOPPER FULL OF OUR LAVENDER FLOWER BUDS, AND WE BRING THIS HOPPER AND WE PUT IT INTO THIS TANK. AND YOU CAN SEE THAT THE TANK IS JUST A BIT LONGER THAN THE HOPPER. AMY: YES. JULIE: THAT’S BECAUSE THERE’S WATER IN THE BOTTOM OF THE TANK AND WE’RE GOING TO BOIL THE WATER. IT CAUSES THE STEAM TO PASS UP THROUGH THE LAVENDER THAT’S IN THE HOPPER BASKET, AND THE STEAM CAUSES THE LAVENDER TO SWEAT, AND IT SWEATS FROM ITS OIL GLANDS. AND SO THOSE LITTLE DROPLETS OF OIL ARE GOING TO RISE UP THROUGH THIS DISTILLERY SYSTEM UNTIL THEY COME TO THIS BIG COPPER CIRCLE HERE, WHICH IS THE CONDENSER. IN THE CONDENSER, WHEN THE STEAM IS PUSHED INTO THAT, IT BEGINS TO COOL. AND WHEN THE STEAM BEGINS TO COOL, IT TURNS BACK INTO A LIQUID. SO THAT LIQUID BEGINS TO DRIP RIGHT HERE INTO THIS BOX. THIS BOX IS VERY SPECIAL. IT’S CALLED A SEPARATOR OR AN ESSENCER. THAT’S WHERE THE ESSENTIAL OIL IS BEGINNING TO SEPARATE FROM THE HYDROSOL. THE PRESSURE BEGINS TO PUSH IT UP THIS LITTLE GRADUATED CYLINDER. AND THIS IS WHAT WE GET. WE GET A LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL AND WE GET A HYDROSOL. THE LAVENDER OIL IS ALWAYS GOING TO BE LIGHTER THAN THE WATER, SO IT’S GOING TO SIT ON TOP OF THE GRADUATED CYLINDER. IT ROLLS OVER THE TOP AND COMES DOWN INTO THE SPIGOT, AND WE JUST TAP IT OFF INTO GLASS, AND WE TAKE THE HYDROSOL AND SIPHON IT OFF INTO BIG JUGS. AMY: WELL, I THINK IT’S INTERESTING TO SEE THIS. YOU TALKED ABOUT HOW CLEAN IT IS. I MEAN, THIS IS COMPLETELY SEE-THROUGH. I DON’T SEE ANY — THERE’S NOTHING FLOATING AROUND IN THAT, AND EVEN THE WATER THE COMES OFF. JULIE: ABSOLUTELY. YEAH. BUT YET, IT IS FULL OF JUST WONDERFUL HEALING PROPERTIES THAT LAVENDER IS SO KNOWN FOR. AMY: RIGHT. JULIE: DEPENDING ON THE VARIETY OF LAVENDER THAT WE MIGHT BE DISTILLING, IT COULD BE ANYWHERE FROM CLEAR TO A VERY LIGHT GOLD, TO THIS MELISSA, WHICH CAUSE A BEAUTIFUL DEEP GOLDEN ESSENTIAL OIL. SO, EACH — AMY: IT LOOKS BEAUTIFUL. JULIE: — OF THE LAVENDER VARIETIES PRODUCES ITS OWN UNIQUE ESSENTIAL OIL THAT HAS A SPECIFIC SCENT AND A COLOR. AMY: SO, LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE ITEMS THAT YOU MAKE USING THE LAVENDER OIL. JULIE: OH, GOODNESS. FIRST OF ALL, WE BOTTLE IT DIRECTLY. WE RETAIL JUST THE ESSENTIAL OIL IN TWO DIFFERENT VARIETIES THA WE OFFER HERE IN OUR FARM. AND THEN, WE ALSO BOTTLE DIRECTLY THE HYDROSOL. WE SELL IT AS A LINEN SPRAY. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. IT’S A DISTILLED WATER, SO YOU CAN PUT IT IN YOUR IRON. IT’S LOVELY TO PUT — AMY: OH, WOW. JULIE: — ON ALL OF YOUR LINENS. PEOPLE ALSO BUY IT FOR AN AROMATHERAPY MIST. YOU CAN JUST SPRAY IT IN THE AIR AND BREATHE IT IN FOR THE RELAXING PROPERTIES.