Wednesday, August 26, 2009

82 Years and Counting

It's not everyday that you get your 82 year old mother to work on the farm!

She lives on Martha's Vineyard, and Whidbey Island is about as far away as you can get from there in the lower 48 states. I thought I'd never see her on the farm again, because she doesn't like traveling all that much until this spring she and Ronnee, my step-father, decided to take the Trans-Canada train to Vancouver and then come to visit for a few days before flying back home.

Our family believes in helping out, so she promptly got herself situated and started taking off rubber bands from the stems of banded lavender. We cut the heads off to distill, then we dry what's left and winnow off the remaining buds to get every last bit of lavender possible.

Meanwhile, Ronnee was working to rebuild our garden cart that had rotted over the years of use and exposure to the elements.

Mom got fairly comfortable with the routine and she finally started describing the distilling process to our visitors. She's telling them about boiling the water in the bottom chamber and the steam going up through the packed lavender flowers in the upper two chambers. It picks up the essential oil and then gets condensed back to liquid and drops into the separator so we can take the oil off the top. I couldn't believe it! She did a good job, too bad she lives so far away and we can't get her working here more often.... :)

I'm so lucky to have such a fun mother and step-Dad, it was a huge treat to have them here!

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Festival was Great

I usually don't brag all that much, but our festival was really pretty darn good. People had fun, ate good food, drank good wine or lavender lemonade, looked at lots and lots of good arts and crafts, bought lavender, and listened to outstanding music.

The people who work here on the farm were fabulous, and then we were graced by a number of amazing volunteers who parked cars and helped us set up and tear down. Finally, I want to thank my neighbors who put up with this party once a year.

You can see pictures of the 2009 Festival

Monday, August 03, 2009

Festival This Weekend

Our annual Art Festival is coming this weekend on Aug 8 & 9. I just wanted to give you a preview of some of what will be here. For those of you who are too far away to come, just check our site for the exact weekend for the next one in 2010.

Last year we had many artist's booths. This year we have many more. We have at least 22 artist booths that will have 30 artists work in them.

The full list of artists (click here and you'll see the list plus the website connection for those artists who have websites).

Carol Bement - Miniature painting
Joan Brosnahan - Painting & collage
Mary Burks - Textiles
Peggy Darst Townsdin - Books, jewelry, photographs
Brandon Davis - Photography
Marilyn & Mike Dessert - Quilling, woodwork
Anne & Bob Elkins - Photography, lathe turned bowls
Nikki Farias - Felt hats & purses
Renee Hockett - Photo Purses
Loretta Graff - Textiles
Kelly Kellogg - Photography
Maggie Lancaster - Fiber - silk banners, pillows, scarves, braided rugs, chair pads
Mary Leonard - Painting
Lyla Lillis - Ceramic
Beverly McQuary - Beads/jewelry
Kay Parsons - Painting, polymer switch plates
Norma & Gerry Roberts - Painting, leather journals, cards, stick people, flutes, stationery
Helen Ryder - Watercolor, collage
Tiarani Samsi - Silk Scarves, Pottery
Mariana Shawver - Painted and collaged mirrors and constructions
Brian Shelly - Photography
Mary Alice & Tom Sterling - Art baskets, handmade baskets
Sylvia Strohm - Ceramics, crochet
Carrie Marie Tasman - acrylic, pastel, polymer clay
Robert Troost - Pottery
Sharon Tryon - Painting
Yummy ways to enjoy the day
Whidbey Island Winery will be serving their wines at our wine tent, and Lavender Wind Farm will serve lavender lemonade.

Bay City Bistro will have lavender mussels and baked goodies on Saturday and on Sunday Hot Rock Pizza will serve their new on-site baked pizza that is creating quite a buzz around here. Click here to see Hot Rock Pizza in Action on Youtube!

Little Brown Farm & bayleaf have partnered to serve goat Cheese & french bread with some drizzles to go over them. You've gotta taste this!

Whidbey Island Ice Cream will have a great selection of their gourmet ice cream bars, including some with our lavender.

Denali Dogs is starting out their hot dog cart at this festival and will have hotdogs (of course), brautworst, and get ready for Reindeer & Vegetarian sausage.

Crescent Harbor Blueberries will have loads and loads of fat blueberries for you to munch on while you wander around.

Our own Lavender cookies will be there, too.

And the MUSIC!

This year we rebuilt our deck. That means we have a great stage for the musicians, right across from the Whidbey Island Winery tent.

The line up for the Festival includes:

11:00 am - Quinn Fitzpatrick
12:30 pm - Bayview Sounds
2:00 pm - One Eyed Reilly
3:30 pm - Woodrush

11:00 am - Siri Bardarson
12:30 pm - Fairly Soon
2:00 pm - Shifty Sailors
3:30 pm - Ken Merrell et al