CAMBRIA — Kin Loch Farmstead opened to almost 200 lavender pickers on opening day on Saturday. The U-pick lavender farm is located on Ridge Road, along the 104 Niagara Wine Trail and is owned by Alexandria and Ryan Plante, former New Yorkers who bought the land in the spring of 2018. 

Alexandria said she was excited by the opening, though she admits the event was little overwhelming. 

“I wasn’t sure whether to expect five people or five hundred,” Plante said. “So, two hundred was right in the middle of that, I guess. So, very happy, and most of all, I was very, very impressed with how respectful everyone was of the lavender.”

Among the 14 rows of lavender growing were seven varieties. Gros Bleu, Grosso, Hidcote Giant, Betty’s Blue, Melissa, Royal Velvet and Folgate. The U-pick days are on Saturdays and Sundays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

“I’d say between yesterday and today, 11 a.m. to noon are the busiest, so I would just come right at 9 when you’re not in the blazing sun,” she said. “Lavender is only harvested in July, and it’s very hot in July, so, if you come in noon on a July Saturday, it’s going to be pretty hot.” 

Each visitor upon arrival is given a wooden basket, a pair of scissors, some rubber bands and a small guide to each of the plants growing. On the guide is a ring that indicates how much $5 of lavender is. Two rings worth of this fragrant make up a bundle.

Other interesting pieces of the farm is a cut floral garden managed by Fran DePalma of Heirloom Soul Florals.

“She’s teaching several classes. Flower arranging, we have botanical fabric dying,” Plante said. “We’re going to be doing some fall wreath classes, an essential oil class, so a good variety of flower themed classes.” 

Plante said that these classes would be mostly run on two Wednesdays a month and some light refreshments will be shared and while they will not be serving alcohol, the classes are BYOB.

“You can bring your own wine, bring your friend,” Plante said. “The only class that is not BYOB is our wine tasting night. We’re going to do a flower wine tasting night with local wine.”

As to general tips for pickers: don’t wear sandals, said Plante. 

“Not that it’s that bad, but you’re out in a field, there are bees. If it’s raining it could get a little muddy,” Plante said. “You’re on a farm! You’re not sitting at a restaurant sipping a cocktail! So expect a farm environment.”

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