Category Archives: News

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Blueberry Jam is BACK!

Finally, we’ve got our wonderful Blueberry Lavender Jam back in stock!

Blueberry Lavender Jam

Made from blueberries grown right here on Whidbey Island. Lavender gives our tasty  jam a hint of Mediterranean culture to your eating pleasure.  Try it on scones, muffins, waffles, crackers with cream cheese or serve it as a chutney with ham.

Our jams and jellies have been developed in our own kitchen and are made with our blended culinary lavender.

Ingredients: Sugar, Blueberries, Pectin, Lemon Juice, Lavender. Net Wt. 7 oz (180g)

Click here to order.


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2017 Growing Season Finished

This was a great season! Thank you to all the people who came to visit the farm this summer, we loved seeing you and watching you enjoy the purple fields, the various flowers, and our new Blooming Season Concert series.

The FARM SHOP is closed now that the harvest has finished.

Our COUPEVILLE SHOP is open ALL YEAR – so we’ll see you here.


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Grosso and Folgate Oils Win Awards

Lavender Sommellier, who is a member of the International Perfume Foundation, awarded Lavender Wind Farm two awards for our oils!
Lavandula x-intermedia var. Grosso Gold Award

It was around 2003 when we first distilled our lavender thanks to a lavender grower about a mile away from us. He had a Newhouse Mini-still that looked pretty big to me! I learned how to work the elaborate system, pay attention to the drops of oils visible in the distillate, and how to time the process to get the best oil I could. He was gracious enough to let me use his system for a couple of years until I was ready to get my own still. I opted for a human-scale still that was a rotating column still made out of 100% copper from Portugal. We now have four of those copper stills – Grandfather still, Papa still, Mama still, and Baby still. (Really, I am such a girl in some ways and Goldilocks has stuck with me.)

For the last two years we have been using Grandfather still, which is a rotating column still about 150 liters in size. It is so big we had to build a platform to get to get high enough to load the lavender. Here is a video of Sarah a few years ago, and then Farm Manager, Sydney, working on a batch.

We harvest the lavender fresh. The column and cap of the still hold about 90 lbs of lavender. From that we get about 18 to 26 ounces of lavender essential oil per batch, depending on the variety that we are distilling. We distill each variety separately.

You can come to the farm and watch us distill the lavender oil during the summer.


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Flood, Fire, Farming

Lake Lavande at Lavender Wind

Lake Lavande at Lavender Wind

Fire! Water! Earth! Air! The four elements from ancient times describe the necessities of life. This year, water was the element that came down from the sky in droves, drops, puddles, lakes, and sheets. It soaked the ground, saturated the fields, created lakes where there had been none, and caused bluffs to collapse into the sea. It flooded our fields. The earth could not contain the water, the air blew hard, but still wasn’t enough to evaporate the water. And in the end, after the waters receded fire is what came to clean up the lavenders that drowned.

Dead Lavenders April 2016

Dead Lavenders April 2016

Farming is full of risks as any farmer around the world will tell you. This year it was water. Neighbors were pumping out flooded basements and pranks were played by setting out plastic pink flamingos in one of the many lakes that were created in the saturated fields. Lavender, though, is a perennial crop. It stays planted in the ground for an average of 10 years, producing for at least 8 of those years. This year, many of our 4 year old lavender plants were drowned. The waters of the temporary lake (Lake Lavande) drowned the lavenders. Even so, in February and March one couldn’t tell they were dead. But, in April it was clear. The plants that are grey, rather than green don’t have leaves coming out, they are dead.

Pitching away dead lavenders

Sydney, pitching away dead lavenders

To keep the fields healthy we had to take out the dead plants as soon as we could get onto the field without getting the tractor stuck in mud. We dug out the plants with the bucket, shook off the dirt, and piled them up to transport them to their funeral pyre.

