Thursday, August 4, 2016

Sequim: Lavender Festival and Blackberry Forest Farm

We went to our first lavender festival in Washington and it did not disappoint. Though as I read through the handful of pamphlets I picked up, I realize that it is far larger than I thought and we barely scratched the surface.
There is a large and popular Lavender Festival each year in Sequim, Washington (Save the date: July 21-23, 2017). We arrived in the heart of lavender country around 3 o'clock after a late picnic at Fort Worden. There is a lavender farm tour driving guide (click the link) that I found very helpful. Would you believe there are 7 lavender farms in Sequim!
We arrived at Blackberry Forrest Farm and it was everything we had hoped for. Beautifully tended lavender mounds in full bloom, dried lavender buds and products for sale under a tent and the chance to cut fresh lavender ourselves  - $5 to fill a purple grocery-size plastic bag. What a great price. I bought enough to make 3 large bundles, which I tied together and have drying in Seattle. They will be ribbon ready when I get back and I can hang one on the wall and give 2 away. I was so happy to be able to capture the photo (above) without any people in it, as there were families taking selfies in every direction.
After our farm visit, we drove over to downtown Sequim so that we could spend some time at the outdoor arts & crafts street fair. It was a gorgeous day and I love to see what local artists are up to. I saw some interesting jewelry where the jeweler had trapped lavender buds inside a glass pendant. I was hoping to see even more artistic innovation at other booths, but it was not to be. There were many lavender-related products (culinary lavender, bath products, bulk lavender buds for sachet-making and even lavender-inspired print fabrics) and the attendees were happy to be out and about on a summer day. Did you take time to marvel at the small lavender bundles arranged in a circle in one of the photos above? A great option for those who aren't stopping at a U-Cut farm. 

Do you remember when I used flower petals to enhance my own watercolor painting? I should do more of that! 
My favorite photo of the day was this beautiful antique cart loaded with large fresh lavender bundles. Needless to say, the whole experience in Sequim was fragrant and lovely.

Upon reading the brochures, I realized later that there are 2 other destinations that host pay-to-get-in events the same weekend - Purple Haze Daze and a 2-farm event Olympic Lavender/Jardin de Soleil festival.

What I was missing in the street fair/farm visit (cooking demonstrations, make a lavender wand lesson etc.) seem to be offered at these other two events. 

I love a Lavender Festival and I am sure that we will find ourselves back in Sequim during lavender season before long. 

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