Thursday 22 March 2018

Moira's 'Lavender' dream comes true

Moira has planted two acres of lavender at her home outside Inch
Moira has planted two acres of lavender at her home outside Inch

A NORTH Wexford resident has turned her childhood passion for all things purple into a business venture, as she prepares to open what she believes is Ireland's first dedicated Lavender Farm.

Moira Hart has planted two acres of lavender at her home outside Inch, Gorey, and will soon bring her love of the plant to the general public.

'Opening Wexford Lavender Farm is a dream come true for me,' said Moira. 'Lavender is a truly amazing plant, from the peaceful feeling of standing in a field of full of flowering lavender, to the many benefits of its by-products, including pure organic lavender oil which we will distill here from 2016.'

Alongside the 6,000 lavender plants, Moira is opening the Purple Haze Café in converted stables at the farm. The attraction will also offer a visitors' centre, a gift shop, a children's playground, mature woodland walks, and rides through the Lavender Farm on a quad barrel train, as well as craft workshops throughout the summer.

'I loved gardening as a hobby prior to this,' explained Moira. 'I visited many lavender farms in the UK and France, and decided to start growing it myself. It smells lovely, and it also flowers all summer.'

'Aside from its medicinal powers and its antiseptic powers, and its oil, you can also cut it and dry it and use it for crafts,' she said. 'It's well known for soothing and calming, and also for repelling moths in linen drawers, and fleas, and you can also use it for small scars and bites.'

Moira received support from Tom Bermingham and Wexford Local Development to prepare a feasibility study for the business, and this helped get her started. The Lavender Farm is part of a working farm at Coolnagloose. The two acres of lavender were first planted during last summer's heatwave, after the soil was tested, ploughed and prepared. Large rolls of weed protector had to be laid, which proved to be a challenge, but not as much of a challenge to keep it secured to the ground during the winter storms.

Most of the products available in the farm's gift shop are made from lavender harvested last year.

Wexford Lavender Farm will open before the Easter Holidays.

New Ross Standard