Member Feature – Cornish Lavender, host

Mar 12, 2023

“Being a WWOOF host has really enriched all that we do and believe in at Cornish Lavender, and if you want to be a part of something very special, I highly recommend signing up”

Our member community is full of so many unique individuals, united by a shared devotion to sustainable growing and living. This member spotlight features a hosting family, Cornish Lavender, who want to share their reasons for hosting. Read on to hear about some of the joys this member experiences by hosting WWOOFers…

Interested in being featured in a member spotlight as a WWOOF UK host and/or volunteer? Drop us an email with your story.

We are Cornish Lavender, an organic farm under Soil Association conversion, which we have achieved for the land and is imminent for our lavender root stock.  We believe in looking after the pollinators and the environment, and wanted to be as sustainable as possible, reusing as much as we can, limiting anything destined for landfill to see if it can be re-purposed first, and minimising single-use plastic.

Since we became a WWOOF host, we have met so many wonderful guests. Some come to enjoy Cornwall, some come to surf and train for their sports, some come to improve their English, some come to learn about Lavender; all get the opportunity to do all of those things and more – going to sightsee and music festivals for example. We learn from our WWOOFers too. Our guests live in the house with us, and often cook their traditional meals for us all as a family as we share chores, and food together. And it has been a wonderful experience for our teenage children to share their home with different people, from different cultures to learn their languages (including sign language), and widen their exposure to life outside of Cornwall, before our kids make their own way in the world. We want our children to follow in the footsteps of these brave people who have chosen to spend time with us. The farm has developed at a far greater rate than I would ever have achieved by myself. I have learned from our guests and they have brought new ideas to help keep us as sustainable as possible. We have incredible conversations at the dinner table, and have enjoyed taking our guests to see the local sights, occasionally rescuing them when the local public transport has left them stranded somewhere in Cornwall (!) but we do it because we admire their adventurous spirits.  

All have become good friends, and part of the Cornish Lavender family that is now giving us global connections. Some WWOOFers are now returning for more time here. Being a WWOOF host has really enriched all that we do and believe in at Cornish Lavender, and if you want to be a part of something very special, I highly recommend signing up – you know that your guests share your passion for organic farming, for sustainability, and can bring new ways and ideas from their experiences to share and improve your lives.

Our farm story

We are not from a farming background, and I started growing lavender as something unique for visitors to enjoy, living in a popular holiday destination. It turns out that our old mining land is not good for brassica crops (the usual choice where we live), but the hilly rocky land is proving itself to be good conditions for the Mediterranean herbs that are lavender. We distil to make lavender essential oils and will gradually develop to make our own lavender products for locals and visitors to purchase.

We started as a WWOOF host farm and family 2 years ago. Over the years we had looked after language students as a form of topping up our income, during summer school holiday. During lockdown, we hosted a deaf triathlete as a volunteer who wanted to train but also use his agricultural knowledge. I have a wonderful band of local volunteers, affectionately known as the Lavender Hill Mob, and one of them suggested signing up as a WWOOF host. As I am always learning as a female farmer, trying to keep on top of animal husbandry (sheep, pigs, chickens, dogs and humans) and develop the lavender side of the business. There are always tasks to do. We open a tea-room in the summer months when the field is in bloom so that our goal community and holiday makers can enjoy it. It can get really busy in the run up to the season, with propagating and planting, lambing, and then harvesting and distillation as well as running the tearoom, and events.

Written by Tina from Cornish Lavender, all photo credits to Cornish Lavender.

Interested in being featured in a member spotlight as a WWOOF UK host and/or volunteer? Drop us an email with your story.

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