#LaVieBastide with Eric Garcin, the Lavender Harvester
We met with Eric Garcin among the lavender fields on the Jouques plateau overlooking the Valon de Raynaud.
It felt like a moment frozen in time, cut off from civilization. Describing himself as a simple man, living a simple life, Garcin is passionate about his job. Here, he shares his story about falling in love with lavender, his journey to harvesting the flowering plant, and more.
Why did you start this job?
For generations, we have harvested lavender in my family. I just never imagined anything other than being a farmer. It's my job and my passion. I harvest lavender, olives, grain...all organic. I am in the fields, in nature, in the fresh air every day.
Being a lavender expert, how do you and your family use lavender in your daily life?
We use lavender mainly against insect bites. We also use it a lot to scent the house or the car. It's a very soothing and calming smell.
How can we recognize the quality of lavender?
If you are a connoisseur, you can easily recognize its quality by smelling it. You can also tell by the color of the flowers and the stems.
"The quality will also depend on the variety of lavender because there are different species: Grosso, Abrial, Super and Sumian."
Why do you choose to work only with organic products?
I started by doing traditional things on other farms. When I moved in and took over from my dad, I realized that traditional farming was not a long-term solution for the environment, for our health, and for the customers. Today, I know that I have made the right decision to work only on organic fields. Nature is self-sufficient and doesn't need pesticides.
How did you meet Frédéric Fekkai?
Frédéric was looking for someone to harvest his lavender field at his Domaine Chantecler in Aix-en-Provence. We were introduced by a friend and I have cut his lavender every year since then. We have a lot in common: especially our love for the terroir and the region of Provence.
What advice do you have on the use of lavender essential oil?
Make sure that it is 100% essential oil because many producers try to save costs by cutting it with vegetable oils or glycerin. We must also make sure that it is an organic product. Do not forget that the essential oil is a concentrate, so any pesticides or non-organic elements would exist at a higher dose and percentage. Once you know the product is organic and safe, use it freely, without moderation!
Discover our newest fragrance, Lavande In Love, inspired by the bastide's magical lavender fields. Our collection of Miel de Lavande Provence Soap, Miel de Lavande Artisanal Hand Wash, and more will also give you the experience of the freshly harvested specialty of Provence, along with our tips on how to use lavender to feel your best.