The green weeds you see above are horsetail. It is a deep rooted living fossil (because it has been on the earth for so long) and it loves the damper ground. It is extremely difficult to eradicate, so we will keep this part of the field brown all summer to weaken it. But, that won’t make it go away, that takes years of hard work (and chemicals if you are willing to use them, which we aren’t) and even then there is no guarantee it will be gone. Some people use it for medicinal purposes, but we haven’t pursued that option.

Drowned lavender pile

Pile of drowned lavender, not sure how many plants are in that pile yet.

There is a possibility of disease, so the plants are being burned. One night, after work, we burned 300 of them in about an hour and a half. That only made a small dent in the big pile, so we’ll be having more bonfires when the weather permits. Lavender burns hot and fast, the fire would flare up with each plant we put on top of the coals. It was beautiful and hot.

Bonfire of Lavenders

Bonfire of Lavenders

The farm had something like 14,000 lavender plants, and we probably lost about 10% to 15% of them to the floods. We are still counting. But, that means we probably have between 85% and 90% of the lavenders that are in good shape even though there are still patches here and there that we are watching closely to see if they will green up. If not, we’ll have to pull them out and burn them, too.

Luckily, last year we had a bumper harvest, this year it will be leaner. Even so, we are looking forward to fields of purple in another couple of months, and that first day of harvest when we again get to breathe the fragrance that armloads of lavender bring.

Good Looking Lavenders

Good Looking Lavenders


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Debra Prinzing interviews two lavender growers

Screen shot from Debra Prinzing's page with our interview

Screen shot from Debra Prinzing’s page with our interview

Lavender interview by Debra Prinzing (Author of Slow Flowers: The conscious choice for buying and sending flowers)

Mike Neustrom and Sarah Richards were interviewed by Debra at the Northwest Regional Lavender Conference in Portland, OR Oct. 2014.

We are so thrilled to be able to talk with this influential cut flower industry author. From her site we found that Debra Prinzing is a Seattle and Los Angeles-based writer who can credit her happy existence writing about gardens and home design to great preparation: a degree in textiles and design and a long career in journalism.

All we know is that Debra is passionate about flowers, growing & buying them locally, her books are both beautiful and entertaining. It was an honor to be included in her podcast series.

Listen to the Podcast


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The story of Lavendula’s Arrival

In October, 2014, Lavendula arrived in Coupeville, much to her surprise. This is her story as it unfolds over the month.

Day 1

Day 2 Porch

Day 3 Cars

Day 4 Gallery

Day 5 Wharf

Day 6 Museum

Day 7 pictureinmuseum

Day 8 Eagles

Day 9 Lavender Wind

Day 10 Inside

Day 11 Swing

Day 12 Aunts Arrive

Day 13 Sitting with Aunties

[Stay tuned for the next installment.]


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Baking, love, and lavender

Heidi's kitchen and RuthieMom showed love through food. On any day there were three of us in the kitchen; my sister, my mother, and me. We watched Mom cook while we played games at the table or did our homework. She made tasty meals, feeding well us on very little money.

Then, in special moments, she would decide to bake something with us. Aside from Christmas, I don’t recall there being any rhyme or reason for those sessions. She taught us how to make cookies, brownies, cakes, bread, and even donuts.

My sister and I took our baking to the road via a brownie and lemonade stand to get some money to spend. We’d stand out there, in the middle of that lonely country road and do dances trying to get just one car to drive by. This was in around 1962 and even though there was very little traffic on the road quite a few of the passing cars stopped and bought our brownies and lemonade. Each time we handed over our goodies our feet did happy dances when they drove off.

Lavender Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fast forward five decades and now I get to bake in a fancy commercial kitchen and my sister is here baking along with me. We still do a happy dance when people come and buy our food. I send goodies to my Mom and my son to send love their way.

