Tag Archive for: Rosemary Holmes

TALGA September 2018 eNews

Special Memorial Edition
Honouring Rosemary Holmes, the National Lavender Collection and TALGA

The Australian Lavender Growers Association was formed as an incorporated body in 1995. Its mission was and still is, to assist in the establishment of a viable Lavender industry in Australia. TALGA as it is commonly referred to, was the brainchild of Rosemary and Edythe at Yuulong Lavender Estate.

Opening the farm to the public in the 1980’s, generated much interest. There was lots to see. Thiswas then, the only Lavender farm on mainland Australia which people could visit to see Lavenders in flower. There was a plant nursery and tearooms.
The National Collection of Lavenders had been moved from the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for the now proven better suited growing conditions at Mt Egerton. All plants were carefully labelled and much studied by visitors.

The visitor’s book at Yuulong became the basis for creating a membership list for TALGA.
Many people signed up for membership of TALGA across the country and State Liaison Representatives were established as contact points.
Some 24 years later I am pleased to say that TALGA is still supporting growers across Australia by providing Conferences, an annual Lavender Journal and a monthly e:newsletter. TALGA has established reciprocal membership with NZLGA and USLGA as well as IAAMA and EOPAA.

In 2015, in time to mark the 20th anniversary of TALGA, Rosemary wrote and published “TALGA’S FIRST TWENTY YEARS” – an important resource on the history of TALGA including a directory of current member farms in Australia, donating all proceeds of the sale of the book to TALGA.Rosemary’s generosity has been evident in so many ways, from the beginning. She gave of her time,was always available to share her knowledge whether it be marketing, research, plant propagation, lavender products, culinary lavender. I think almost every grower has plants of Lavandulaangustifolia ‘Egerton Blue’ which she propagated at Yuulong and is known as the culinary lavender.She attended almost all 23 annual conferences, and showed great interest in members’ activitiesthroughout Australia, always encouraging them to achieve their hopes and dreams in Lavender. Above all, she imbued TALGA with her delightful spirit – we honour her now and always.

– Fiona Glover

2019 TALGA CONFERENCE at Port Arthur– Outline of Program as at Sep 2018.

Our hosts are Clare & Brendan Dean of Port Arthur Lavender. www.portarthurlavender.com.au. Conference venue is Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur. Accommodation is also available here.www.stewartsbaylodge.com.au

Registration opens at 5pm on Wednesday 20th March, 2019, at Stewarts Bay Lodge, Port Arthur, Tas. This is the venue for the Conference and accommodation is available in delightful log cabins. A flyer showing prices will be sent to all delegates to book their cabins directly with Stewarts Bay Lodge. Drinks and canapés will be served during registration.

Dinner is available at the Restaurant on Wednesday but at own expense and has to be booked.

Registration is again available from 8am on the Thursday morning 21st March. Conference starts at 9am.
Lectures and workshops will be offered during the day, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea included in Conference fees.

The TALGA Dinner and Awards will be held at Port Arthur Lavender, a 5 minute drive by bus from Stewarts Bay Lodge. Again, all included in conference fees.
Friday 22nd March will be a day tour by bus to Pawleena to visit Clare and Brendan’s farm propertywhere they grow more lavender. Other attractions include the Nonesuch Distillery and the Bangor Winery and Oyster shed. Return to Port Arthur Lavender for afternoon tea and closing of conference.

An optional post conference visit to Bridestowe Lavender is being organised for the Sunday 24thMarch.


A request is being put out to members to offer a donation for a gift or an award for the upcoming conference.
This would be a great opportunity for members to promote their products and region.
If you are able to contribute in any way please contact our secretary, Fiona Glover.


The judging of oils for next year’s conference will be based on 2018 oils submitted earlier this yearfor GC testing. The Secretary will be in touch with all 2018 oil producers to determine which samples they would like to include in the Competition.
This is a result of the 2019 Conference being held earlier than usual and does not allow time for oils from 2019 harvest to settle.

24-26 August 2018

Anne and I very recently attended the NZLGA conference for 2018 in Martinborough about one hour north by road from Wellington.
The President, Peter Jennett and his wife Margaret very kindly drove us from Wellington to the conference venue , the historic Martinborough Hotel built in 1882.

