TALGA’s Field Day and AGM 2022 – An inspirational day for lavender growers

TALGA’s 27th Conference May 2021 was successfully held at the Chin Chin Farm in Chintin Victoria

We had a full house at Sonia and Stuart Whiteman’s Chin Chin Farm with 67 attendees travelling from all states (even from Norfolk Is!) except WA & NT.

Thank you to all the TALGA members, affiliates and associates who supported this event with their presence and shared their growing experiences with 17 new or prospective growers, we were thrilled to have so many delegates for this event!

I would like to thank Graeme Joyce, agronomist and Director of Soilcharge whose talk about soil health and how to achieve the optimum soil for lavender growing gave us all practical advice and information on which to act.  It was particularly helpful that he talked about his work with the Whiteman’s and the positive results achieved during the last few years controlling areas of weed infestation and improving the mineral composition of their soil with a bio-stimulant programme the details of which was shared with attendees.

Although Dr Marisa Collins was unable to attend due to illness on the day, her field trial results from the ‘Optimisation of Lavender Oil Project’ were delivered expertly by Sonia Whiteman and we heard a short statement from Agrifutures about their focus on the Australian Lavender Industry as an ‘emerging’ agricultural industry.

The afternoon was dominated by our Grower Panel discussion with Matthew Oxenford of Leven K Lavender QLD, Jan Illingworth of the Monaro Country Lavender Co-op NSW, Neville Henderson of Pastoria Lavender, long standing TALGA member and local Victorian grower as well as Stuart Whiteman himself.  Thanks to our panel for their insights and sharing their triumphs and failures with our attendees, many questions flowed from this discussion to the benefit of all and was continued during the final hour of the day when delegates watched a distillation demonstration, discussed the machinery and equipment or walked up to the lavender paddock with Sonia to hear all about their planting experiences.

The sessions were videoed by local AV students from the Alice Miller School, and will be available to view when editing is complete.  More information about this will be released in the months to come.  My sincere thanks to all the students and supervising teacher Dave for their efforts on the day.

My thanks also to DV Cider for transforming Chin Chin Farm lamb into a delicious lunch and conducting a very well received cider tasting session the finale being their super awesome Purple Haze lavender cider a limited release created in collaboration with the Whitemans.

Finally, I would like to applaud Sonia and Stuart for the energy and enthusiasm they brought to organising this Field Day and the exceptional presentation of their farm which was a delight to all.  Their hard work and generosity is sincerely appreciated and their love for the land and growing lavender shone throughout the day.  Many thanks to the Whiteman family and their helpers for creating a very inspiring event for TALGA and I am looking forward to working with Stuart as TALGA Treasurer and Sonia on the Events Subcommittee with a view to the 2023 Conference to be held in the Blue Mountains.

Louise Bickerton
TALGA Events Subcommittee Coordinator

TALGA’s 28th Conference and AGM 2023 – Blue Mountains

Details for this event will be coming soon

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