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Wednesday, 18 February  2009  Lavender Growers

Meet some people who made a dramatic change in their lives.


DAVID GREGORY, LAVENDER PRODUCER: We wanted to do something that was completely different from what we'd done before.

I was in banking and I decided to make the sea change, and came to Australia from Hong Kong and wanted to do something on the property we acquired. It was 50 acres.

We really had no experience in horticulture or anything at all like that so we decided to grow something which was relatively low maintenance and we could start on a small basis and work up from that.

When I started this I thought it would be a two day a week commitment and it's now turned out to be a six and a half day plus a week commitment.

I used to sort of live on a jumbo jet. It was a lot of travel, a lot of deadlines, a lot of stress at the office but this is completely different.

It's been a good decision. It basically means we're our own bosses now and our time is our own to do what we like and I'm not constantly on the move and juggling as many commitments as I used to be

CAROLE MAHER-GREGORY, LAVENDER PRODUCER: It's just such a lovely place to be. Hearing the bellbirds, the peace and quiet. You don't have the adrenalin buzzing around, you can do what you like, you can be your own boss, work when you want and when you don't want, just lying on the lawn looking at the stars at night and being able to see the stars, that's fantastic.

It took two years to really do a lot of research, to do my own research on products and read as much as I could. To the fact of old books from the 1900s that my sister would send me, with old apothecary notes which were incredibly good. Just to see how they did it back then and we're almost going back the same way now looking for more natural products instead of the synthetic products that they're putting into creams and potions and lotions.

I think the difference between the huge brands and a small brand is whether, at the end of the day, somebody likes it and really wants to buy it again and I think the test of a product will stand up.

We don't have the benefit of millions of dollars of advertising to keep getting new customers which is what a lot of bigger brands might do, so we rely heavily on repeat purchase. So it's more important for us, at a small level, to get the product absolutely right and as best as possible.

Creating something straight from the ground, we're growing something, bringing it this far and then making a product and seeing the product on a shelf in a shop and knowing that you've done the whole process is fantastic. That's brilliant because you're actually producing something real.



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English Bites - Lavender Growers
story notes

lavender
Lavender is a shrub with pale purple flowers. It has a strong fragrance that is very popular in perfumes and medicines.


in banking
He was in banking in Hong Kong. That means he worked for banks.

sea change
A sea change is a complete change.

Example: There has been a sea change in her attitude toward work.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

work up
Here work up means reaching a higher level.

Example: You have to work up to the more difficult exercises.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb work up, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: work up

thought
Here thought is the past tense of the irregular verb think. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: think

it's
Notice that the short form of it is is spelled with an apostrophe. For more on spelling it's and its, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: its & it's

turned out
happened; occurred in a particular way

Example: It turned out to be a fine day.
For more meanings of the phrasal verb turn out, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: turn out

deadlines
Deadlines are time limits, times and dates that things have to be done by.

stress
worry

It's
Notice that the short form of it has is spelled with an apostrophe. For more on spelling it's and its, follow the link below to our language library.
more information: its & it's

our own bosses
they're in control of what they do

on the move
moving

Example: You can tell it's going to rain when the ants are on the move.
Click here for more idioms and common expressions.

juggling as many commitments
To juggle commitments means to have to manage many different things at once.

apothecary
An apothecary is an old term for a chemist - its a person who makes medicines.

back then
in the past

Example: Back then things were much better.

creams
A cream is a soft, thick substance you rub on your skin.

potions
A potion is drink with medical properties it can cure health problems.

lotions
A lotion is liquid that you put on your skin to cure skin problems.

whether
Follow the link below for other spellings and meanings of the word pronounced in this way.
more information: weather & whether

done
Done is the past participle of the irregular verb do. Follow the link below to find out more and to listen to some examples.
more information: do

you're
You're spelled with an apostrophe is short for you are. Try not to confuse it with the pssessive form of you, spelled your. Follow the link to the language library to find out more.
more information: your & you're
spotlight

What's sea change?

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