The conference began with registration and welcome drinks on Friday night.
The conference was opened on Saturday morning by the Mayor of the South Wairarapa District Council and the first speakers were a team from the Cameron Family Farms, an organic plant based farming enterprise producing seasonal fruits and vegetables, manuka honey,olive oil and nuts.
The next session offered two workshops one on product making and one on digital marketing and Anne and I separately attended these workshops.
We then heard from two members, both younger couples who spoke about their personal journeysin lavender growing and enterprises. Jason and Trish Delamore are the new owners of “Lavender Hill”, the venue for the 2013 NZLGA conference attended by several TALGA members including Neville and Jean Sargeant and Anne and me. Jason and Trish have expanded the lavender planting
and extended the business to produce a local lavender gin and host farm visits tapping into the tourist trade from the Auckland airport. Stuart and Jan Abernethy have a farm ”Lavender Abbey” inthe Wairarapa District and produce lavender oil for use in the range of products they make on farmand sell through local markets and on line. They open their farm for a “pick your own lavender” daywhich has proved very successful for them. Stuart and Jan went on to receive a number of awards for their oil at the conference dinner.
Our next speaker discussed the health and safely aspects important for growers and farm businesses generally and presented lots of valuable information. The session that followed was a scientific one where the speaker described the chemical structure of lavender oil.
Next came the AGM of the association where Peter Jennett invited me to attend as an observer and also offered me the chance to speak to members and I took this opportunity to thank everyone for their hospitality and also give them information about our 2019 conference in Port Arthur. This was very enthusiastically received and during the course of the next day at least ten people indicated their intention to attend our conference.
The formal dinner was held on the Saturday night with musical entertainment from a local group. During the course of the dinner the Lavender Oil Awards were presented to the winners. Noel Porter was the convenor of the judging panel. Noel spoke in his report of the need to train more people in the perception and evaluation of the major aromatic notes of lavender and to identify the more capable noses who would like to join the judging panel. He plans to run a workshop in theNorth Island this year to facilitate this training. At the conference all guests took part in a “blind”evaluation of a number of lavender oils. It was very interesting and enjoyable activity for the participants to share.
Sunday involved field trips to two local lavender farms. Firstly to “Lavender Abbey” where Stuartgave us a tour of the lavender field and demonstrated the operation of the lavender harvester that they have purchased and used for the first time with this year’s harvest. Stuart explained that he was able to harvest the whole crop in three hours…about 2000 plants. They mainly have Grosso anda small amount of Pacific Blue and Violet Intrigue. They have their oil distilled by Susie White at Lavender Creek Farm.
We travelled from there to the farm of Tracy and Eric Voice of Ranui Essentials. Tracy gave us a talk about the establishment of their farm back in 2011 and their journey since then. They have lavender hillside planting of around 2000 plants mainly Pacific Blue and Grosso. They have established an on- farm shop and also sell at markets and on-line. The farm is open to the public.
At the conclusion of the conference we travelled to “Lavender Creek Farm” where Susie and Vaughan White kindly hosted us overnight and gave us a tour of their farm. Susie is very well experienced and respected as a distiller and carries out the distillation process for a number of farms on the North Island, some coming to stay for two days while she distils their lavender flowers.
Susie has also worked on establishing and maintaining a collection of lavender plants and has currently more than 200 species displayed in a delightful garden area adjacent to the farm shop and distillation facility. Their farm and shop are open to the public and Susie uses part of the shop area for her product making. It is a very well laid out and efficient operation.
Susie and Vaughan were delightful hosts and Susie very kindly delivered us to the Wellington airport for our return flight to Brisbane.
Altogether it was a marvellous experience for Anne and me to attend the conference and meet with the New Zealand growers several of whom had attended our Gatton conference. We felt we learned more about the business of growing and using lavender and also felt that the networking that we
achieved will result in quite a number of the New Zealand members attending our 2019 conference in Port Arthur.
Gary Young


Since my last lines I’m please to say we have received plenty of rain and it’s boughtour region back to average rainfall for winter, and anything else that falls from now on is a bonus, hooray. The other day I checked out the 4 smaller tanks spread around the property and they were all full. When I tapped on the galvanized iron cladding, I was pleased to hear a dull thud, rather than a tinny echoey noise indicating still more rain needed. My spirits lifted. That will do nicely, thank you very much. The main tank still has a way to go. T has a special measuring stick, and climbs onto the roof of the big concrete tank, takes out the access cover and giveshis report. “It’s about 3⁄4 full” he says, peering into the murky space, with his legsdangling over the side. I stand below, worried he might fall in, or get his head stuck or something, but this is welcome news. The big tank is our life supportsystem, and I clap my hands. That’s our entertainment for the morning.

Boy it’s been chilly though, especially in the mornings. When T came in with mymorning cuppa the other day, he mentioned it was freezing outside. “I’m nice and warm though, have a look at these”, revealing some tartan trouser things. I did a double take, “what on earth are those” “Long-johns” he says, “they’re back infashion now, I picked them up in Target the other day”. Oh


Although the intermedia lavender is dormant at the moment,
the dentata’s are a picture. What a great plant they are,
drought hardy, good flowers for the vase, and remain on the
bush for 12 weeks or more providing colour for winter
visitors. We spend our days on winter chores. I busy myself
down the track filling potholes and raking quarry rubble back into place following the rain, whilst T is busy with his latest toy – a lawnmower.

We live in an age where you can buy a sewing machine at the local post office and lawnmowers and washing machines from Aldi supermarkets. A few weeks ago T got his hands on an advertising catalogue from Aldi that had a special on you beautlawnmowers. “Hey, look at this, great price and it’s adjustable and goes up hills, automatic start etc.” “But we don’t have any lawn or grass, what do you want a

lawnmower for? I ask”, pointing out we have 2 whipper snippers in the shed. Hereckoned he could mow between the rows of lavender and the land along theboundary…… You name it, he could mow it. Anyway after a morning putting ittogether, he enjoyed pushing it over the weeds and maneuvering around the clumps of jonquils and daffodils around the place. Happy as Larry.

Warm wishes for the new season


Lavender sieving machine and a stripper


Annie Hepner (property sold) has for sale a sieving machine and a stripper. $550 for lot or best offer. Contact annie@hepner.id.au


Contact Shelley Hunt. lordot@gmail.com Ph 0499 996923