Born into a family of pioneering horticulturalists in BC’s beautiful Okanagan Valley, Andrea’s own journey into farming began back in the 60’s when her grandfather first took her into the cavernous cold storage of Stewart Brother’s Nursery and the aroma of wet peat moss and burlap captured her attention. Andrea was raised on a farm where opportunities abounded for her to work and volunteer in all aspects of cultivating tree fruits and vineyards, and her mother’s garden – full of plants from her Nana – provided ample inspiration for young Andrea and her sister to create “perfume” from flowers they would gather.
The opportunity to live on one of the old family apple acreages arrived in the 90’s. In decline and relatively small to grow fruit trees upon, Andrea and her husband David began to look at alternative crops for the property. No shortage of advice from all of the gardeners, nurserymen and vintners in the family!
In 1994, the trees came down and the McFadden family planted a quarter acre test block of lavender to see if it might be a viable crop. The experiment was a success, and in 1998 more trees came down, another block of lavender went in and an old picker’s cabin on the property was repurposed into a quaint gift shop that opened in 1999 called Okanagan Lavender & Herb Farm.
The next 10 years saw the farm grow and develop in many ways, including the move out of the restored picker’s cabin into a new building designed for our unique operation, and the expansion of our gardens to include 2 additional acres of lavender as well as roses, lemon balm, savory, basil, spearmint, sage, oregano, rosemary and thyme… as they say, there’s always room for another plant in the gardener’s garden!
These days, our farm is busier than ever. Andrea and David have been joined by their daughter Keely who shares their passion for growing, distilling and producing fine quality botanical products. Together with their dedicated staff, they strive to provide customers near and far with an exceptional experience that uplifts and inspires the mind, body and spirit.