Friday, December 25, 2009

Our wonderful people - Thank you and Happy New Year

It’s Christmas, and almost the end of the year. 2009, what a year, and pretty soon we’ll be in the double digit years of this decade. This year we were so lucky. Part of that luck was the incredible group of people who worked here and I want to tell you about them. In the quiet of the winter part of the year they don’t work right now, I’m looking forward to some of them coming back as the new year perks up.

Stacy has been our #1 manufacturing person. She made most of our products, and provided us with such a warm gentle love of people and animals that I believe we all were changed. Plus she’s cute, although she hates it when I take her picture. I took her to England to a lavender conference at Cambridge University. It was a great trip and we both learned a lot. It was Stacy's first trip abroad, and I hope she takes many more, she had fun.

Mare is a good friend as well as a worker here. She is always on time if not early, pitches in when things are busy. Her crowning moment this year, though, was when we found a rat in the garage. She went home and got her rat terrier - Laird - and put him in the garage with some encouraging words. In less than 5 minutes he brought her the dead rat, strutting with pride.

Leslie spent a year with us which ended at the end of January this year. She was the one who brought the dog she was sitting to work everyday, so the pond became known as Bailey’s Spa. She loved working outside, and brought good will and cheer here every day, along with many many hours of hard work.

Kathy has been working here for years. We don’t see her often, but she comes and nags at me to get my papers in order and then helps me do it. I wish I could say the changes she’s wanted are permanent, but there always is a white flurry here when she’s gone.

JP is our neighbor’s son and needed a job for a little while. He’s in high school and does well.

Kevin, Willow, and Elizabeth were interns for Georgie Smith over at Willowood Farm on Ebey’s Prairie. They came early in the season to put a dent in our weed population. Then, Willowood needed them back and they disappeared into a season of vegies and farmers markets. What a great year they had!

Kendra came in the spring and brought a new perspective to life. She’s into the goth lifestyle and taught us about things we’d never heard of. She loved working outside, so when she left each day, she’d go to another farm and work there, too. I loved her smile.

Michelle used to sell shaved ice at the farmers market with her mom. This spring she needed some non-Mom money and came to weed for us until better offers came her way.

Amber is Leslie's friend and the real owner of Bailey. Turns out she's a bookkeeping whizz, so she comes and helps me during the busy season. She also helped during our annual festival. We like having her around.

Elizabeth came at a time when I wasn’t sure I needed anyone, so I said she could work for a month or so. Then, in September, when she left to go back to WSU I was really sad. She was a fabulous worker and I think she made some good friends here.

Dorian’s Mom wrote last winter to see if she could get her daughter a position. I don’t usually hire without an interview, but I went ahead and said okay. I’m so glad I did, Dorian is a smart cookie and introduced us all to the incredible hassles involved in becoming an ex-pat. Then, when I took Stacy to England to go to the lavender conference she had Stacy come and visit for a few days in Oxford. Dorian brought Katie with her.

Katie grew up in Hawaii, went to Wellesley with Dorian, and came here for the summer. Turns out she’s a fabulous musician! No, we didn’t get music in the lavender fields - I forgot to ask!

Nancy moved to Whidbey Island this summer and dropped by the farm to check it out. She told Mare she’d like to volunteer here, and when I got wind of that I hired her on the spot. Her sense of humor and unfailing cheerful spirit makes us all laugh. Just a word to her California family and friends - we’re keeping her, you can’t have her back for long.

Rick had a hard year. This spring his back went out and he spent the summer trying to get it back in shape. Then this fall he was attacked by Vertigo. What a distressing condition, the world spins around his head. He’s feeling very mortal right now. That’s good for the rest of us, because he’s doing a great job at Deception Pass State Park and for Lighthouse Environmental Programs so his head would be way to big if it weren’t for his health.

I spent my first year after being with my father as he died. I realized I get crabby when I grieve, but I think that’s done now, thanks in great part to all the cheerfulness on the staff. In addition, my 82 year old mother and her darling husband traveled over 3,000 miles to visit us. They inaugurated our deck, sitting on it every evening and bringing a peaceful reminder of what is important in life.

And then there's our customers. They brought us so much this year: enthusiasm, ideas, sales, bringing their friends, advice, and pictures. Thank you for coming and enjoying our farm, we do this for you.

We are truly fortunate.
I wish you all a wonderful and happy New Year in 2010

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Custom Label for Jams

Ok, we've just put on the coolest thing - at least I think it ability for you to create your own custom label for your jams.

You can now get our jams with a custom label! Having an event? Want to give a completely unique gift? All you have to do is email us your image and text for the label. The label can't hold unlimited text, so we'll have to edit if it's too long.

I'm excited to see what you come up with

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Last night I joined a few people to sing carols at Whidbey General Hospital. A group had gathered last Thursday at Careage - led by the Shifties. Both of these events were so beautiful, I never before really felt how important music is to people. Especially in this kind of situation where it is so quiet most of the time, and the sheer press of humanity is missing. With the group of people moving through the hallways and crowding into rooms you could feel the embrace of company and the sounds of cheerful chatter and song. For the people inside for whom vibrancy is a distant memory, if it can be remembered at all, the sound of live people singing familiar holiday songs brought smiles and tears. Those reactions brought awe to me, and a reminder that we can't always tell if a person who is ill can hear us or is aware - but we must assume that they can. Sometimes, we get a clue from a lone tear running down a cheek. I thank both Vern Olsen and Ginny Vracin for inviting me along, such a gift!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Lavender tooth powder

I got curious about making a tooth brushing powder with some lavender, of course. I read up on some ingredients and then tried my first batch.

1/8 C Baking soda (neutralization and scrubbies)
2 drops peppermint essential oil (flavor and a whole host of benefits)
2 drops lavender essential oil (anti-microbial)
1/8 tsp of Equal sweetener (Aspartame, while somewhat questionable for health is powdered, but glyercine would make a paste and sweeten it - depends on what you want)

It didn't taste all that good, but after brushing with it my mouth feels really fresh and clean. Let me know if you try anything like this, and we'll all get some great ideas for DIY lavender tooth paste/powder recipes.