How Do You Clean Lavender?
There are a quite a few different ways to clean your lavender once your have removed it from its stem. If you have a small amount of lavender the easiest way to remove debris from your lavender buds may be picking the debris out by hand. Another common method is using a sifter or colander to help remove the smaller pieces of debris and hand picking the larger ones.
Using a sifter is faster than picking out debris by hand but is very cumbersome when you have 1000's of pounds of lavender to clean like our farm does. So how do we do it? Our secret is our Jitter Bud Machine!
The Jitter Bud
The Jitter Bud is a 1950's seed sorting machine made by Crippen in Michigan. Luckily for us lavender bud is about the same size as common seeds so we use this seed sorting machine AKA The Jitter Bud to do our dirty work and sort our lavender bud from stems, sticks, dirt, and debris.
How does The Jitter Bud Work?
Our Jitter Bud can handle about 30 pounds of lavender. It all starts at the top. We have a stair case we climb with our 30 lbs of lavender and dump it in the hopper.
Once the lavender bud is in the hopper at the top of The Jitter Bud, gravity and a little shaking helps the lavender fall down through a series of 5 screens. Each screen helps separate a different size of debris from the lavender. The debris then falls from the machine into one of 5 trash cans placed around The Jitter Bud. We add the debis to our compost which we will eventually add back to our lavender fields.
Once it goes through the hopper it falls onto the first screen which seperate large pieces of debris. The large pieces fall off the end and the lavender falls through the first screen on its way to four other screens to be shaken not stirred.
Below is a series of videos that shows different steps in The Jitter Bud process. We apologize these videos are shaky and grainy. The machine vibrates at a speed that makes it difficult for our camera to focus when we recorded these. We hope the overall idea shares our process well enough.