Beverley Walton, on our staff, remembers her mother also showing love through food:

If you mention food and love in the same breath, I will always think of my mom.  My sweet “mum” passed away in October of 2013 but I will always remember how often she showed her love through food. She was good at telling you she loved you, but she really loved to cook for the people she loved.  When grandkids came to visit, they would get a bag of her famous Anzac Cookies to take home with them.  And going to work in the greenhouse with the garden club, she would, of course, take her Anzac Cookies.  And thinking back (way back!) to dinner parties they had when I was growing up, what a spread she would provide with many courses for either sit down dinners or buffets for a crowd. 

 Today, for me, cooking is wonderful therapy – it soothes my soul.  And just after she passed away and we had family in town, I found myself wanting to get in the kitchen and cook for all of them – so I guess I am my mother’s daughter.

RosemaryBread

We share some of our recipes for cooking with lavender so you can start to experiment, or get more ideas if you are already a lavender cook. The most important thing to remember when cooking with lavender is to be stingy with it. A little lavender goes a long way – usually. If you put too much in, it will taste like soap and you’ll be inclined to avoid lavender. So be judicious with your lavender, because it can add some special flavors to your food.

– Sarah Richards


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Boat Naming Contest at the Art of the Boat Festival

Lillie Mistral

Lillie Mistral

We had Sarah’s 13’ Sailboat set up on the driveway of Lavender Wind’s shop during the Art of the Boat Festival.

It’s a darling little boat manufactured by Micro Marine (a company that was based in Massachusetts, we have no idea how it got out here). We set up a sign challenging people to try to name the boat and if we picked one, we’d award that person a $20 gift certificate. Then we put out a quart canning jar and waited.

We got a lot of entries, it was hard to decide! Thank you to all who used their brains to help us figure this out. There are two winners because we took one word from each of two entries, and took some poetic license with the spelling of one. Most people would chose a different name, but each of the words chosen has meaning to Sarah and represents a part of her life.

That cute little sailboat is now named  “Lillie Mistral”

The winners are: Betsy Brace & Leslie Claesson

They have been sent a Gift Certificate via their email address that they had on the form.

For your enjoyment the entries were:

  • A Frayed Knot
  • Naughtayot
  • Nautical Smiles
  • Penn Cove’s Water Lily
  • Mistral
  • Wind Dancer
  • My Boat
  • It’s All About Me
  • Wind Runner
  • Wind Child
  • Lil Veg
  • Jen-nay
  • Lavender a Sea
  • Purple Love
  • Jiblet
  • The Lavender Lady
  • Itty Bitty
  • Wallow
  • Cove Dancer
  • Gull Chaser
  • Adept
  • Fore Sail
  • Baby Blue
  • Star Dancer

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Getting Purple!

The fields are starting to get purple. It seems like the whole rest of the country’s lavender farms are having their festivals, and we are just barely starting. It’s ok, it’s beautiful anyway. When these fields are in full bloom, it’s a shocking purple celebration – so these pictures are just a hint of what is coming.

Folgate getting ready to bloom

Check out the cute bee hives in the back. Our bees are getting fabulous care this year thanks to Younes and Toni.

Folgate and Mountains

The Olympic Mountain range is in the background of this picture. We have happy lavenders with this stunning view!

Our farm is open every day now for visitor. So you can have picnics, enjoy the lavender, have lavender ice cream and other goodies from our shop.

Picnic Tables on Farm

There are picnic tables scattered around the farm for your enjoyment.


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Farm is OPENING!

Folgate Purpling

The Folgate lavender is just starting to get purple, you can see a slight purple haze over the plants.

The Folgate lavender is starting to purple up, so we are opening the farm. The fields will be there for you to enjoy. This year we have again planted sunflowers, which will bloom  in the later part of the summer. We have also planted other kinds of herbs and flowers for you to enjoy.

The gift shop will be open, too, with a wonderful selection of our products. This will be a new venture for us to have two shops open at the same time. Wish us luck and come visit!

Labyrinth in May

The labyrinth is starting to look good again. We replanted it last year, so this is the second year for the plants being in the ground and they are getting bigger!


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