>>AND THAT’S THE WATER? JULIE: THAT’S THE HYDROSOL, YES, . AMY: OK. JULIE: THE LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL, WE JUST USE BY THE DROP. LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL IS VERY, VERY CONCENTRATED. ONE DROP OF ESSENTIAL OIL CAN BE EQUAL TO ABOUT 30 CUPS OF TEA IF WE WERE TO STEEP THE LAVENDER FLOWER BUDS. AMY: OH, MY GOODNESS. JULIE: AND SO WE ONLY ARE USING IT BY THE DROP. AND WE’RE MAKING SOAPS, AND LOTIONS, AND CREAMS, AND MASSAGE OILS AND LOTS OF LOVELY, LOVELY BATH OILS AND OTHER SPA PRODUCTS. AMY: YOUR GIFT SHOP HERE ON THE FARM IS LOADED FULL OF ALL KINDS OF THINGS MADE WITH LAVENDER, AND IT’S ABSOLUTELY AMAZING THAT ALL OF THOSE ARE MADE HERE. JULIE: THEY ARE, YEAH. THE SKY IS THE LIMIT OF ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU CAN THINK OF OF WHAT WE MIGHT ADD LAVENDER TO. AND SO, MANY OF THOSE THINGS, WE MAKE RIGHT FROM SCRATCH, BUYING BUTTERS THAT WE CAN BLEND WITH THE LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OILS, AND LOTIONS, AND CREAMS, AND SOME OF THE THINGS THAT WE BUY A BASE. AND WE GO TO OUR MOST ORGANIC NATURAL SOURCES THAT WE CAN FIND FOR SOME OF THOSE COSMETIC BASES. AMY: WELL, I SAW A SIGN IN YOUR GIFT SHOP THAT SAID LAVENDER ICE CREAM. JULIE: OH, IT’S WONDERFUL. AMY: REALLY? JULIE: YEAH. [LAUGHTER] AMY: I CAN’T EVEN IMAGINE THE FLAVOR WITH ICE CREAM. TELL US HOW THAT CAME ABOUT. JULIE: OH, MY GOODNESS. YES. SO MANY OF THE ICE CREAM FLAVORS ARE NOW BECOMING SORT OF BOUTIQUE FLAVORS. AND WE ACTUALLY WENT TO THE CREAMERY WITH THIS IDEA. AND THEY ALSO WERE SURPRISED. THEY SAID, “LAVENDER IN THE ICE CREAM?” SO, WE NOW DO A BLUEBERRY LAVENDER, A STRAWBERRY LAVENDER, AND A VANILLA. AND IN THE FALL, WE DO APPLE PIE LAVENDER. AMY: OH, THAT SOUNDS WONDERFUL. JULIE: IT’S JUST DELICIOUS. IT’S JUST DELICIOUS, YEAH. AND IT’S REALLY GOOD FOR YOU, TOO. AMY: GREAT. WELL, NOW YOU MENTIONED THE DRYING HOUSE. JULIE: YES. AMY: CAN YOU TAKE US THERE AND SHOW US WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT? JULIE: ABSOLUTELY. WE ACTUALLY HAD COMMUNITY HARVEST DAY JUST YESTERDAY, AND SO THE DRYING BARN IS FULL. LET’S GO SEE IT. AMY: GREAT. THANKS. SO WE’VE MADE IT TO THE DRYING AND DE-BUDDING BARN. OBVIOUSLY, WE’VE GOT A LOT OF HANGING PLANTS IN HERE. TELL US — TELL US WHAT HAPPENS IN HERE. JULIE: ABSOLUTELY. WHEN WE HARVEST THE LAVENDER ALL SEASON LONG, WE’RE BRINGING IT HERE TO THE BARN BECAUSE WE NEED IT TO DRY. AND SO WE’VE DESIGNED THESE RACKS TO PUT EACH OF THE BUNDLE ON. AND IT STAYS IN HERE FOR ABOUT A WEEK TO 10 DAYS. AND THEN WE NEED TO TAKE THE BUDS OFF OF ALL OF THESE STEMS, SO WE DO DE-BUDDING. AMY: NONE OF THIS WILL BE DISTILLED BECAUSE THE BUDS ARE DISTILLED FOR THE OIL AND THE WATER WHEN THEY’RE FRESH? JULIE: THAT’S CORRECT. WITH OUR BIG FARM DISTILLERY, WE ARE ONLY USING FRESH LAVENDER. WE COULD DISTILL SOME DRIED BUD IN SOME OF THE SMALL STILLS THAT WE USE, BUT NOT FOR ANY OF OUR PRODUCTION. AMY: OK. SO ALL THESE