Claret Ash Farm has been the home of Janesce since 1986. Here the ingredients for Janesce products are grown biodynamically, lovingly tended to and transformed into our beautiful skincare products in our in-house lab. Working in such a beautiful yet harsh environment means that sometimes things don’t go exactly to plan.
This November we visited Janice and the farm to bring you our 2018 update.
The seasons have been very mixed up at Claret Ash Farm this year. With unusually warm, dry weather over the winter and a spring with plummeting temperatures and harsh winter-like storms. As a result, many of the plants are late blooming. The lavender bushes were late to bloom and the roses bushes are covered in little buds waiting to open up and reveal their treasures. It looks like harvesting is going to be late this summer.
Strong winds over winter resulted in one of the old trees falling through the roof of Jan’s office. Luckily it happened at night and no one was hurt, but Jan was greeted in the morning with the distressing site of a demolished building. She managed to save all her notes so other than a gaping hole where the office used to be, all of value was retrieved. Unfortunately, with the busy season in full swing at the farm right now the buildings restoration may take a little while.
On a more positive note, the unusually warm, dry winter temperatures meant that the calendula self-seeded over winter and grew slowly resulting in deep orange blooms. The rich colour is highly prized for skin care as it indicates the high levels of anti-oxidants and beta carotene the flowers contain.
When we visited in November, these flowers had been dried and were steeping in Jan’s unique extracting solution. Most of the goodness had already diffused out into the liquid by this time and the blooms were a faint pale yellow.
Last summer it was so dry that for the first time in the history of the farm, Rosellas attacked and ate all the rose buds. They arrived in large, squawking flocks and decimated the roses. This year the rose bushes are protected by netting.
Summer preparations have been completed. The irrigation system is ready to go and the soil has been covered with kilos of pea mulch to preserve the moisture. Now it is just a matter of waiting for the flowers to bloom and then it is harvest time!
To learn more about Claret Ash Farm, follow the Janesce Instagram as we share images from our November trip.