Oily business

Lavender essential oils are used in products such as soaps and lotions. Undiluted essential oils are also sold. We were pleased to find an expert to answer our questions staffing the distillery at Lavender Connection during the Lavender Festival.

Distillation essentially steams the oil from a lavender plant. At Lavender Connection the blossoms and stems from 19 plants are used to produce the equivalent of about 7 ounces of essential oil. This is the equipment that Lavender Connection uses.

Jardin du Soleil distills in this equipment. Click here to learn more about the distilling process at Jardin du Soleil.

Harvest time

While Sequim’s lavender farms sell u-pick and pre-picked bouquets of fresh lavender, there’s plenty left over for popular lavender products.

This summer’s weather cooperated with sunny, dry conditions and some crops were harvested before and during the Lavender Festival.

I’ll show you what happens with bouquets like these over the next couple of days.

Kitty B’s Lavender

My favorite lavender operations have a dreamy setting with nice views. Kitty B’s is one of those operations.

The farm is beautifully manicured and has the requisite gazebo that adds just the right touch.

Like most of our lavender farms, Kitty B’s has a residence on site. Its garden is a knockout.

Lavender lookback

There is a three day street fair as part of the Sequim Lavender Festival. Several blocks downtown become a pedestrian thoroughfare, lined with vendor booths. Lavender in every form is sold. And dozens of vendors also sell arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, candles, you name it. The fair is always a big draw and last Friday, the first day, was no exception.

This was one of the more clever tee shirts for sale.

And this was the day’s winner in the “my sentiments exactly!” category.

Earth Muffin Lavender

Earth Muffin is another small lavender operation in Sequim and is one of the more recent additions. There are 270 plants locally and another 120 offsite in Everett. Like most of our growers, they distill their own essential lavender oil and produce lotions and flower water. Admission is free and they welcome visitors during the Lavender Festival.

They are easy to find at the corner of Woodcock and Cays Roads.

Meli’s Lavender Farm

One of the newest small lavender operations in Sequim is Meli’s Lavender Farm. But in the universe of lavender, it’s no newcomer. It is an expansion of Victor’s Lavender and is owned by Victor Gonzalez and his brother and sister-in-law, Sergio and Monica Gonzalez. Victor is one of Sequim’s most expert growers and consults internationally on lavender cultivation.

The new farm adds 1,000 plants to Victor’s current operation of 150 varieties and over 3,500 plants. Victor’s wife, Mirabel, makes more than 30 lavender products. The expansion is an attempt to keep up with high demand for his plants and products.

I visited Victor’s original farm at the Lavender Festival two years ago here and found him very engaging. He has an interesting history with lavender and has been an important source of information and plants for the Sequim Valley and beyond.

Earnings from the new operation, Meli’s Lavender Farm, will go toward the education of Victor’s niece, Melissa, at Western Washington University. The farm is located on West Diane Drive off Elizabeth Lane which intersects with Old Olympic Highway about a quarter mile west of North Fifth Avenue.