BUDS ARE HANGING IN HERE, HOW DO YOU GET THE BUDS OFF OF THEIR STEMS? JULIE: ABSOLUTELY. SO OFTEN THINGS ARE DONE MANUALLY ON A LAVENDER FARM. AND SO IT MIGHT BE THAT WE TAKE A BUCKET AND WE SIMPLY ROLL THE LAVENDER, ALL THE BUNDLES JUST LIKE THIS. AND YOU CAN SEE HOW QUICKLY ALL OF THE BUDS COME OFF OF THE STEM. AMY: OH, GOODNESS. JULIE: SO THIS IS ONE WAY THAT WE CAN DE-BUD THE LAVENDER. HOWEVER, RECENTLY, WE’VE BEEN USING A MACHINE. AMY: OK. JULIE: YEAH. THE DE-BUDDING MACHINE BASICALLY USES THE SAME PRINCIPLE. WE HAVE A VACUUM CLEANER BRUSH THAT WE’RE ABLE TO JUST GENTLY GLIDE EACH BUNDLE IN AGAINST THE VACUUM CLEANER BRUSH. AND IT GENTLY BEATS THE BUDS RIGHT OFF OF THE STEM — AMY: OK. JULIE: — AND WE END UP WITH JUST AN EMPTY BUNDLE. AMY: NOW, SOMETHING THAT I THOUGHT WAS INTERESTING THAT YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT EARLIER WAS THAT LAVENDER’S A NATURAL INSECT REPELLANT. JULIE: YEAH. AMY: TELL US SOME OF THE WAYS IT’S USED FOR INSECT REPELLING. JULIE: WELL, SURE. SO SOMETIMES PEOPLE WILL USE THE LAVENDER BUDS THEMSELVES. THEY MIGHT MAKE A LITTLE POUCH OR THINGS. THEY’RE GOING TO PUT IT IN WITH THEIR WOOLENS. IT’S GREAT FOR REPELLING MOTHS. AMY: OK. JULIE: THAT’S SOMETHING THAT THE COLONISTS STARTED WHEN THEY FIRST SETTLED IN OUR COUNTRY. AMY: SURE. JULIE: HOWEVER, WE HAVE ALSO LEARNED THAT THERE’S A LOT OF OIL IN THE STEM ITSELF. AND SO, THIS IS A BYPRODUCT OF THE LAVENDER. THE BUDS ARE VERY VALUABLE TO US IN OTHER WAYS. AND SO WE CAN CHOP THE STEM UP AND EVEN PUT IT IN WITH OUR CHICKEN LITTER AND JUST KEEP THE INSECTS OUT OF THE — OUT OF THE LITTER FOR THE CHICKENS. AMY: WOW. OK. JULIE: YEAH. WE’RE TRYING TO TRY AND LEARN HOW TO USE EVERY LITTLE BIT OF THE LAVENDER PLANTS. AMY: THAT’S WONDERFUL. WE HAVE ONE MORE STOP TO MAKE. WE’RE GOING TO GO UP TO THE GAZEBO AND KIND OF GET AN OVERVIEW OF THE WHOLE FARM. JULIE: OH, WE LOOK FORWARD TO IT. AMY: OK. SO HERE WE ARE ON TOP OF THE HILL OVERLOOKING THE DISCOVERY AREA. IT IS SO PRETTY UP HERE AND THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT LITTLE SECTIONS YOU HAVE ON THE WHOLE FARM. WHAT CAN PEOPLE EXPECT TO SEE AND DO WHEN THEY VISIT WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM? JULIE: OH, AMY, WE TRY TO HAVE A LITTLE SOMETHING FOR EVERYBODY. WE WANT BOTH MEN, WOMEN, OLDER PEOPLE, AND CHILDREN TO ENJOY OUR FARM. WHEN FAMILIES COME TO THE FARM, THERE’S SO MUCH THAT THEY CAN DO OUT HERE IN THE DISCOVERY AREA. WE HAVE EVERYTHING FROM THE LIFE-SIZED CHECKERBOARD AND LIFE-SIZED JENGA AND GAMES THAT CHILDREN CAN PLAY OUTDOORS, TO A VERY CONTEMPLATIVE LABYRINTH WALK. MANY PEOPLE LOVE TO COME TO THE LAVENDER FARM BECAUSE THEY MIGHT HAVE A BIG DECISION TO MAKE IN THEIR LIFE AND THEY WANT TO GET JUST IN THE QUIET OF THE GARDENS. WE ALSO HAVE U-PICK — PEOPLE JUST ENJOY SO MUCH DURING