Purple Haze Lavender Farm
Last weekend Ted and I squired his mom around the lavender festival. I haven’t been for some years. Now that I have my own micro-field of lavender I was interested to check out established farms and examine: how big the plants can get (big!), irrigation systems (drip at the root line), mulch (plastic sheet, oyster shell, weeds), and how many products can be made from lavender oil (too many to list).
We have enough lavender farms in Kitsap and surround that a mini-fair would be possible here. There are two vendors who show up just in the Bremerton Farmers Market! There’s the excellent example of the Sequim farms to learn from. Lavender weekend is wildly popular, the crowds were huge even with the (unseasonable in Sequim) rain.
A note on the festivals. There were three. The Sequim Lavender Festival, now in its 15th year, was free and featured new and smaller farms, and had the lavender and white signs. The Sequim Lavender Farm Faire, in its first year, charged $10 for a button that let you onto a bus touring the large established farms. Each of those farms was its own festival, with vendors, music, food, and a schedule of activities every day. The faire tour included a grand vendor fair with music and food in Carrie Blake park. They had the lavender and yellow signs. Also there was a street fair which has been in existence for a while and had a few white and black signs.
Hives at Purple Haze
We did not inquire why the old festival had the new farms and the new festival had the well-organized older farms. We just went to some farms on each tour. Our theme was…bees! We encouraged the Blackberry Forrest folks to learn about bees, because a lavender field surrounded by acres of blackberries is bee heaven. We tasted Clemmons Honey at Olympic Lavender Farm where the beek had roped off the apiary. He was very nice and talked to us about his honey production. At Purple Haze we tromped out over the muddy parking lot to examine the apiary which was festively painted in lavender and yellow. (That beek needs to check the apiary, some of those hives are thriving and some not so much).
At the Sunshine Herb and Lavender Farm we spent a happy hour with Dr. Maya Bewig, a veterinarian who keeps bees for fun. She had huge pictures of bees, specimen bees in jars, a bee suit on display, and lavender-painted hives in a field out back. She’s a member of the West Sound Beekeepers Association, we gotta see if we can get her out to speak. She had a lot of great information and was really fun to hang with.
We came home with more info and a couple of jars of lavender honey. Maya said she couldn’t taste it, but I really think I can.