Written by GR:
In the early 1990's an investment analyst in Cape Town fell in love with a Karoo farmer and married him during the worst drought in living history. The veld was as brown as her husband’s khaki shorts. She was still writing wedding thank-you letters when she thought, "What have I done?"
All she knew, as fine Karoo dust settled on her desk, was that she had to start her own business. "It had to be something I could be passionate about," she says.
She waited for the perfect solution. In addition to igniting passion, the new business had to fulfil four other crucial requirements: it had to suit the Karoo environment; it had to be grown locally and dried because of the Karoo’s distance from any marketplace; it had to be waterwise. The new business also had to be labour intensive as the farms are home to 12 families, almost all of them had only one family member employed. Farming in these extreme conditions is not easy but with creative thought it worked!
Karoo Lavender Fields now supplies gift shops and the hospitality industry locally and internationally. The main hospitality, gift product and marketing operation are run from the home farm and the lavender growing operation has been moved to the eastern part of the Karoo, a few hours east of home. There the climate and water are a bit softer!
Karoo Lavender regrets that the farms are not open to the public - their energies are focussed on farming and their lavender and rooibos products. They say that one day, when there are 26 hours in every day they will open their doors ... just not quite yet !!!