Maine's most fragrant crop

Glendarragh Farm Lavender is a fragrant mix of more than a dozen lavender varieties, growing on our 26-acre farm along the St. George River in Appleton, Maine. Our 1820 farmstead once housed cattle, poultry and other livestock — sustaining the farmers who lived and worked here, with extra milk for the milkman and neighbors, and furthering an agrarian heritage that shaped Maine. The farm fell silent in the late 1960s, however, when jobs and youth moved to more urban locations.

We started with 300  lavender plants in 2007, putting these rolling fields again to work as a family farm. Today we are a productive part of the fertile St. George Valley, which grows more than 70 percent of all crops grown in Knox County. We’re proud to be part of the growth and pleased to bring a new crop to Maine. Our plants now number in the thousands and we were the first lavender farm in Maine to register with the department of agriculture.

We wouldn’t be here without the encouragement of family near and far and the simple gift of one book from Stone Soup, Camden’s used bookstore. When a beloved grandmother handed us “The Fragrant Year” by Leonie Bell and Helen Van Pelt Wilson it was a gentle nudge to “be in the garden and do what you love.” Today, her urging to live naturally — savoring the traditional uses of herbs and flowers — guides our creations and searches for synthetic-free, natural products for every room of the home. This natural lifestyle begins in our lavender fields, which are hand-tended and fertilized with organically certified cow manure (yes, even manure can be certified!) compost from Kinney Farms of Maine. Limestone and organic seaweed is also used.

We grow and harvest for bath, decorative, culinary, and traditional purposes.  Since all of our lavender is used in its dried form we source our oil from a family farm in Oregon that raises its lavender naturally — just like Glendarragh. Our own distillation began in 2018, with the arrival of an alembic still. From scenting a room naturally, to flavoring scones or seafood dishes, to using lavender oil as a natural antiseptic and burn salve — just like the Romans who carried it to battle to clean wounds — we have brought to the fore myriad uses of a fragrant, versatile, time-tested herb.

The French used lavender for more than culinary and perfume — they used it for anti-bacterial purposes, uses likely derived from the Latin lavaracum (bath) and lavandaria (washing). In reclaiming the small-scale farming heritage of a Maine homestead, we are following in the footsteps of those before us and, at the same time, breaking ground by introducing a new crop to the Pine Tree State.

Our pillows, sachets, bath salts and more are made in Appleton. Candles, lotions and balms are made using all-natural ingredients. Your purchase of Glendarragh Farm Lavender creations helps reclaim a small farm’s agricultural heritage. By introducing a new crop to Maine, we endeavor to do far more than help reclaim and sustain part of Maine’s agricultural past — we aim to help it thrive for generations to come. Thousands of English and Dutch hybrids lead the way and we continue to expand our lavender fields toward the river.

Glendarragh is Gaelic for ‘Glen of the Oaks,’ a nod to our Irish lineage and the oak forest that lines the fields and the pathways to the riverfront. To the ancient Gaels, oak trees symbolized both wisdom and the changing we all endure to become that which we were meant to be. We see strength in the oaks of Glendarragh and like to think they surround us with the wisdom of those before us as we roll up our sleeves to create timeless lavender products for you.