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Monday, 18 October 2010
Lavender Fields

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At the end of August I took one of my nieces to visit the Mayfield Lavender Fields, an organic farm in Purley.  It was the very end of the season, and all the plants had been harvested, except for one patch which had been kept for a film crew that was due to visit the following weeks to film The Crimson Petal and the White, an adaptation of the book by Australian/Scottish/Dutch* author Michel Faber. The plants were past their best.

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Mayfield is an accredited organic lavender farm located on the Surrey Downs, less than 15 miles from Central London, in an area which it describes as the home of English Lavender:

Often referred to as Carshalton Lavender, Mitcham Lavender or Surrey Lavender our field sits in the heart of what was the most prolific lavender growing area in the world during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Lavender was introduced into England by the Romans, and is said to be good for our emotional and physical well-being. Lavender helps us to relax and de-stress, to sleep, and has antibacterial and antiseptic properties.


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Three varieties of lavender are grown, and the farm is managed without the use of herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, in order to promote biodiversity. Perimeter land is allowed to seed with native flower species to promote biodiversity and the field is thriving with a rich variety of flowers and wildlife.

I recommend a visit during June or July for a full impact on your senses. The farm is currently closed for a few months and should reopen in November for the Christmas season.

* A short aside about identity:

In Scotland, [Michel] Faber is considered a Scottish author, or at least “Scottish by formation” (the term defining eligibility to enter the Macallan Short Story Competition, which Faber won in 1996). The fact that most of Faber’s literary prizes, like The Neil Gunn Prize, The Macallan Prize and The Saltire First Book Of The Year Award, were won in Scotland, that Faber lives in Scotland, and that his works are published by a Scotland-based publisher, all lend credibility to this view. In Australia, Faber is considered an Australian, because of his long residence there, because almost all of his schooling was completed there, and because some of his short stories are set in Australia.  In the Netherlands, he is considered Dutch, except by those who are unaware of his origins. (Faber’s works are translated into Dutch by professional translators, not by Faber himself.)

~ from the Wiki article on Michel Faber.

Posted by bigblue on 18/10/2010 at 08:59 AM
Filed under: EuropeUnited KingdomEngland • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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