SEASON COME OUT AND PICK THEIR OWN LAVENDER THAT THEY CAN DRY AND THEN HAVE THEIR LAVENDER TO USE ALL WINTER. WE ALSO OFFER MANY TOURS AND CLASSES HERE AT THE FARM. SO DURING THE SEASON FROM MEMORIAL DAY TO LABOR DAY, WE HAVE A DAILY TOUR ONE HOUR AFTER OPENING. AMY: SO THIS TOUR THAT YOU GIVE EVERY DAY, WHAT ARE SOME OF TH HIGHLIGHTS OF IT? BECAUSE THIS IS REALLY A HISTORICAL AREA THAT WE’RE SITTING ON. JULIE: IT IS. WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM SITS ON A HISTORICAL BATTLEGROUND FROM THE CIVIL WAR ERA. AND NOT TOO LONG AFTER THE WAR, THIS WAS ALL TAKEN DOWN FOR FARMING. SO FOR ME TO HAVE LAVENDER GROWING ON SOMETHING THAT IS WAR-TORN PROPERTY IS VERY, VERY MEANINGFUL. SO ON THE DAILY TOUR, WE OFTEN TELL A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE HISTORY. WE SHOW THE DISTILLING DEMONSTRATION, AND OF COURSE, PEOPLE LEARN ALL ABOUT THE LAVENDER AND HOW TO PROCESS IT, TOO. AMY: OK. WELL, IF OUR VIEWERS WOULD LIKE TO HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHITE OAK LAVENDER FARM, WHERE SHOULD THEY GO? JULIE: OH, OUR WEBPAGE AT WWW.WHITEOAKLAVENDER.COM. THERE, YOU CAN READ ALL ABOUT THE EVENTS, AND THE CLASSES, AND THE ONGOING THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING AT THE FARM. YOU ALSO CAN SEE WHAT FLAVORS OF LAVENDER ICE CREAM WE HAVE THAT WEEK. AMY: I CAN’T WAIT TO TRY IT. JULIE: YEAH. AMY: JULIE, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR HAVING US OUT HERE TODAY. IT’S BEEN SO ENJOYABLE. IT’S ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL. JULIE: WELL, WE HAD A PERFECT DAY FOR YOUR VISIT. AMY: WE REALLY DID. AND NOW, I’M GOING TO TRY YOUR LAVENDER BLUEBERRY. JULIE: ABSOLUTELY. I HAVE LAVENDER VANILLA. IF PEOPLE WANT TO CHECK OUR WEBPAGE AT WWW.WHITEOAKLAVENDER.COM, YOU CAN SEE WHAT VANILLA — WHAT FLAVORS OF THE DAY THAT WE MIGHT BE CARRYING. AMY: THAT’S DELICIOUS. JULIE: I’M GLAD YOU LIKE IT. AMY: THAT IS DELICIOUS. THANKS AGAIN. JULIE: YOU’RE WELCOME. AMY: WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK. ♪♪ AMY: PEPPERS ARE ONE OF THOSE VEGETABLES THAT YOU CAN DO ANYTHING WITH, FROM MEATLOAF TO PEPPER JELLY. CHRIS MULLINS HAS TIPS ON GROWING THOSE PEPPERS, FROM THE GROUND UP. CHRIS: HI, TODAY WE’RE AT VIRGINIA STATUE UNIVERSITY’S RANDOLPH FARM AND AS YOU CAN SEE BEHIND ME, WE’VE GOT LOTS OF CROPS GROWING AND ESPECIALLY PEPPERS. LET’S TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THOSE TODAY. YOU KNOW, EVERYBODY GROWS TOMATOES IN THEIR GARDEN. SOME PEOPLE GROW PEPPERS ALSO, AND PEOPLE OFTEN ASK ME WHICH IS EASIER. WELL, IN A LOT OF WAYS PEPPERS ARE EASIER TO GROW. SO WHY DON’T WE TAKE A FEW MINUTES TODAY, TALK ABOUT PEPPERS, AND I’LL TRY TO GIVE YOU A FEW PRODUCTION TIPS AND WE’LL SEE IF IT MIGHT FIT INTO YOUR GARDEN. WELL, THE REASON I MENTIONED THAT PEPPERS ARE A LITTLE