Although famous for its rose, Isparta is heading towards becoming a lavender paradise. The beauties of the lavender gardens also enrich eco-tourism of the city.
Isparta province is one of Turkey’s important producers of aromatic plants. Although lavender production is rapidly spreading, Turkey’s lavender production potential is very small compared to Bulgaria and France.
In 1970 a retired villager Ziya Doğan started to produce lavender in the village of Kuyucak, which is connected to the town of Keçiborlu in Isparta province. His main aim was to produce lavender honey. In time other villages in the region started to copy his lavender gardens. Then, lavender gardens spread in the whole area and formed valleys in Isparta.
The Ministry of Agriculture supported the producers with different support policies by providing tractors and equipment support. Approximately 3 thousand decares of lavender production are being done in Isparta and 5 tons of lavender oil is produced annually.
Nature lovers and photographers are attracted to Isparta for rose gardens in June while lavender gardens in July and August. Mostly it is in the center of interest of many tourists coming from Antalya.
The lavender honey is valuable. It is a plant that many of the bees love and it is rich in nectar. Odour-free oil and dried flowers are used in the cosmetic industry.
The lavender is planted at the end of March. After planting the seedlings must be given water of life. In the first years, if drip irrigation is done well, plant growth is better, but lavender is not a plant that loves water very much. Excessive irrigation causes decay and affects oil quality.
Lavender is not a selective plant in soil. It can easily grow in rich chalky, dry and calcareous soils. It is very resistant to drought, hot and cold. However, in the regions where the winter is very hard, sometimes cold can damage it.
Where to eat
In the Kuyucak village, there is a cooperative house where local food is served. Ladies of the village cook and sell to visitors. There is a car park next to it. You can easily park and wander around
What about the village
The whole village is dealing with lavender production. They sell lavender products such as perfumes, soaps, and cosmetics. They also sell crown made out of lavender.
Can we pick lavender
The village makes money out of visitors at all points. As long as you pay to the owner of the gardens you are allowed to pick lavenders. There is no certain garden. As long as you are in the village pull over and start enjoying.
When is the best
July and August are the best time to visit. Because of hot weather for photography, it is better to go early in the morning or afternoon five o’clock.
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