The lovely aroma of lavender is in the air at the World Parrot Refuge in Coombs.
There are still hundreds of parrots flying in the giant, free-flight aviaries, but founder Wendy Huntbach is hoping her new lavender farm will help raise money for her bird sanctuary, which houses unwanted and abandoned birds.
More than 900 rescued parrots call the refuge home. It is a noisy place and Huntbach says since lavender has a calming effect it will be a good addition to the operation.
Huntbach plans to grow lavender and make products from it including soaps and sachets that will be sold in the gift shop. She said she has been learning all she can about growing the plant and by next year she hopes to have a great harvest.
“We are not using pesticides. It is organic and we have picked some already. My house smells lovely but it has been an incredible amount of work.”
Huntbach added she will also be putting three bee hives on the property and eventually will sell lavender, honey and tea.
She said the massive project includes an irrigation system that will catch all of the rain water from their large buildings to water the plants.
Huntbach, who has been battling cancer, said she started the farm so that the birds will always have income coming in long after she leaves the world.
Other fundraising efforts at the centre include the Shell Fuelling Change campaign. People can register online at Shell Canada and then vote for the Parrot Refuge under the $25 K tab. Huntbach said if they win they will use the $25,000 to keep the centre going and initiate a public education campaign. Vote for The World Parrot Refuge at www.fuelingchange.com. Cast votes until October.