A new shop and art gallery is set to welcome visitors to one of Naramata’s most colourful and aromatic destinations, Forest Green Man Lavender Farm. Owners Karolina Born-Tschuemperlin and Doug Mathias spent the winter finishing the two-storey space that will allow them to show off an ever-increasing selection of lavender products, and the artistic expressions of Karolina and other creative types.
“We only have five acres, so we have to do about a hundred things to make a living here,” Karolina laughs. In season, fresh produce – think heirloom tomatoes – are sold on site, but once the 2500 lavender plants are in bloom, a dazzling array of products are produced. Soaps, essential oils (distilled in the gorgeous copper still), bath salts, lotions, linen water, tea, sugar, honey, jelly, vinegar—all infused with the aromatic flower – fill the shop’s shelves and satiate the desires of people who prefer natural products.
As busy as these artistic farmers are (they manage to sell out their products every year) they still make time to introduce new products. Karolina now collaborates with nearby Legend Distilling to create a line of bitters that invite home bartenders to take their mixing skills to a whole new level. In addition to the ubiquitous lavender, other flavours include sumac-orange, rose hip and sarsaparilla.
The art gallery upstairs features many of the paintings Karolina produced for the brilliant book, Okanagan Slow Road.
Forest Green Man Lavender Farm is now available to host small weddings, replete with lavender bridal bouquets, boutonnieres and corsages. Imagine the wedding photos!
~ Lorne Eckersley