Essie Boelema, a 17-year-old lavender farmer, is passionate about the plant. (Screenshot/Special to The Star)

Essie Boelema, a 17-year-old lavender farmer, is passionate about the plant. (Screenshot/Special to The Star)

VIDEO: Langley lavender growers say season soon to be in full bloom

Family-owned farm marks five years by preparing for a summer of sales, tours, and growth

A colourful family farm in Langley Township is readying for another season; local lavender growers and owners of Full Bloom said planting is in full swing.

Chad Boelema and his family bought the land in 2016 without any background in the purple product.

“It just came with the lavender farm, which had been there, I think, for about six or seven years before,” Boelema explained.

He said his wife and particularly his daughter, Essie, were the ones who encouraged the lavender lifestyle.

“It was a steep learning curve and we are still learning the ropes, really,” Boelema said. “We started with roadside sales and thought we could be open to the public.”

With 2,000 plants of prominently the “Old English” variety of lavender, the farm, now in it’s fifth year under Boelema ownership, is known throughout the Lower Mainland for its walking tours through the fields.

“We’re just getting ready for the season, which starts in about mid-June and lasts for six weeks or so,” Boelema said.

Prep work lasts several weekends, which sees mostly weed prevention tactics, such as the roll-out of more then two kilometres worth of heavy duty fabric barriers. Six weeks of pruning will follow as the plants start to flower.

“They’re really labour-intensive and there is a lot of prep work to do,” he said. “Seven days a week, sun-up to sun-down. I’m scared of calculating the amount of time we put in versus an hourly wage.”

Grown in sections consisting of 200 plants, Boelema said lavender can produce flowers for up to ten years.

A new section is being implemented this spring in attempts to expand and replace older plants.

But as busy as it all sounds, Boelema said his daughter’s passion for the plant and its products has been what has grown the business into what it is today.

“Our 17-year-old daughter is the heart of the farm and has been working to turn Full Bloom into a destination for lavender lovers since she was 13,” Boelema said.

READ MORE: Funding initiative aims to boost sales for B.C. farmers, food producers

Describing lavender as a flower beyond compare, Essie’s dream is to provide people with a place the evokes romantic destinations like Tuscany and expand the company’s product line.

She operates the farm store where her handmade products including dried leaves, soaps, bath products, and body butter are up for sale.

“Essie hand-screens dried lavender to separate the lavender buds from the stem,” Boeleme said. “Then she makes things like sachets.”

The family hopes online product sales will be on the horizon this year.

Boelema called 2020 a challenging year due to COVID-19 restrictions, noting reservations for walks and shopping had to be made before people could visit.

He still doesn’t know what 2021 will bring as far as restrictions or protocols, but asked interested visitors to stay tuned as the lavender blooms.

“Our fields are closed for the season, but our lavender store is open by appointment,” Boelema added.

The farm is located at 2926, 248th St. More info can be found at fullbloomlavender.com.


Have a story tip? Email: newsroom@aldergrovestar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Aldergrove

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Melissa Vandergenderen, Sandeep Chahal, Niole Garfias and Sheela Veloo had fun attracting passersby to the hot dog sale downtown Friday, May 7, 2021. The event raised funds for the Langley Seniors Resource Society Adult Day Program. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Langley program fires up the grill Friday for hot dog sale

Adult Day Program helps seniors and people with disabilities to remain more independent

Three vehicles were involved in a crash on the afternoon of Friday, May 7, 2021, at the intersection of Fraser Highway and 208th Street. (Heather Colpitts/Langley Advance Times)
Three-vehicle Langley intersection crash leaves car on its side

There were no serious injuries resulting from a Friday afternoon crash on a major City roadway

Squamish’s Niki Hurst and Christen Young took part in this year’s Furry Tails virtual race, a fundraiser for LAPS. (Special to Langley Advance Times)
Friends take Langley animal shelter run to Squamish trails

Animal welfare group’s annual run goes virtual, raises $7,500-plus

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Constituent sides with Langley MP in conversion therapy controversy

MP’s words were taken out of context, says local letter writer

Tim and Janet Kreiter with a model Tim built showing the eventual plan for a five to 10 acre community garden the couple hopes to create in Langley. A pilot project is running this spring at TWU. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
New Langley community garden almost ready for Victoria Day opening

Organizers are excited to welcome the first gardeners

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

Flags flown at half mast out front of Fraser Regional Correctional Centre for slain corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa. (Neil Corbett/ The News)
Public vigil and flying flags at half mast done to honour slain prison guard

Maple Ridge corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, is being remembered in a number of ways

A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
A sign indicating face coverings are required by the establishment is pictured on the front door of a business in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start releasing neighbourhood-specific COVID numbers after data leak

Documents obtained by the Vancouver Sun show cases broken down by neighbourhoods

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix update B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count creeps up, seven more deaths

445 people in hospital, 157 in intensive care

Summerland’s positive test rate is much higher than surrounding local health areas, according to internal BC CDC documents. (BC CDC)
Summerland 3rd behind Surrey, Abbotsford in daily per capita COVID-19 cases

Interior Health is rolling out additional vaccine availability to the community

Mandeep Grewal was gunned down outside an Abbotsford bank in October 2018. Police said a violent gang war to control drug-line territory was going on at that time. Drug charges have now been announced against seven people. (FILE PHOTO: John Morrow/Abbotsford News)
7 people face 38 charges related to gang drug activity in Abbotsford and Mission

Police say investigation began in 2018 into expansion of Brothers Keepers’ drug line

Amazon is pausing its Prime Day marketing event in Canada this year amid ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks at its facilities in Ontario. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Amazon Prime Day halted in Canada due to COVID-19 outbreaks in warehouses

The event was postponed to protect the health and safety of employees and customers, the company says

Most Read