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Curious About How We Curate Our Lavender Products?

Learn why Twin Flame Lavender Farm is “different” from the rest.

We do things differently on our farm. Our methods of processing are different compared to most lavender farms as the percentage of our own processed lavender we use in our farm curated products is extremely high. It doesn’t make our methods right and theirs wrong (or the other way around!) It is just different.

Please scroll down to see the comparison graphic for differences in Lavender Farm Products and decide which types farm products are best for your skin care routine.

Our farm may be small but we maximize how we process and use a very high percentage of our own English Lavender in our products!

Farm Curated

Your skin is your largest organ in your body and what you apply to it gets absorbed into your body through transdermal infusion. We personally use all of our own products daily: we care for what goes into those products, onto our skin and into our bodies.

Paul has had 5 heart attacks, diabetes and kidney cancer. We have painfully learned that everything you ingest or put on your skin matters. Many of our topical lavender product solutions were created for Paul’s delicate diabetic skin. (Keep in mind none have been evaluated by the FDA to prevent, diagnose or treat any conditions.) We are simply careful and concerned.

“Farm Curated” means we do extensive research and select superior ingredients to turn our processed lavender into all natural beauty products. We do not purchase already made wholesale products to sell to the public. We do not purchases lotion, lip balm or soap bases to add just a couple of drops of essential oil and call it “handmade.” We make everything from scratch, right here on our lavender farm in the Great Lakes Region Allegan, Michigan. Each product has gone through rigorous research with our farm friend testers for safety and performance. Sometimes it takes years to perfect one of our creations and release a product to the public.

Just the Two of Us

It is just Paul and I (Renee.) We work 15-18 hour days from the first lavender buds until the last lavender blossom harvest. This is approximately 45 days. After the last harvest we are still processing and furious making fresh product! Our days turn to 10-12 hour days. We usually do not get a real day off until the end of August or the beginning of September. You definitely have to excuse us for being slow to answer the phone or a text during these three months. If you have a pressing question, we invite you to visit us in person at an open farm or event.

All year long we are making products and attending winter events or fulfilling online orders.

What Prompted This Post

  • People who believe we are not a farm because we do not sell essential oil. Lavender farming really doesn’t have much to do with essential oil production.
  • People who remain skeptical about how we can make so much product from such a small farm. We are “micro but mighty’ with how we process and utilize our lavender crop.
  • Valued friends of the farm who visit other farms at markets and are appalled by wholesale lavender products that are being passed off as Michigan produced lavender farm products. People can tell the difference.
  • People who ask if we make everything ourselves. We absolutely make everything from scratch. Our own recipes. You will not find our recipes or product ingredients duplicated anywhere else.
  • The general public who may be interested in lavender farming and how each lavender farm may be so different from one another. It’s all about what a particular farm chooses to specialize in. It doesn’t make any lavender farm better than another. It makes each lavender farm unique. Let’s say a farm wants to specialize in essential oils. The end product will be only essential oils for any smaller farm. So buying bases to mix their lavender essential oil works for them. Another farm may specialize in nursery plants, so buying wholesale lavender products to resell to supplement their farm store inventory may work for them. And yet another farm may want to specialize in culinary aspects of lavender, again maybe they distill and supply their oil to local artisans to outsource their products, and that’s how they run their business model. We choose our lavender harvest to make beauty products from scratch, and that works for us!

How Twin Flame Lavender Farm Processes Their Lavender

This small harvest of fresh lavender blossoms (equivalent to one plant) made two gallons of infused oil.. To put that into perspective: two gallons of infused oil will scent about 1500 bars of soap or 5000 tubes of lip balm! This same amount of lavender also produces 6 gallons of our hydrodistilled lavender hydrosol. To put that into perspective: 6 gallons of our hydrosol will scent about 160 Bottles of Eight Ounce Lotion or make 384 Bottles of Two Ounce Linen Spray.

Steam Distillation vs Hydrodistillation

Sometimes people are genuinely appalled when they ask us for essential oils and we let them know we do not have them. All lavender farms have essential oils don’t they? Well ours does not. To make essential oils, you steam distill your botanical. We specialize in English lavender, which produces a superior product and is notoriously stingy with its oil output. To steam distill, this means your botanical is stuffed in a large column and the steam runs through the botanical to extract the oil. This process also creates a co-product – the aromatic water – called hydrosol. During a steam distillation run, it takes only 15 minutes to make a gallon of hydrosol.

In lieu of essential oil making and steam distilling, we hydrodistill our lavender & botanicals which means we immerse the botanical in water and distill it. It is a slower process and it takes almost 12 hours to make 1 gallon of hydrosol. Because it takes so long and our lavender is only distilled for the water, the oils are entrained and not extracted, we believe hydrodistilled hydrosol is superior than a steam distillation run where oils are extracted and the length of time to get the hydrosol is short.

Hydrosol espouses the same therapeutic benefits as essential oil, it is less volatile and does not need to be mixed with a carrier. Lavender hydrosol, specifically, mimics the pH of your skin so it is absolutely perfect with transdermal (skin) applications for all skin types.

