Local farmers to take part in First Annual Lavender Festival | TheFencePost.com

Local farmers to take part in First Annual Lavender Festival

Carolyn White
Olathe, Colo.

Bob and Roxi Lane with a display of their lavender oils and lotions. They also use juniper berry, pinion pine and rose hips for their healing properties.

The First Annual Colorado Lavender Festival, based in Palisade, Colo., is scheduled for July 15-17, this year and will include a bus tour to the homes of four growers; an assortment of seminars and workshops; 30 retail and eight food venders; plus live entertainment and music. That Sunday the 17th at 10:00 a.m., a talk on the benefits of medical aromatherapy will be given at Dayspring Farm, in Olathe, by internationally-known Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner, Raphael J. d’Angelo. For owners Bob and Roxi Lane, it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase all their efforts in getting started with the plant two years ago to use as an alternative cash crop.

The couple decided to try lavender after attending an Organic Farmer’s meeting in Hotchkiss, Colo., believing that it would fit in well with their free-range meat and egg business. (They also grow their own hay and raise Antique roses plus several thousand asparagus.) They were told that the fragrant purple plant – which is drought tolerant and able to thrive in desert soil – was the perfect fit for the area’s dry, hot climate. “We have a conservation easement plus we wanted to diversify and become more sustainable on our 33 acres,” Bob explained.

As with any new experiment, however, it had some ups and downs. “They were a little more tender than we’d thought, and much of the crop was killed off during the first winter. We had to figure out a variety (primarily English) that worked the best.” Two-thousand, pesticide-free plants later, and a lot of time “just hoeing … on the knees,” he added with a wry smile, their hard work has started showing promise. The Lanes have even been able to create a mobile, 35-gallon distillation unit to use when processing the oils from the flowers.

Lavender, a type of mint which blooms from mid-July through late August, has been popular since Roman times and is primarily used either as a perfume, medicine or cosmetic. According to Roxi, along with being a great room spray, “It’s calming, plus it has great healing properties. We spritz lavender hydrosol (100 percent product of distillation) on stuffed animals when our grandchildren are here and it relaxes them at bedtime. When one of them gets a cut they come running now for the hydrosol to clean the area! It’s skin-friendly and an antiseptic, which can be used on burns and for relief from asthma.” Additionally, this versatile plant will ease sore throats and discourage certain types of bugs.

According to the brochure put out by Lavender Association of Western Colorado, it’s also used in “flower arrangements, essential oils, fine handcrafted arts, food and beverages, and such health and body care items as lotions, soaps, mists and sachets.” Classes revolving around lavender cultivation, aromatherapy, art and even cooking (the Lanes are currently working on a formula for lavender-flavored sausage) are becoming more and more popular, also, as well as seasonal farm tours where visitors can pick their own.

Both Bob and Roxi have taken Aroma 101 classes at Delta Vocational School and will next take a course in Denver in order to get more certification, but in the meantime they continue experimenting, not only with lavender but with other herbs. “We’ve planted rose hip bushes around the lavender because it forms a protective hedge against harsh winter winds,” she continues, “plus it serves double-duty since we use the hips for tea, which is one of the highest sources of vitamin C.” In the future, their Antique roses will be distilled for rose hydrosol (think rose water) and also sold to the public. Meantime, they’ve been infusing honey with rose petals (by placing them in jars and filling each with local Olathe honey), making a savory treat. As for other, naturally-based products, Pinion pine essential oil and hydrosol has been successfully used as an expectorant, and Bob swears on their Juniper Berry lotion, which has helped him (and others) tremendously with gout, arthritis and skin spots.

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With so many irons in the fire it’s hard to believe that the Lanes have extra time to start Lavender but they love it, and plans are moving forward. Already, thanks to local Farmer’s Markets, family referrals, a few school tours, and of course, word of mouth they’re getting more and more interest. “Someday soon,” Bob tells me, gesturing towards their family’s 70-year-old granary that he’s in the process of restoring, “we’ll have our own store” where they’ll sell 100 percent grass-fed meats, free-range chicken eggs, produce and herbal products. With the lavender fields blooming in the background – and sprigs of it hanging inside – the place is certainly going to smell good.

For more information please contact Bob and Roxi Lane at 5184 6000 Road, Olathe, Colo., 81425, Roxi@DayspringFarm.net or http://www.DayspringFarm.net.

You may also contact the Lavender Association of Western Colorado at P.O. Box 582, Palisade, Colo., 81526, http://www.ColoradoLavender.org or info@coloradolavender.org.

The First Annual Colorado Lavender Festival, based in Palisade, Colo., is scheduled for July 15-17, this year and will include a bus tour to the homes of four growers; an assortment of seminars and workshops; 30 retail and eight food venders; plus live entertainment and music. That Sunday the 17th at 10:00 a.m., a talk on the benefits of medical aromatherapy will be given at Dayspring Farm, in Olathe, by internationally-known Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner, Raphael J. d’Angelo. For owners Bob and Roxi Lane, it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase all their efforts in getting started with the plant two years ago to use as an alternative cash crop.

The couple decided to try lavender after attending an Organic Farmer’s meeting in Hotchkiss, Colo., believing that it would fit in well with their free-range meat and egg business. (They also grow their own hay and raise Antique roses plus several thousand asparagus.) They were told that the fragrant purple plant – which is drought tolerant and able to thrive in desert soil – was the perfect fit for the area’s dry, hot climate. “We have a conservation easement plus we wanted to diversify and become more sustainable on our 33 acres,” Bob explained.

