Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm

harvesting lavender by hand

Located just outside Daylesford in Shepherds Flat is Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm.  Comprising of 100 acres of European styled gardens and historic provincial stone buildings, it also boasts rows upon rows of lavender and a host of farm animals.

Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm
Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm
History

Italian speaking swiss migrants Aquilino and Maria Tinetti founded the land as a dairy farm on 5-6 acres in the 1850s. Aquilino Tinetti was born at Biasca in 1856 and arrived in Australia in 1860. He married Maria Caprioli in 1870 after a return visit to Ticino.  His family, which eventually numbered thirteen children, settled at Shepherd’s Flat in a stone house surrounded by farmlands. Purchased in the 1980s the new owners authentically restored the run-down buildings to their former glory. It then became a lavender farm.

lavendula swiss italian farm
Lavendula Plant

Lavandula is the botanical name for lavender.  It derives its name from the Latin’ lavara’ meaning “to wash”.  The Romans used lavender to scent their baths, beds, clothes and hair.  While most are light purple or purplish-blue shades, some varieties have white, pink, blue, or darker purple blooms.  There are 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, of which lavender is one. Lavender is indigenous to the mountainous area of western Europe and part of the Mediterranean.  However, early travellers spread the plant rapidly worldwide. Consequently, by the end of the 16th century, it was a much-loved plant in English gardens.

lavendula swiss italian farm
Uses In Cosmetics and Medicine

Lavender has many uses.  Flavoured vinegar to potpourri, candles, soaps and cleaning supplies are the common uses of lavender. Its soothing, relaxing properties ensured its use for centuries in traditional medicine, such as Insomnia, headaches, toothaches, sore joints and digestive problems.  It is also used as a mild sedative and an aid to relieve neuralgia pain when used in a bath.  Lavender sprays are also reputed to discourage mosquitos.

Lotions, lip balms, and bath salts employ lavender in their potions.  Aromatherapy uses Essential oil of lavender. Hospitals used it as a disinfectant during WW I, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. It said to soothe headaches and motion sickness when applied to the temples. 

Lavender in Food

The most commonly used species for cooking is English Lavender.  It is aromatic and has a sweet fragrance with lemon or citrus notes.  For this reason, pasta, salads, dressings, and desserts use lavender as a spice. Herbal tea is made by blending the Buds and greens with black, green tea.

Lavendula swiss italian farm
Lavender Cup Cakes
Magic & Superstition

Lavender was also burned in sick rooms and strewn on the floors of castles.  Placing lavender in your linen closet was said to deter moths.  In Ireland, brides wore lavender garters to safeguard them from witchcraft. Lavender was placed under the beds of newlyweds in the hope that it would ensure passion.

lavendula swiss italian farm
White “Butterfly” Lavender

Considered an aphrodisiac, it was used in love spells and rituals for centuries. For example, carrying a sachet or amulet containing lavender to attract spirits.  Furthermore, dried lavender stalks burn similar to incense sticks used in spells. 

Pink "butterfly" Lavender lavendula swiss italian farm
Pink “butterfly” Lavender
 Visit Lavendula Swiss Italian Farm

Aromatherapy products, created in the farm still room, are available for sale. In addition, La Trattoria Bar & Eatery provides delicious food from wood-fired pizzas lavender scones with whipped cream and strawberry jam. 

Like to bake your own? Download the recipe for lavender scones HERE. Gluten-free and vegan are also catered for. Entry is $5 for adults and $1 for school-age children.

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