Category Archives: Farm

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Lavender Wind Dance

Getting ready to open for the season is quite a job. One of our staff members who works on the farm and gets to see the activity and the bird life up close decided to make a video.

Enjoy it!

Lavenderwind Dance from Elisabetta Bastai on Vimeo.


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Hidcote Pink

Folgate and Hidcote Pink

Folgate and Hidcote Pink

Hidcote Pink has been available since 1958. It is an average sized lavender with pale pink flowers. In the picture above it is next to rows of Lavendula Angustifolia “Folgate”. Together they make each other pop. Hidcote Pink is a lovely lavender for contrasting with other, purple, lavenders. But, even on its own in a garden it provides that lovely mounded pink look that only lavender plants can provide.

It is not very good for drying because it loses it’s nice pink and dries to a brown color. It does make an unusual oil. It has a bit more of a camphoric scent than other angustifolias, but there are some people who swear they prefer it and say it is a more masculine presence. This is in spite of it being a pink lavender, though lavender essential oil doesn’t keep any color purple nor pink.

It blooms with other early lav. angustifolias. It doesn’t give much of a second bloom, but sometimes, if it’s feeling agreeable it will send out more flowers.

Hidcote Pink Bush

Hidcote Pink Bush

It is a bit more than 3′ around when it is blooming. After pruning it’s closer to 28″ across. (These measurements are at our farm, which can get very windy and that can make the plants a bit smaller than in less windy situations.)

Hidcote Pink Flower

Hidcote Pink Flower

Lavendula Angustifolia “Hidcote Pink”

Major Lawrence Johnston brought Hidcote to England from France in the 1920’s. Hidcote Pink is thought to be available by 1957 or 58. Adapted from The Lavender Lover’s Handbook, by Sarah Bader

  • Flower Color: light pink
  • Foliage Color: Green (Grey in winter)
  • Stem length: 6 to 10 inches
  • Blooms: once in spring
  • Plant height: 30 -40 inches
  • Spacing: 36 inches
  • Hardiness: zones 5-9

Is excellent for landscaping, culinary, and oil.


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Folgate is Blooming

Blooming Folgate

Blooming Folgate

 

Lavandula Angustifolia “Folgate” is the official name of this beauty.

Out of 39 species of lavender and over 400 varieties within those species we grow 14 of the commercially on the farm. We have more in our demonstration garden.

This variety (Folgate) produces bushes that are quite large for this species:

Folgate Bush with ruler

Folgate Bush with ruler

We have just harvested the first row of it in this season’s bloom.

One Folgate Row Harvested

One Folgate Row Harvested

The bees love it, can you see the bee that was up early in the morning to start working on gathering pollen?

Bee at Work on Folgate

Bee at Work on Folgate

The flowers are lush. This is what one looks like next to a ruler.

Folgate Flower

  • Folgate is hardy, withstands cold and comes back every year.
  • Like all lavenders it prefers to have full sun and well drained soil.
  • It cannot tolerate being in standing water & puddles.
  • It makes a good cut flower and is used as a culinary herb.
  • Versatile, it is used in various types of gardens and hedges. It is spectacular en masse.
  • Bees love it which makes it a good habitat plant for beneficial insects

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Good Morning

On a fabulously calm Sunday morning on June 7 the temptation to take pictures was overwhelming. So, Here are some pictures for you to enjoy.


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Purple is coming!

Pre-bloom Folgate rRows

Pre-bloom Folgate rRows

Our earliest blooming lavender variety, Folgate, is almost blooming, but can be maddenly slow. Every June it’s the same… We think it will be blooming and it dawdles. Like a 3 year old on a walk.

Pre-bloom Folgate Blossoms

Pre-bloom Folgate Blossoms

Farmall Cup Tractor

Farmall Cup Tractor


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Sunsets at the Farm

The wind blows down the Strait of Juan de Fuca and hits Whidbey Island right where our farm lies. Aside from the lovely image of a gentle lavender breeze, we named it Lavender Wind due to the sometimes ferocious winds that come barreling onto the property.Strait to Whidbey

The good news is that the view to the west, up the Strait of Juan de Fuca and overlooking the Olympic Mountains allows for stunning nature’s art in the form of sunsets.

