The idea to grow lavender came first to Lynda Sodhi from an article in a magazine while she was traveling with her husband Jag Sodhi. Jag was on teaching assignment in the remote North West of USA and saw acres of Lavender being grown. They were taken with the beauty of the prosperous Sequim, Washington State, where rows of bushy purple flowers cover the rolling acres. Talking with Lavender growers, they discouraged us that the plants may not grow in Oklahoma climate. The soil and climate may not be compatible to grow Lavender. Why not – Jag said to Lynda, let us try and so they bought a few lavender plants for experiment.
Jag & Lynda have traveled extensively in the USA and the world and couldn't think of anything better to do with the acreage of land in Apache, Caddo Co., Oklahoma, than growing Lavender as a hobby. Now the hobby has been converted into the Sodhi family owned business.
Soon after, Jag & Lynda studied books on Lavender and began experimenting with different types of lavender in 2003. Jag did research on Internet and determined that the variety that grows best in the Apache, Caddo County: Grosso, and Provence. Jag bought a few hundred plants in 2004. Some survived and some could not – learning curve. Lavender plants need little water when matured. Weeds around plants are taken out by hand. They experimented by growing Lavender around their house on a few acres. The big problems they were facing were wild weeds. To solve this problem, they experimented by putting heavy duty fabrics around lavender plants. It has worked well so far and that means less manual work to dig out weeds. The lavender crop has grown beautifully, and in the following years they have added more which now now totals 2,000 plus plants. Most Lavender plants take about three years to reach full maturity. Lavender is doing well in OK's hot sun and arid climate.
In the summer of 2005, they harvested their first batch of lavender from the original plants. They decorated dinner tables with Lavender plants and gave gifts of Lavender oil to the guests during their daughter, Anita’s wedding. In the spring of 2006, they added more Lavender plants.
They are planning to establish a store, sell fresh cut lavender, the products to their “cut your own” events, and on the Internet.
They are starting on a new phase of their lavender venture of distilling lavender buds and stems into oil and water. They have a complete, commercial-sized distilling facility. They make two different varieties of lavender oil from distillation and are planning to sell both on their website and in the retail store. They will also begin selling lavender oil and lavender water wholesale to producers of soap, candles, and body and home products - personal fragrances, sachets and scented oils.
More and more interest is developing among Lavender growers in USA. Many stores are carrying products with Lavender for the aromatic fragrance.
In July, 2004, Jag & Lynda visited 3 days Lavender Festival at Sequim, WA. There were about 25, 000 people from all over the country including hundred of vendors. In June 2006, they attended one day Lavender Festival at Tulsa, Oklahoma. There were about 5,000 people including about 50 vendors. They were very encouraged to see the success and prosperity of those places. Jag & Lynda had their first Lavender festival in 2005 for the family only. In 2006, they had 2nd Lavender festival for the family and relatives in the last week of June. They are planning to have 3rd Lavender Festival on 23 June, 2007, inviting public and some vendors. With all the encouragement and the success of other Lavender Festivals, we hope the event will bring more prosperity to our surrounding towns and community