I am constantly amazed at how the Internet shrinks the world. Thanks to the ubiquitous "www" or world wide web, I've been able to pass along my experience as a small-scale lavender grower to like-minded folks not only across the USA, but also around the planet--from little old Hansville in north Kitsap County, Washington State.
My six-unit "starter" course Lavender: From Soil to Sachet most recently has drawn students from Canada, Mexico, Poland, and Italy. But the most fascinating of my new students is a resident of Zimbabwe, Africa. If you follow the news, you know that Zimbabwe is a country experiencing severe hard times. It is intriguing to speculate how my basic on-line course could be helping to rebuild the agricultural economy of that once-prosperous country--or, at least, helping one person there to improve his situation.
We are home from the North American Lavender Conference, sponsored by the Sequim Lavender Growers Association. I was privileged to be a guest speaker for two sessions--not on lavender, but on marketing and Internet use. And was delighted to meet, in-person, several of my on-line course students from around the country who came to the conference via Seattle. Others attending came from as far away as Quebec and Florida.
Fellow session leaders included keynote speakers Paul Abbott and his brother, Reuben, from the Isle of Wight Lavender Farm in England. They brought their expertise in growing and propagating lavender.Among other speakers--all excellent--was Oregon's Andy Van Hevelingen, who is oft-cited in many "how-to" manuals and is credited with creating a number of varieties, including the white-to-pink blooming lavender, named for his wife, "Melissa."
All in all, each of the more than 115 registrants seemed to have gained good new ideas to help them in their current and future lavender-growing adventures. And, as is typical, networking and exchanging ideas with fellow growers (or fellow sufferers) was a key benefit of attending.
Posted by Susan
@ 06:18 PM CST