Here are some sunset pictures for you to enjoy

Even when the lavender isn’t blooming there is plenty of amazing color at the farm.


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Meditating with Lavender Wind’s Labyrinth

Labyrinth lavender in bloom 2006

The labyrinth is a symbol found in ancient cultures around the world, dating back at least 4000 years. A classic labyrinth composed of seven circles appeared on every continent. During the Middle Ages, an eleven-circuit labyrinth pattern emerged and was designed into the floor stones of many cathedrals in Europe. This pattern was in place in Chartres Cathedral no later than 1220.

Man in the Maze

Man in the Maze

There are many traditional designs for the labyrinth. The one  at Lavender Wind Farm  is from one of several Hopi designs from the American Southwest called The Man in the Maze. This design symbolizes the female womb, only penetrable if one is pure and perfect. The male figure outside, representing the human seed, can penetrate the womb, fertilize the ovum, produce new life, which then emerges as a new birth or a reincarnated existence. Entry into the labyrinth gives new life thus achieving reincarnation and eternal life.  Here, the lavender serves as the marker of the pathway, and gives the journey a sweet, fresh air.

Psychologist Carl Jung called the labyrinth an “archetype of transformation.”  Walkers along its sinuous path find they are often deeply affected. People in transition periods find a calmer perspective. Those with untapped gifts to offer have their creative fires rekindled. Walkers dealing with grief experience the depth of the loss and peace. For millennia, the circling path that evolved from the simple spiral brought centeredness and healing to untold numbers of walkers. After lying dormant for several centuries, this ancient design is making a comeback, as a variety of institutions and individuals re-create it on floors, lawns, and canvas.

Sometimes the words “labyrinth” and “maze” are confused. While both refer to circling patterns, the two are actually totally different. A maze is a puzzle and thus designed to confuse; walkers must use their reasoning and cunning to escape. A labyrinth is a single path which leads the walker to the center and back out. The point is not to use reasoning powers, but rather to turn these off and to go into a “right brain” or imaginative mode. In an open, receptive frame of mind, the walker simply follows the path and experiences a deep, refreshing form of meditation. The average meditative walk takes about half an hour, though walkers move at their own individual pace.

LabyrinthinSnow

People walk from the outer edge (the periphery) to  the center, and then back to the outer edge. Unlike a maze, a labyrinth has  no blind alleys or dead ends. It will not frustrate, because it is not a puzzle to be solved. You cannot get “lost” or make a mistake because there are no choices to be made once you have made the decision to start walking.  The decision is a metaphor for the choice of whether or not to walk a spiritual path. By following the path you always end up either in the center of the labyrinth or back at the entrance – it is the journey to the center of your deepest self and back out into the world with a broadened understanding of who you are.

Adults pass through the labyrinth with their spiritual walk in mind.  Children run through it expressing their mastery over the gift of their body and mind. 

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Either way is a sacred path.

Whidbey Island has more than one labyrinth that people can walk. Carol Pucci wrote an article about them.

You may download our Labyrinth Handout.

Our Gallery of image of our Labyrinth over the years:

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Planting lavender all year?

Lavandula x-intermedia var “Provence”

Probably the last thing you are thinking as you get ready for Thanksgiving is “Can I plant lavender in my garden now?” But, that is exactly the question a woman asked me two days ago when she stopped by the shop. It’s been freezing cold for more than a week here, which is rare for this time of year out here on Whidbey Island. In spite of that I told her that when it warms up (surely in a couple of days) she can plant her lavender. At least out here.

Potted Plants with Gazebo

If you live in other, colder, parts of this huge country, then my answer is different. Plants fresh in the ground need to be comfy in their root/dirt relationship before they can endure too much freezing (and windy) weather. Here, in the Salish Sea area, our winters are quite temperate, snow and freezing weather are relatively rare, so, as long as the Lots of baby lavendersground isn’t frozen, we can plant most of the year. Not so for the colder parts of this country (such as in the Buffalo area, which, as I write this, is suffering the worst snow in decades). Folks living in snowy and frozen areas have to wait until winter breaks, the ground is unfrozen, and you are able to work the soil again before you can plant lavender. When exactly is that? That depends on the exact nature of your own micro-climate where you live, so you’ll need to ask someone at your local Master Gardener’s service or that neighbor who’s garden always is looking good.

