Stone Rise Farm - Growers & Distillers of pure essential oils & hydrosols
A view of the lavender field
  • Our Philosophy

  • In any human endeavour, proper understanding of the endeavour is the only way it will be successful. For this to happen, two things must be considered: "how" and "why".
  • The Lavender field early on a Summer's morningIn our case, the "how" relates to the growing of plants and the distillation of their essential oils and hydrosols. You will find explanations of important aspects of these topics in the Information and FAQ pages.
  • The "why" of things almost always dictates the "how". In our case, it is the reason that we do things a certain way. These "why"s then, we consider to be our philosophy.

  • Organic Farming
  • In theory, the principles of organic farming (explained in the FAQs) are easily accepted. However, implementation of those principles can be quite difficult and expensive.
  • For example, practical weed control in the lavender field can normally only be achieved with hand weeding and cheap synthetic chemical sprays. Organically agreeable chemicals often do not have the same effectiveness as modern synthesised chemicals. Hand weeding is labour intensive and therefore costly. Certified organic weed matting is a good, less costly solution to the problem, restricting hand weeding to the base of plants for the first three years of thier life, and subsequent occasional pull of weed that may grow through a mature lavender bush. However, because Summers here are hot and dry, the weed mat needs covering with a thick layer of mulch, such as wheat straw, to keep the soil cool and as moist as possible. Mulch is expensive; it only lasts two or three years at the most.
  • Organic certification is a laudable goal of any organic farming enterprise, including ours. Currently, there are two issues preventing us from this end: cost and standards fluidity / applicability. When these issues are resolved, we assure you that we will begin the certification process. Until then, we are internally auditing our operations to ensure, as closely as possible, compliance with the Australian Standard AS6000-2009 "Organic and bio-dynamic products".
  • We also do not falsely represent or label any of our products as organic, even though we follow the organic farming princples. Once we certify to AS6000-2009, we will commence such representations and labelling.
  • In brief, organic farming is more expensive to achieve than conventional farming.
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  • Purity
  • Purity as it applies to essential oils and hydrosols is easy to define: "unadulterated". Purity can also be quantified. Currently, the ISO (International Standards Organisation) has defined standards for ISO 3515: "Oil of lavender (Lavandula angustifolia Mill.)" and ISO 8902: "Oil of lavandin Grosso (Lavandula angustifolia Mill. x Lavandula latifolia Medik.), French type". These standards contain the chromatographic profile of the oil from these plants. This profile lists the representative and characteristic components of the oils as well as their allowable percentages. Therefore, using Gas Chomatography, adherence to these standards can be evaluated.
  • This can, again, be another costly process. However, we at Stone Rise Farm have implemented a bi-yearly testing programme in which samples of each variety from that harvest are sent to the Essential Oil University in Indiana, USA for analysis. This helps to assure you of the purity of our oils (we already know they are). The ISO standards mentioned above cover all of the varieties of Lavandula angustifolia we offer, as well as the variety of Lavandula x intermedia called 'Grosso'. When and if standards are established for the other varieties of Lavandin we have, we will also be able to use them in comparison with our test results.
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  • Quality
  • Quality as it applies to essential oils and hydrosols is again easy to define: "degree of excellence". This is impossible to scientifically and definitively evaluate however, as it is an extremely subjective concept.
  • For high quality artisan distilled essential oils and hydrosols, aromatherapy and aromatic medicine are the primary applications. The main determinants of quality therefore become therapeutic efficacy and aromatic empathy (the preference for a therapist or client for one essential over another based upon smell).
  • To assist in the determination of therapeutic efficacy, you can use our Essential Oil Profiles or, for more detailed examination of the constituent compounds of each essential oil, use our GC/MS reports.
  • To assist in the determination of aromatic empathy, use a blind olfactory testing procedure. We have one listed in this note on our Facebook page.
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  • Quality Control and Process Ownership
  • We at Stone Rise Farm strive for the best quality essential oils and hydrosols possible. As an example, every distillation and bottling run is well documented. This allows us to uniquely serialise each bottle of oil we sell. The serial number can be used to locate the bottle within the entire process.
  • Of course, quality control is only possible when the entire process, from field to bottle, is owned in-house. This is the case at Stone Rise Farm. This level of ownership comes at a cost, but we believe it is the only way to give you what we promise, and therefore to establish trust.
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  • Operational Affordability
  • As mentioned above, process ownership does not come cheaply. One way to manage the cost is to make gradual increases in the amount of capital expenditure and growth. Therefore, it will take some time (if ever) before we can commit to large sales volumes. This however, has benefits for the customer as well - you can be assured that we will sacrifice neither quality nor purity in the pursuit of larger returns and that your purchases will retain a level of exclusivity.
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Growers & Distillers of pure essential oils & hydrosols: Lavender, Lavandin, Rosemary, Myrtle & Immortelle