COVID-19 pandemic: Lavender sales surge

Lavender farms see a surge in the demand for lavender during the Coronavirus pandemic as people seek for relief from sleep and sleep deprivation (insomnia).
Emeh Joy

Demand for Lavender has gone up at Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm in New Jersey, which said more of its customers seek relief from stress this summer.

Also, Castle Farm, the United Kingdom's largest Lavender grower said its "sleep oil" sales have quadrupled during the pandemic. Lorna Roberts, a family farmer at the Castle Farm, agreed that sales of the farm's lavender sleeping oil quadrupled during the pandemic.

Some people have long touted lavender as a natural remedy for insomnia, anxiety and several other ailments. However, there is hardly a scientific backing for those claims. But, it does smell nice though.

"When there was the Great Plague in London, doctors would have lavender stashed into the front of their face masks to help keep the stench of the plague away. It has been heralded for centuries for its antiseptic, antibacterial uses", Roberts said.

Castle Farm grows as much as 130 acres of lavender. During the pandemic, it used its crops in producing less-sterile-smelling hand sanitiser.

"We wanted to have one that worked really well, but also had a fragrance after you'd used it once the alcohol had cleared", Roberts said.

She added that many of the farm's customers were sending stay-at-home care packages to family and friends that they could not visit in person.

She said, "seeing some of the gift messages going out with those packs was really heartwarming".

At another lavender farm, Pleasant Valley Lavender Farmer, owner Ellen Karcher said there had been an increase in interest for the product this summer, especially as a demand for a stress reliever.

Karcher said that usually, the farm is open to the public with July as the peak month of the growing season. However, the summer this year saw the farm shift to appointment-only visits.

"We definitely saw an increase in demand for people to make appointments as word got out about what we offered here", she said.

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