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About Us



 What is the story behind Tuscan Farm Gardens and how it came to be?

How does one fall into a dream job? It’s a combination of circumstance, passion and opportunity that’s different for every story. We have owned Tuscan Farm Gardens for just over three years, but we’ve lived in Mt Lehman for many. When we bought this property in 2017, we moved our four boys, small flock of chickens, and bee hives down the road to their new home. To be honest, we first fell in love with the farmhouse and the location; when we first saw the gardens the lavender looked dead and gray (as it does in March) and a lot of the gardens were under water during an exceptionally rainy spring. We weren’t sure what we were going to do with it, and then in May everything woke up into such beauty that we knew we had to do something. What do you do when the garden of your dreams is just outside your door and the natural products you’ve been looking for for your family are being made in your own basement? You just get started.

Our wildly steep learning curve began: we had to figure out how to harvest by the end of June and we thought we should have a few open houses as a way to pay our gardener. People loved visiting the gardens and buying natural products made from our farm’s lavender, herbs and flowers, and more people visit each year. The tradition of using plants from the gardens to create natural, handcrafted soap and spa products was started by Arleigh and Heather Fair in 1997 at the original Tuscan Farm Gardens in Langley. They sold the business to Patricia Schneider in 2011, who began the gardens at our current location in Mt Lehman. She developed and ran some of the top spas in North America, and brought her years of experience to creating our incredible recipes.



What is the process of growing lavender and how is it harvested?

Lavender flourishes here on the West Coast in our mostly mild winters and dry summers. If it has full sun and perfect drainage, it’s hardy and will bloom year after year. Every part of the plant is intensely fragrant, from the woody stems to the tips of the blossoms that come in a range of shades from pale pink, to violet, to dark purple. Lavender is an ancient crop that has been beloved for centuries. Every castle and cottage in the middle ages had a few lavender plants growing nearby as an essential part of the medicine cabinet, and in many ways, the way we grow and harvest it hasn’t changed much.

We cut and bundle our lavender with a scythe by hand (rubber bands were a major technological advancement in lavender growing!) For the highest quality of dried lavender, we start to harvest the lavender in our field rows when the lavender buds are full but the blossoms are not yet open, usually at the end of June. We leave the thousands of lavender plants in our gardens and labyrinth to open fully over the course of the month of July, to the delight of our bees and visitors. Our cut and bundled lavender is hung in the shop to dry, and then used to create our products.



What products do you carry in your shop?

Tuscan Farm Gardens was making eco-friendly, essential oil based, straight-from-the-fields soap and spa and skin care products before that was even a thing, long before our family arrived. Now it’s an exciting, growing industry as people become more aware of what is in the products they use and where they come from. We are working to make clean, earth-friendly beauty products the new, healthier normal. The products are a natural extension of the beauty of the gardens, and are handmade on the farm in small batches by our aromatherapist and herbalist, Rosa. Many of our guests don’t know that even the formal gardens they wander through when they visit are full of medicinal plants and herbs, grown organically, though we are not certified. In addition to lavender, we grow and harvest echinacea, St. John’s wort, calendula, roses, raspberry leaves, bachelor’s buttons, comfrey and peppermint to make our teas, salves, balms and body scrubs. We don’t use any artificial fragrance, preservatives, or dyes, just pure essential oils and plant-based ingredients.

Our essential oil soap is what we sell the most of. Our cold process means that the benefits of the essential oils are retained, and it has a luxurious lather that is rare for natural soap. It’s eco-certified and biodegradable and you can use it as shampoo, too. We make eleven different kinds, and it’s really hard to choose. My personal favourites are Echinacea, made with grapefruit and eucalyptus essential oils, and Dirty Harry, which is part of our gardener’s line and has rosemary, lemon and lavender essential oils. The other product I use almost daily is our sea salt and essential oil body polish, which is an incredible gentle exfoliant and moisturizer.    

We can’t forget the bees! They are literally part of our production team as they create our lavender and wildflower honeys. We think lavender and honey is the best possible combination: every beautiful flower we plant and tend feeds the bees, not only our hives of honey bees but the many native species of bees on the farm, which are the best pollinators. There’s sometimes so many bees on a lavender plant that it looks like it is blowing in a breeze, and we have to brush them off before we cut it. They are usually fully loaded with pollen and very happy, and I’ve never been stung in our lavender.        

Our culinary lavender is used by Oldhand, Little Brother, Field House Brewing, Banter Ice Cream, Common Good Ice Cream, Kulture Craft Kombucha, and Rain or Shine Ice Cream to make delicious things to eat and drink, and you can find our products at Wild Orange Spa, Pharmasave, Ralph’s Farm Market, and other retailers, as well as on our website.