Friday, October 30, 2009

Winter Workshops & Activities

What an exciting year we’ve had here at Damali Farm as we draw to the close of our first full season of being open daily. We’ve finished all of our lavender plantings, the landscaping is nearing completion and we’ve harvested our first crop of grapes. We built a greenhouse this spring and have been riding the learning curve of propagating lavender and growing vegetables in this new environment. We’re getting better at it and expect to have plenty of lavender plants for a spring sale. Our original barn has been renovated and now houses our winery and soon also the vinegary. There has also been the ongoing lavender harvesting, essential oil distilling, product making and running of the shop. We’ve had a lot of interest from couples wanting to hold their weddings here at the farm next Spring & Summer and are working with them to plan their special days so things are still pretty busy around here, thank goodness the winter gives a little time for some rest….but not too much as we have some new and exciting things planned for the winter season to literally keep the spirits up.
We’ve been attending lots of fairs, markets, workshops and conferences over the past weeks and have quite a few more coming up as well as our Christmas openings here at the lavender shop.
I recently met a neighbor who approached me about putting on a series of Spiritual Workshops called the ‘Masters of Joy’ Series. Jane Hutchins lives on Kilipi Road just around the corner from us and she is a Reiki Master, Holistic Health Practitioner and Psychic Intuitive, she must have known I was looking to hold some workshops here at Damali! We will be hosting a series of 9 workshops followed by a 3 Day Retreat.
For a list of the events we will be attending over the fall, the dates of the Damali Christmas Openings and more information about the Workshop Series please go to
At this time of year we are open by chance or appointment, however my office is in the Lavender Shop and when I’m working there but t's best to call ahead (250) 743-4100 if you are coming from any distance.
We hope to see you out during the winter season at the farm.
The Damali Partners

Friday, October 16, 2009

Damali News Update

Well summer has come and gone and what a summer it’s been. The hot dry weather provided us with an exceptional lavender crop and we have lots of raw materials to keep us busy through until our next harvest. We’ve enjoyed greeting visitors from all over the world as well as locals, friends and neighbours. Our Lavenderfest in August was a great success with over 700 people attending and $3000 raised for the Canadian Cancer Society. We plan to hold the event next year on Saturday of the BC Day long weekend to ensure that we have plenty of standing lavender. We’ve been receiving some good press from the local media and this month Marsha & I are on the front cover of Senior Living magazine with a 4 page article. We are also on the cover of Septembers Business Vancouver Island magazine. We are excited about some other publications that have picked up our story and have articles coming out in the near future. We are very grateful for the recognition we are receiving just for doing what we love. Our current & final major farm development project is converting our barn into our winery/vinegary and in October we will harvest our first crop of grapes. In 2010 we will be introducing new products such as wine vinegars, fruit and herb infused vinegars and wine jellies. Right now we’re busy building up a good supply of products for all of the craft fairs, markets and seasonal shop openings through October, November & December. Be sure to check out the events page on our website for a full listing of events and openings. We are open daily until the end of September, weekends in October and by chance or appointment anytime through until April. We look forward to seeing you. The Damali partners

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July has arrived at Damali in a bloom of purple. The hot sunny weather has put things about 2 weeks ahead of schedule and we have already harvested our Munstead lavender for hanging in the drying the shed. We will give the plants another week to fully mature and will be distilling essential oil next weekend. As the other varieties mature we will be harvesting for different purposes from then until the middle of August, this is a great time to come for a visit to the farm and wander among the lavender plants and gardens, in the vineyard (which is showing signs of a good first harvest) in the labyrinth or for having a peek in the fully stuffed drying shed.

Our vision for the farm has manifested and visitors from all over the world are recognizing it’s likeness to some farms in the Provence region of France. Our next project will be to convert the barn into a winery/vinegary. We have already starting making vinegar with wine purchased from a local vineyard and we hope to have some product ready for tasting at the Wine & Culinary Festival in September.

Speaking of festivals, plans are well underway for our 2nd annual Lavenderfest happening on August 8. There will be essential oil distilling demonstrations, arts & crafts, games, tours, lavender food, music and more. As seems to be the case with so many people, we have lost close family members and friends to cancer over the past year so we’ve decided to hold our Lavenderfest as a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. A portion of the gate and from each essential oil sold will be going to the cause so we hope to see lots of people out in support and to have some fun. If our fundraising target is reached by 3pm Marsha & I will be having our heads shaved. You can learn more about our fundraiser by visiting our Damali Events page where donations are already coming in.

The beautiful vision that is 'Damali' is a great place to slow down the pace, rejuvenate your soul, indulge your senses and remember to enjoy every moment of your life.

We hope to see you soon at the farm Hope to see you soon.
Alison, Marsha & Dave

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Is Here!

Summer has arrived and the lavender is in bloom. We have over 4000 of the English varieties flowering right now and another 8000 or so of the French varieties just starting to show purple. It's great time to visit the farm.
Plans are underway for the second annual Damali Lavenderfest which this year is a fundraiser for the Canadian Cancer Society. Be sure to check out our events page.
We'd love to hear your comments and feedback.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring is Here !

Ahhhhh…..Spring is finally here! Winter has seemed particularly long this year however that hasn’t stopped the progress at Damali. We’ve been busy making lavender products from last summer’s harvest and working on our newest project, the greenhouse which now has over 1000 lavender plants propagating as well as greens planted and we’re eagerly anticipating farm fresh veggies on the table soon.

Other farm development plans for the coming season include the conversion of our big barn into a winery/vinegary and tasting room. We’re excited about this addition to the farm and to making wine from our own Castell grapes this fall, some of which will be converted to artisan vinegars. We will be planting a white grape in the vineyard and also some blackberries. Blackberry vinegar is delish! We can also see the light at the end of the tunnel with our lavender planting as the final bed in front of the B&B will be planted within the next few weeks enhancing the view from the rooms even more. We also have plans to expand the food production bed in the lower field and then fence the remaining area for sheep pasture, completing the vista.

We have four wwoofers with us this Spring helping to get everything trimmed, tidied and planted and have also decided that the time has come to have another of the partners working regularly at the farm so I (Alison) have given up my day job and am really looking forward to working at the farm full time. We will be offering self guided and guided farm tours, U-pick lavender, lavender snacks and of course browsing and sampling our handmade, all natural lavender products. During our lavender harvests in July and August you may experience harvesting in action with the ‘still’ wafting its wonderful aroma for miles around. We will be having a grand opening and plant sale in May to kick off the season formally but we are open weekends now and any day of the week by chance or appointment. We will be open 7 days a week from June to September.

We’re looking forward to a great season and are excited about plans for an even bigger & better Damali Lavenderfest this summer on August 8 that will include The MS Grape Escape Bike Tour participants stopping in on their route. We will also be participating on some Saturdays at the Duncan Farmers Markets so keep an eye on our website for updates on all of the events happening both at the farm and at other venues throughout the summer.. We hope you’ll come by for a visit, we're always happy to chat!

Alison, Marsha & Dave @ Damali