If you find yourself wanting to burn up some of the calories from your dinner, and your weather is warm, then you just might be able to plant some lavender. If you live in our area, you can get some at our shop – we have several varieties, even at this time of year. If you live other places, check the member map at uslavender.org to find a lavender grower near you.

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The Granery and Unexpected Help

Gathering Lavender at Granery

Gathering Lavender at Granery

There is an amazing resource in Coupeville, and no, I’m not talking lavender.

GraneryLate one afternoon I drove up to the Bishop’s Granery,where they have been letting me hang lavender to dry because we have a bumper crop and needed more drying space. I needed to clear out some dry lavender to make room for more fresh lavender we are harvesting.

The Granery has been on the prairie since at least 1893 as you can see in this image from the inside wall where they were logging bags of grain. Granery Graffitti

As I drove up to the gated dirt road, in my white Chevy Colorado pickup, a car was blocking the entrance to the driveway. A couple of people with cameras were wandering down the road. “Hey!”, I called out, a bit annoyed “I need to get in here.” The woman, with good will, immediately ran to her car and moved it so I could drive in. At the granery they approached me and asked if they could take pictures. With a grin, in spite of still being rather peevish, I said, “Sure! But you have to earn the right by helping me take down some of this lavender.” These two students of light, Arthur Myerson and Keron Psillas who are instructors at Pacific Northwest Art School, gasped with delight as their eyes adjusted to the darkness inside and they saw the racks of lavender hanging. The three of us cheerfully set to work taking the lavender out and throwing it into the back of the pickup. As farm workers they lacked efficiency because they kept stopping and taking pictures. I really can’t fault them, though, look at the result – Arthur sent me the top picture, it makes the lavender come alive. I ended up with a full load of lavender, and they ended up with a bunch of pictures and a story to tell their students.

Owl In Granery

Meet one of the current residents of the Granery.

The amazing resource is two-fold. It’s the Pacific Northwest Art School that brings talented, creative people to our community, and it’s Ebey’s Landing Historical Reserve that has preserved the prairie and beyond for generations to come.

PS. The Granery was part of a larger homestead, which is now gone. This is the setting where the granery is located just back of the tower sort of building.Historical Buildings

The historical pictures of the Granery and the owl are from Karen Bishop used with permission.
Arthur Meyerson’s picture of Sarah gathering lavender in the granery is used with permission.


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Lavender Wind Festival – 2014

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Lavender Wind Festival2014  Poster

Our 11th annual Lavender Festival is bringing back wine and music for your enjoyment. Relax walking the lavender fields, then sit back and sip some local wines and listen to music. Want to learn how to make a lavender wreath or a lavender wand? This year we have booths with lavender craft activities, a children’s activity booth, and a wide variety of art booths by fabulous local artists. Oh, and did we mention food? You will find an amazing array of tasty treats for any palate. 

You don’t need tickets to come. Free Parking, if you are nice to the parking attendants!

Music Schedule

July 26

12:00 pm Siri Bardarson

3:00 pm  Shifty Sailors (Time delayed 1/2 hour)

July 27

12:00 pm  The Muse and Eye

2:30 pm   Skinny Tie Jazz

Artists

  • Mary Alice Sterling – Handmade & shaped baskets
  • Penny Allison Rees – Original Watercolor paintings
  • Mike & Marilyn Dessert – Red Cedar tote boxes,specialty dispensers & paper Quilling art
  • Cheri Bricker – Wire art creations for growing & protecting plants
  • Lyla Lillis – Artistic utilitarian pottery made with Whidbey Island Clay
  • Janis Swalwell – Handblown & sculpted art glass for your garden
  • Susan Large – Native American jewelry inspired by nature
  • Lucy Johnson – Modern style encaustic, mixed media & watercolor art
  • Jay Crowdus & Stuart Nelson – Metal animal & bird ornaments & garden design accents
  • Barbara Marks – Original paintings, ceramics & wood carvings
  • Peter Durand – Original Linoleum prints
  • Joel Griffith – Iron & wood furniture, wood bowls, sculpture & bird baths.

Lavender Crafts

  • Wreath Making
  • Lavender Wand Making
  • Distilling Demonstration
  • Children’s Activity Booth

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