During the summer we visited Castle Farm which is set in the pretty valleys of North Kent, where it turns out that free draining flint soil and the South of England sunshine is perfect for growing Lavender.
Caroline Alexander who along with her family run the farm, explained that when the Hop industry declined, Castle Farm as well as other farms across the South East started looking into alternatives to producing hops, and so in 1999 as part of a small co-operative of farmers Castle Farm decided to try their hand at growing Lavender on a commercial scale.
Today walking through the stunning Lavender fields it would seem as though Lavender has always been part of the landscape here. Castle farm not only grows Lavender they also produce pure essential oils with a distillation unit based on the Farm.
Castle Farm invites their farm shop (Hopshop.co.uk
) food producers to experiment using Lavender in their products. We bought some Lavender infused tomato chutney which was lovely as part of a homemade ploughmans.