LAVENDER GROWING IN THE DESERT
I signed up for my first biodynamic agricultural course through the USBDA (United States Biodynamic Association). It just so happened that they were having their national conference in the nearby state of New Mexico and one of the farm tours was taking place on an Organic Lavender Farm called Los Poblanos. The organic farm and historical inn is truly a magical place nestled on 25 acres in Albuqueque. For spring break, my husband and I decided to pack up our car and drive six hours to New Mexico for some business research. In March, not much is in bloom even in New Mexico but the positive side of visiting in the off season is that the farmers had plenty of down time to talk with us.
We learned about their struggles when the spring is cut short and the intense heat of summer comes too fast. We saw the power of using lavender to draw guest to their Historic Inn and Restaurant which is really the bread and butter of their business. They showed us their beautiful copper distills in the back that they imported from Portugal to make their essential oil that comes out right away with a fresh scent unlike steel distills. The girls spent the week following their beautiful peacock around the grounds which has now made the 'must have list' for our future farm. But most importantly they showed us that they too where on a journey. They didn't have all the answers and were still figuring things out themselves. For me, that felt good and gave me the needed confidence to say outloud that I wanted to give this a try.
They also introduced us to a women in Palisade who apparently "grew hundreds of cultivars of lavender" and someone we had to visit. Her name is Paola and she's been growing lavender commercially for 14 years. Her business is called Sage Creations. She's an Italian women from Argentina who has a fascinating story herself and walks with purpose in her steps. So the next stop...Palisade, of course.
Here's to agritourism at its best,