Near the foot of Sugarloaf Mountain lies Soleado Lavender Farm, the creation and home of Sophia Watkins and Kevin Salmeron. The farm is nestled amongst rolling hills, meadows, and forests. A 400 year old white oak tree stands majestically over the rows of purple blooms buzzing with grateful bees.
It is a remarkable, even magical place; to visit is to be enveloped in a cloud of serenity…or is that just the amazing fragrance that is lavender?
Last Saturday morning, I had the honor of taking part in a special event at the farm. About 15 visitors joined us for a walking tour and lavender talk. As we strolled along the grounds, Kevin shared with us the history, methods, and vision for their farm.
We walked and heard more about their labyrinth, ponds, bamboo forest, and plans for the future. A sense of well-being and inspiration settled over our group, as we came full circle back to the patio for the second part of the event.
As someone who is passionate and curious about food, farming, and folklore, I was happy to share what I learned about the remarkable history of this plant in my talk. As it turns out, the history of humanity is also the history of lavender; we are intertwined across time, belief systems, and borders. People have been using lavender for thousands of years for the same reasons we continue to use and treasure it today. It is a flower and a fragrance that resonates deeply with us.
In my interactive talk, we explored civilizations and their uses and beliefs around lavender. The experience included folklore, poetry, and music. At one point, we bathed our hands in a concoction recommended by Leonardo DaVinci; I quipped if we can’t all be geniuses, we can at least smell like one!
Today, we are in the midst of a global lavender renaissance, with it being present in pop culture, cuisine, and complementary medicine. In the midst of the breathless pace of our modern culture, lavender encourages us to slow down and savor. The tour and talk event was quite successful, and repeat opportunities are going to be offered in 2018.
Visit Soleado’s website for more information about the farm, like its location, hours, events, and products. They also welcome volunteers, an important part of developing their vision.
Have you ever visited a lavender farm? Let me know about it in the comments. Thanks for reading!