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In triple-digit heat, how one local lavender farm is working to stay cool

Lavender farmers stay busy during heat wave
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Posted at 2:45 PM, Jul 09, 2024

A small lavender farm in San Miguel has adapted to the triple digit temps to ensure the business thrives amidst the heat.

Owned by Gina and Milton Hambly, Hambly Farms is a two-person operation maintained solely by the couple.

Milton Hambly says that requires working under a wide range of temperatures.

“When Mother Nature says it’s ready, it’s ready. No matter if it’s 110 or 85 (degrees). We got to get it off the plant and processed,” Milton said.

Gina Hambly explained that they typically wake up around 5 a.m. or 5:30 a.m. to harvest the lavender but have to take a midday break when the heat kicks up.

“Triple digits really hinders us during the middle of the day,” Gina said, “so we’ll work until about noon or 1 and then let the temperatures cool down and pipe back up in the evening.”

During that time, they can work in the lavender still to make essential oils, stock up their gift shop or tend to the livestock.

Despite the excessive heat, Gina said they’ve seen customers wanting to pick lavender.

“We had a great weekend. At 3 o'clock we had somebody come and want to u-pick. It was 118 degrees!," Gina said.

Under those conditions, they provide umbrellas and water to ensure customers are safe while on the farm.

While Hambly Farmsis open midday, the owners advise coming during the early morning or evening to avoid the peak heat hours.