EASIER TO GROW THAN TOMATOES IS BECAUSE PEPPERS, IN GENERAL, HAVE LESS DISEASE PROBLEMS, LESS INSECT PROBLEMS, AND I THINK FOR THE HOME GARDENER THAT MAKES THEM A LITTLE EASIER TO GROW. PEPPERS ARE A GREAT CROP AND AS YOU CAN SEE HERE WE’VE GOT SOME REALLY GOOD PRODUCTION, NICE PLANTS DOING REALLY WELL. THIS IS MORE OF A COMMERCIAL SYSTEM WHERE A FARMER WOULD DO SOMETHING LIKE THIS, THIS MULCH COVERED BED WITH DRIP IRRIGATI BUT YOU CAN DO THE SAME KIND OF THING AT HOME. YOU CAN MAKE YOURSELF, TILL UP AN AREA AND MAKE YOURSELF A BED TO PUT YOUR TRANSPLANTS ON. I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT TO IRRIGATE. WE USE DRIP IRRIGATION SYSTEMS HERE. WE USE SOME TYPE OF HOSE TO DO THAT. BUT YOU COULD GO AND FIND SOAKER HOSES AND YOU COULD PUT THAT DOWN. IT’S ALSO IMPORTANT TO THINK ABOUT SOME TYPE OF MULCH LIKE STRAW, OR EVEN WET NEWSPAPER TO GO AROUND THE PLANTS. WHAT THAT DOES IS THAT KEEPS THE MOISTURE IN THE SOIL, IT DOESN’T LET IT EVAPORATE AS MUCH S THAT’S A GOOD THING TO HAVE ON YOUR PEPPERS. AND I THINK THAT OVERALL THEY CAN DO REALLY WELL FOR YOU IN THE HOME GARDEN. THERE ARE LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OUT THERE. THESE ARE A BANANA TYPE PEPPER, A SWEET PEPPER. AND AS YOU COULD SEE EARLIER, THEY’RE KIND OF A YELLOW COLOR. A LOT OF PEPPERS WHEN THEY MATURE ARE GOING TO TURN INTO A SPECIFIC COLOR LIKE YELLOW OR ORANGE OR RED. A LOT OF BELL PEPPERS, FOR EXAMPLE, PEOPLE WILL PICK GREEN AND THAT’S SLIGHTLY IMMATURE. IF YOU LET THOSE STAY ON THE VINE A LITTLE LONGER THEY WILL ACTUALLY TURN A RED, ORANGE, OR YELLOW. WELL HERE IN THIS SETTING, TO KEEP THESE PEPPERS FROM FALLING OVER, WE’VE GOT A TRELLIS SYSTEM. WE’VE GOT THIS PLASTIC MESH NETTING THAT THE PLANTS GROW UP THROUGH AND IT KEEPS THEM FROM FALLING OVER. PEPPERS CAN GET KIND OF TALL, AND THEY CAN GET HEAVY AND THEY MIGHT WANT TO FALL OVER, SO YOU CAN USE SOMETHING LIKE THIS IN A HOME GARDEN OR JUST LIKE THE TOMATOES BEHIND US YOU COULD PUT STAKES AROUND EACH PEPPER PLANT AND TIE THEM TO THAT. IT’LL KEEP THEM FROM MOVING AROUND, ESPECIALLY IN HIGH WINDS DURING THE SUMMERTIME. NOW PEPPER PLANTS NEED TO PROBABLY BE SPACED WHEN YOU PUT THE TRANSPLANTS IN THE GROUND ABOUT ANYWHERE FROM 8 TO 10 INCHES TO 2 FEET APART. IT DEPENDS ON THE VARIETY. SOME ARE SMALLER IN STATURE AND SOME ARE LARGER, BUT IF YOU SPACE THEM THAT WAY, THEY’RE GOING TO BE FINE. ANOTHER THING TO THINK ABOUT IS FERTILIZATION. IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO PUT DOWN ABOUT TWO POUNDS OF 10-10-10 FOR EVERY 100 FEET OF ROW SPACING BEFORE YOU PLANT AND THEN AFTER YOU PLANT, ABOUT 3 TO 4 WEEKS AFTER YOU PLANT, YOU CAN WATER THESE WITH SOME WATER-SOLUBLE FERTILIZER OR YOU CAN GO IN WITH SOME GRANULAR FERTILIZER AND ADD IT TO THE SIDE WHERE THE PLANTS ARE DOWN THE SIDE. THAT’LL KEEP THE PLANTS