Alan Mayfield of North Saanich’s Victoria Lavender, holds one of the steadily-growing goats that was a participant in a goat yoga program that had more than 1,200 participants (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Alan Mayfield of North Saanich’s Victoria Lavender, holds one of the steadily-growing goats that was a participant in a goat yoga program that had more than 1,200 participants (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Victoria Lavender owner set to retire

Sidney storefront to remain open, future of goat yoga undecided

At 73, Victoria Lavender owner Alan Mayfield thinks it’s finally time to retire. For years, his lavender farm has been open to the public, but as of September 2, it will be closed permanently to the public.

“Funnily enough, I find it more difficult to work 12-hour days, seven days a week,” said Mayfield. “I haven’t had a vacation in 10 years.”

To prepare, he is selling his plants and products at 25 per cent off starting on Flavour Trail Weekend (Fri. Aug. 18 at 10 a.m.). He is even removing his sign on the highway as well as his website.

However, Victoria Lavender won’t go away entirely. The shop on Beacon Ave. will remain open and the employees retained. Lavender is a perennial crop, with most processing done in the summer, so as long as his lavender grows, the shop will stay open.

As for the popular goat yoga program that has run for the past two summers, Mayfield has not made a final decision (that’s for next March or April) but he will continue it “if the demand is there.”

The farm raised 26 kids this year, and he said they have all now been committed or sold. The females are going to dairy herds due to the demand for goat milk and cheese, and the males will be farm pets on small family farms. He will keep his other animals on the farm as well, since they are his pets.

“It’s been one of the most amazing things of my life. If you’d have asked me two years ago, ‘Do I really think that otherwise sane people would come out to my farm, roll around in the goat paddock doing yoga and pay for the honour of doing that,” I would have said you were nuts, but it’s been amazingly popular.”

He said he’s had 2,500 participants over the past two years, with mainly younger participants but a few in their 80s.

Though the store is opening and he will still employ seasonal workers to harvest lavender, he says he intends to have a proper retirement and spend less time working in the field himself because his stamina is not what it used to be.

“It’s natural, it comes with age. I have to respect that. Sometimes my body says, ‘Why the hell are you doing this, Alan?’”

His vacation plans are not yet set in stone, but he does want to visit his family in England, whom he has not seen in 10 years.

Mayfield said he is grateful for the community’s support, which has “made this experience for me one of the most rewarding ones of my life.” He will spend more time along the Sidney seafront with his dogs.

“I’m not going to disappear, that’s for sure.”



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich is calling for witnesses after its large metal gate was stolen overnight on Monday, Jan. 18. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Rural Saanich farm reports large metal gate stolen

Muddy Valley Farm gate stolen overnight by ‘at least two people’

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Dallas Road

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Members of the Victoria Police Department, some of whom are shown here observing a moment of silence for victims of a mass shooting in Nova Scotia, experience stress and potential trauma more than most other workers, says Chief Const. Del Manak. While the number of shifts lost at VicPD are soaring, he sees it as a sign people are taking their own health and wellness seriously. (Black Press Media file photo)
Skyrocketing number of lost shifts at Victoria police has a positive side, chief says

Chief Const. Del Manak says officers, staff being more proactive looking after their mental health

A Seed and Stone rendering for White Rock, B.C. (Seed and Stone rendering)
Songhees Nation to open two Victoria cannabis stores spring 2021

Seed and Stone stores will open on Gordon Street and in the Bay Centre

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Updated: Ucluelet paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A mattress on fire gutted the second floor hallway at Town Park Apartments C-block Jan. 17. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue images)
‘Suspicious’ Port Hardy apartment fire could keep tenants out of their homes for months

A burning mattress created smoke and heat, causing several tenants to jump from windows

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

Most Read