Many lavender farms use their hydrosol, regardless of type of distill, commonly known as their “linen spray.” Some actually take their essential oil and disburse it in water, witch hazel, alcohol or other items and requires you to shake the bottle prior to use. This method can stain sheets and clothing. A true hydrosol linen spray has the oils entrained and does not require shaking prior to use and will not stain clothing or sheets. A true hydrosol will also have a light scent that is not overpowering.

Hydrosol is an important method of processing for us because it is also used in any of our farm curated recipes that require distilled water. We replace distilled water with our hydrosol. We use hydrosol to naturally scent our lotions, bar soap, castile soap and foaming hand soap.

Lavender Blossom & Soft Oil Infusions

Lavender Blossoms Infusing in Soft Oils for Four Weeks

Every year when the buds turn to blossoms, we harvest and macerate the blossoms and infuse them into our soft oils. Our soft oils consist of: Sweet Almond, Olive, Apricot Kernal & Avocado Oils. We do not heat infuse the oils, which may make the end result lose some of its benefits, we slow infuse lavender into the oils at room temperature.

This is a process that takes four weeks. So if you think we are done just because we have no lavender in the fields, think again. We still have some more processing to do!

At the end of the four weeks, we double strain the oils and store them in glass gallon jugs. This process takes several days of drip by drip patience!

When complete, these beautiful and naturally scented oils are then used for soap, castile soap, lip balm, hand balm and lotions. The oils also continue to “age” after the lavender has been strained out. Our “end of the season” products are the most potent smelling products!

Extracts

We also use the blossoms to make extracts. The two extracts we make are alcohol and vinegar extracts. These extracts are processed in a similar fashion as oil infusions.

The alcohol extract we use is for our culinary delights that we bring to markets. We cannot sell it for two reasons: we do not have a Michigan approved kitchen nor an alcohol license.

The vinegar extract is sold as a cleaning agent. Again, we do not have a Michigan approved kitchen to sell our vinegar extract as something incorporated with food.

Buds

We begin our harvest with buds. We selectively harvest our lavender which means that we harvest only a little bit from each plant, a little bit at a time, from bud to blossom. We sell some for fresh culinary when it is in season and dry the rest for sachets and our products year round.

A Ditty About Culinary Lavender

As mentioned above, we do not sell our lavender as culinary lavender as we do not have the means (a Michigan approved kitchen) to process and store it for culinary purposes. We do have recommendations on which farms do sell culinary lavender, just ask us!

4 Ways Lavender Farms Make and Sell Lavender Beauty Products (GRAPHIC)

Comparison of Lavender Farms Who Make Products In-House VS Wholesale VS Local Outsourcing VS Premade Bases

Farm Curated & Produced In-House on Our Farm – Our Way

Our lavender harvest is done in a manner so that we can deliver a high percentage of our lavender directly into our products. This is what provides its unique and natural scent.

In-house production means you need to have a background in chemistry, baking, cooking, aromatherapy and herbalism. Our treasured farm guests who have those backgrounds appreciate all of the work that goes into our lavender products.

Our bar soaps may not be the prettiest, some may have soda ash or stearic spots. They are completely safe to use and lend a rustic vibe.

Some of our products may not have the same color, scent or consistency from batch to batch. There may be slight differences and we feel that is OK because we know we are delivering an all natural lavender product.

We are able to keep our prices low because it costs less to produce your own product, even though the time investment is steep.

Wholesale Lavender Products Purchased for Resale

These lavender products will be the most expensive lavender farm offerings as it is the path to least resistance with time but cost is a factor.

They may have fancy names attached in their ingredient lists in the form of synthetic colorants, fragrances and preservatives.

Outsource Locally Using Farm’s Processed Lavender

This is the second most expensive way a lavender farm could offer products but is the best way to leverage time and keep their processed lavender in products.

Basically a farm will give an artisan their hydrosol or oils to turn into product. The products will turn out a cross between commercial looking yet still natural.

Purchased Pre-made Bases to Add Farm Processed Essential Oils

Pre-made lotion, soap and balm bases will lend a more professional look and feel to lavender products but they more than likely will have only trace amounts of the farm’s oil for scent. These bases will lend more consistency to a lavender product line. They are also filled with synthetics like wholesale products.

We Hope You Take the Time To Enjoy Michigan Lavender

Whew, you made it this far!

Michigan has a fabulous climate to grow lavender with its sandy soils and (especially) Coastal West Michigan moderate year round temperatures provided by the Great Lakes. Tour the coast to visit and appreciate all of the lavender farms Michigan has to offer. You will see the unique differences from zen, beautiful, labyrinth, rustic (ours,) micro, large and all the beautiful provisions and possibilities that can be created from lavender. Every lavender farm I have visited in the Great Lakes region espouses its own magic. The lavender afficionado will appreciate each eccentric farm and its provisions.

Lavender Farmer | Aromatherapist | Yoga Instructor at Twin Flame Lavender Farm | Vibe Aroma LLC

Renee started out as an avid real estate blogger in 2006. Opting for a less stressful life, Paul and Renee moved to Michigan in 2018 and started a lavender farm in 2019.

There are very few resources available to aspiring lavender farmers for growing lavender, lavender aromatherapy and lavender culinary infusion.

Renee hopes to change and shake up the world of lavender by sharing her knowledge and experience she has gained by being a lavender farmer and aromatherapist with lavender lovers all over the world.


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