An Artisan Approach

The practice of Carmel Lavender is that of an Artisan farmer. That starts with pride. For me, that means being a personal part of each step in the process, starting with the land and ending in the customer's hands.

Go to Shoppe...

Personal attention to detail. I want to create a product that is truly unique and authentic to the land and those that work it. On a daily basis, that means all of us at Carmel Lavender must have contact with the land, the creatures on it, and experience the products that come from it. Much is done by hand. Cultivation is done, by and large, with hand cultivators. Occasionally machinery is used, but the only way to care for each and every plant, the way it deserves to be cared for is by hand. The same is true for harvest. Each bunch of lavender is cut by people, the traditional way. It is then delivered fresh, distilled, or dried.

Is is this artisan approach, the wish to be involved in the process, at each level, that inspired me to build the distillery right here on the farm. In this way, the lavender never leaves her home. The fresh lavender buds are brought right over to the distillery, and placed fresh into the basket. The same water that nourished the plants during their bloom, now extract the oils at the end of their cycle. This is important in providing a truly unique product. For it minimizes the variables. The plants, the people, the water, the air -- it is all the same. And the essential oils that come from here, do so in every sense.

The making of the products must also have the same level of involvement. Not every ingredient in a bar of soap or a bottle of lotion can be grown or made here in Carmel Valley. But they all must be brought together in a way that highlights the uniqueness of the place. And the results are truly unparalleled. Locally grown olive oils can be blended with the essential oils to make soaps. Beeswax from the hives can make balms and salves. With each combination, the magic of the oil is brought into our daily lives.

The Carmel Lavender hand balms are one product that brings together the best of Carmel Lavender and Carmel Valley. Made from three simple ingredients, olive oil, beeswax and lavender essential oil, the hand balms moisturize and rejuvenate dry tired hands. And what is more, each of these ingredients can be sourced directly for Carmel Valley. This allows me to create a wonderful product that is not only made here, but grown here! Due to the limitations of the local supplies, each year only a small quanity of these precious balms are made. But they are truly something that can be found nowhere else. This is the artisan approach.

For me, this approach does not end inside the bottle. The same personal touch is brought to the outside of the bottle with the packaging. First I make every effort to use only the most environmentally friendly containers. This means glass bottles and metal tins. There are actually products I do not make, only because a suitable non-plastic package has yet to be found. Hand stamps are used on the labels, bringing the personal touch to each and every bottle. Even the Carmel Lavender logo, the one you see in red on each bottle and the top of the website, was pain-stakingly carved in wood by a chop carved in wood at the Shanghi city temple, on a visit there.

It is my hope that this personal approach, brings a human touch to the Carmel Lavender products and a connection to the land, the creatures, the processes, and the people that is so uncommon in today's dominant industrial model. Life is about alternatives, and it is my hope to provide an alternative to the souless character of the industrial age.

This site was last updated 12/08/13