Lavender Coopérative La Grange des Meuniers, Montguers
Lavender originates from the Mediterranean regions. Its name comes from the Latin "lavare", meaning ‘to wash’, which hints at its use as a fragrance since Roman times. The Romans also discovered that its scent helped keep insects away.
Lavender is omnipresent in Haute-Provence and has been for years. The two main growing areas are near Sault, by the famous Tour de France climb at Mont Ventoux, and around Valensole. Here, for centuries, lavender has been cultivated on these dry mountains; in days gone by, it was sold to distilleries by peasant farmers to help them make a living.
Today, the cultivation of lavender remains part of our culture and heritage here in Provence. Lavender plants are a hardy bunch—they love growing on limestone and prefer dry, poorer soils with plenty of sunshine.
Several varieties of lavender exist, each with different characteristics and uses. We differentiate fine lavender (lavendula augustifolia) from lavandin (lavendula x intermedia). Lavandin plants are often larger than lavender and have longer flower spikes. They yield not only more oil, but have a stronger scent too.
The differences in chemical composition make lavandin oil more powerful, uplifting, and stimulating, as well as an effective mosquito repellent! Both can be used directly on the skin, but we only recommend fine lavender for culinary use.
Given their differences, we wanted to offer you lavender and lavandin on the site, and believe we have managed to find the best of both varieties. We source them from a producers’ cooperative in Montguers, near Sault and at the foot of Mont Ventoux.
Created in 1984, the cooperative collects lavender and lavandin from around 100 local growers across the Sault plateau. They all share a commitment to sustainable agriculture and the cooperative does a great job offering them guidance on what varieties of lavender they should use, the best harvesting processes, and how to turn the plants into lavender products.
With a desire to offer you only the best products, we’re proud to say that all the culinary lavender on our site is completely organic.
To find out more about each of our producers, simply select that producer's photo from the slideshow below.