We spent a lovely weekend at Lavandula Swiss Italian Farm in Daylesford, Victoria, celebrating its lavender harvest. There was an exciting festival when visitors were welcome to learn about the lavender process from cutting in the field to watching the flowers being distilled for their precious essential oil. Hundreds of bunches hanged beneath every available verandah and, of course, their fresh lavender was available for sale.
At its heart is the golden stone rustica, a cluster of farm buildings constructed by Italians from southern Switzerland who came to look for gold and stayed to farm. The farmhouse was open for viewing and it gave an immediate sense of Italian rural life in 1860s Victoria.
The festival wouldn’t be complete without great local music and entertainment for everyone. Kids enjoyed their time on a farm with baby animals to pet and feed, while adults were able to learn more how lavender is distilled.
Lavender is planted as crop. In winter it's trimmed and sculptural, at Christmas the lavender is in flower and is harvested by hand with sickles through the heat of January.
The farm is open every day during school and public holidays. During spring, summer and autumn it is open every day, except Wednesday and Thursday. In winter they open on weekends only. Gate Fee: $4 per adult / $1 per school-age child. Check their website for more details.