MOVING, GREEN, AND HEALTHY THROUGHOU THEIR GROWING SEASON. SO WHEN YOU’RE THINKING ABOUT PEPPERS, THERE’S LOTS OF DIFFERENT TYPES OUT THERE, LOTS OF VARIETY. SO AS YOU’RE CONSULTING YOUR SEED CATALOG DURING THE WINTERTIME, LOOK FOR VARIETIES THAT ARE GOING TO FIT INTO YOUR PRODUCTION SYSTEM, LOOK FOR ONES THAT HAVE DIFFERENT MATURITY DATES, BECAUSE SOME TAKE LONGER THAN OTHERS. AND ONE TYPE THAT TAKES LONGER THAN OTHERS IS HOT PEPPERS USUALLY. NOW THESE ARE HABANEROS HERE, THEY’RE AN ORANGE. THEY WILL GET ORANGE AS THEY MATURE. THEY’RE VERY HOT, BUT THEY DO TAKE A LITTLE LONGER TO MATURE THAN, SAY, A BELL PEPPER OR A SWEET BANANA TYPE PEPPER. AND WE DO HAVE SOME OF THOSE. THAT’S ANOTHER TYPE, SWEET BANANA PEPPERS. THEY’RE GOING TO BE A LIGHT GREEN, KIND OF A LIME COLOR. AND THEY’RE REAL POPULAR IN SANDWICHES CUT UP, REALLY NICE BUT SWEET. AND THERE’S ALSO ANOTHER TYPE NOW CALLED SNACK PEPPERS. THEY’RE A SWEET PEPPER, THEY’RE SMALL. THEY’RE A LITTLE SMALLER THAN THOSE, BUT THEY’RE JUST MADE TO BE SNACKED ON. LOTS OF DIFFERENT VARIETIES OUT THERE, SO TAKE YOUR TIME CHOOSING THE ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU. THERE’S LOTS OF OTHER PRODUCTION TIPS THAT YOU CAN FIND YOUR LOCAL COUNTY EXTENSION OFFICE. FOR FROM THE GROUND UP, I’M CHRIS MULLINS. WE’LL SEE YOU NEXT TIME. AMY: TAKING A LOOK AT THE AG CALENDAR, THE NORTHERN PIEDMONT BEGINNING FARMER PROGRAM WILL HOLD ITS FIRST JUNIOR BEGINNING FARMER PROGRAM IN JULY AND AUGUST FOR YOUTH IN GRADES 9 THROUGH 12 WHO ARE INTERESTED IN AGRICULTURAL CAREERS. THE FREE PROGRAM WILL BE HELD AT THE FAUQUIER EDUCATION FARM. THE PROGRAM WILL CONSIST OF EVENING CLASSES AND FARM TOURS. IT WILL ALSO INTRODUCE THE VIRGINIA BEGINNING FARMER AND RANCHER CURRICULUM. REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED BY JULY 22, AND YOU CAN REGISTER AT THE WEB ADDRESS ON YOUR SCREEN, OR CONTACT JIM HANKINS FOR MORE INFORMATION. THAT DOES IT FOR OUR SHOW. THANKS FOR WATCHING, AND HAVE A GREAT WEEK. I AM AMY ROSCHER FOR “VIRGINIA FARMING.” ♪♪ [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, WHICH IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ITS CAPTION CONTENT AND ACCURA] ♪♪>>90 YEARS AGO, THE VIRGINIA FARM BUREAU MADE OUR LOCAL FARMERS A PROMISE TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE A WAY OF LIFE THEY WORKED SO HARD TO ESTABLISH. WE WANT TO KEEP VIRGINIA, VIRGINIA. ANYONE CAN BE A FARM BUREAU MEMBER, AND THERE’S A LOCAL FARM BUREAU IN EVERY COUNTY. MORE INFORMATION IS AT VAFARMBUREAU.ORG. + WOULD YOU LIKE TO PUT YOUR BUSINESS IN FRONT OF RURAL AMERICA AND THE AG COMMUNITY EVERY WEEK? WE HAVE SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE THE WILL DO JUST THAT. CONTACT US TO FIND OUT HOW YOU CAN — YOU CAN MILK IT FOR ALL IT’S WORTH! ♪♪

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