By Robin Shin
When having animals became problematic due to her allergies, Brenda Luetger, 54, decided to start the BJ’s Lavender Farm which has been open for the past five years.
“I like lavender, so I figured, what the heck?” she said.
She and her daughter, Jessica Luetger, who is also co-owner, have grown a little over 900 plants.
The 900 plants consist of eight different types of lavenders, such as the culinary varieties, Provence, Royal Velvet, Melissa and Folgate. They also grow craft lavenders: Grosso, Giant High Coat, Gros Bleu and Press Purple.
“Everything is done in the house,” stated Brenda Luetger. She went onto share how her husband, Jay Luetger, made a homemade still in order to extract the oil from the lavenders.
Their products range from lavender bath salts to lavender sugar.
Their most popular products are the bath set, lavender lemonade, linen spray, bath salts, and lavender bags.
BJ’s Lavender Farm does not have a store out in the city, but rather they sell their products at local events such as the Celtic Music Festival and the Scottish Gathering and Games. They also make sales from their home and online. “People know I’m here,” stated Luetger, “If they want [my products], they know I’m here.”
The “green” shops in town, such as Lassen’s, and even the local post office, contain fliers Luetger makes in order to advertise their sales.
“Eight cups of lavender and maybe less than a fourth of an ounce,” said Brenda about her recipes.
“It takes a lot of lavender to make the oil, that’s why lavender oil cost so much, because it takes so much dog gone lavender.”
The lavender oils they make are pure and nothing about them is artificial.
“I am organic,” stated Luetger, “but I am not certified.” When asked why she was not certified, she said that it was due to the money, “I don’t want to be certified because I don’t want to use the money.”
Luetger also stated that nowhere on her website does it say that they are certified, but they are just naturally grown. All of the lavenders at BJ’s Lavender Farm are grown without chemicals and grown the old fashion way.
They have an opening day, which starts either the first or second week of May. People are able to sign up for the newsletters on their website to keep track of updates, because the dates may vary due to the weather conditions.
The opening day, as described by Luetger, is when people are able to set up booths. Those booths are set up near their farm’s fence and they sell their own products as well at that same fence line.“Last year, we had about 300 people showing up,” stated Luetger.
During the opening day, they hand out free lavender lemonade to the attendees.
The opening begins in May, and ends around the beginning of June.
This May will be their fourth opening.
They sell their products Thursday to Saturday, from 11 in the morning to 6 in the evening.
For their future projects, Luetger said that they are going for peppermint oil and hydrosols.
One such hydrosol, being a white sage hydrosol.
“You wanna try something different? Try lavender. Culinary lavender. It’s not just for smelling,” said Luetger.