As with any new experiment, however, it had some ups and downs. “They were a little more tender than we’d thought, and much of the crop was killed off during the first winter. We had to figure out a variety (primarily English) that worked the best.” Two-thousand, pesticide-free plants later, and a lot of time “just hoeing … on the knees,” he added with a wry smile, their hard work has started showing promise. The Lanes have even been able to create a mobile, 35-gallon distillation unit to use when processing the oils from the flowers.

Lavender, a type of mint which blooms from mid-July through late August, has been popular since Roman times and is primarily used either as a perfume, medicine or cosmetic. According to Roxi, along with being a great room spray, “It’s calming, plus it has great healing properties. We spritz lavender hydrosol (100 percent product of distillation) on stuffed animals when our grandchildren are here and it relaxes them at bedtime. When one of them gets a cut they come running now for the hydrosol to clean the area! It’s skin-friendly and an antiseptic, which can be used on burns and for relief from asthma.” Additionally, this versatile plant will ease sore throats and discourage certain types of bugs.

According to the brochure put out by Lavender Association of Western Colorado, it’s also used in “flower arrangements, essential oils, fine handcrafted arts, food and beverages, and such health and body care items as lotions, soaps, mists and sachets.” Classes revolving around lavender cultivation, aromatherapy, art and even cooking (the Lanes are currently working on a formula for lavender-flavored sausage) are becoming more and more popular, also, as well as seasonal farm tours where visitors can pick their own.

Both Bob and Roxi have taken Aroma 101 classes at Delta Vocational School and will next take a course in Denver in order to get more certification, but in the meantime they continue experimenting, not only with lavender but with other herbs. “We’ve planted rose hip bushes around the lavender because it forms a protective hedge against harsh winter winds,” she continues, “plus it serves double-duty since we use the hips for tea, which is one of the highest sources of vitamin C.” In the future, their Antique roses will be distilled for rose hydrosol (think rose water) and also sold to the public. Meantime, they’ve been infusing honey with rose petals (by placing them in jars and filling each with local Olathe honey), making a savory treat. As for other, naturally-based products, Pinion pine essential oil and hydrosol has been successfully used as an expectorant, and Bob swears on their Juniper Berry lotion, which has helped him (and others) tremendously with gout, arthritis and skin spots.

With so many irons in the fire it’s hard to believe that the Lanes have extra time to start Lavender but they love it, and plans are moving forward. Already, thanks to local Farmer’s Markets, family referrals, a few school tours, and of course, word of mouth they’re getting more and more interest. “Someday soon,” Bob tells me, gesturing towards their family’s 70-year-old granary that he’s in the process of restoring, “we’ll have our own store” where they’ll sell 100 percent grass-fed meats, free-range chicken eggs, produce and herbal products. With the lavender fields blooming in the background – and sprigs of it hanging inside – the place is certainly going to smell good.

For more information please contact Bob and Roxi Lane at 5184 6000 Road, Olathe, Colo., 81425, Roxi@DayspringFarm.net or http://www.DayspringFarm.net.

You may also contact the Lavender Association of Western Colorado at P.O. Box 582, Palisade, Colo., 81526, http://www.ColoradoLavender.org or info@coloradolavender.org.

The First Annual Colorado Lavender Festival, based in Palisade, Colo., is scheduled for July 15-17, this year and will include a bus tour to the homes of four growers; an assortment of seminars and workshops; 30 retail and eight food venders; plus live entertainment and music. That Sunday the 17th at 10:00 a.m., a talk on the benefits of medical aromatherapy will be given at Dayspring Farm, in Olathe, by internationally-known Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner, Raphael J. d’Angelo. For owners Bob and Roxi Lane, it will be the perfect opportunity to showcase all their efforts in getting started with the plant two years ago to use as an alternative cash crop.

The couple decided to try lavender after attending an Organic Farmer’s meeting in Hotchkiss, Colo., believing that it would fit in well with their free-range meat and egg business. (They also grow their own hay and raise Antique roses plus several thousand asparagus.) They were told that the fragrant purple plant – which is drought tolerant and able to thrive in desert soil – was the perfect fit for the area’s dry, hot climate. “We have a conservation easement plus we wanted to diversify and become more sustainable on our 33 acres,” Bob explained.

As with any new experiment, however, it had some ups and downs. “They were a little more tender than we’d thought, and much of the crop was killed off during the first winter. We had to figure out a variety (primarily English) that worked the best.” Two-thousand, pesticide-free plants later, and a lot of time “just hoeing … on the knees,” he added with a wry smile, their hard work has started showing promise. The Lanes have even been able to create a mobile, 35-gallon distillation unit to use when processing the oils from the flowers.

Lavender, a type of mint which blooms from mid-July through late August, has been popular since Roman times and is primarily used either as a perfume, medicine or cosmetic. According to Roxi, along with being a great room spray, “It’s calming, plus it has great healing properties. We spritz lavender hydrosol (100 percent product of distillation) on stuffed animals when our grandchildren are here and it relaxes them at bedtime. When one of them gets a cut they come running now for the hydrosol to clean the area! It’s skin-friendly and an antiseptic, which can be used on burns and for relief from asthma.” Additionally, this versatile plant will ease sore throats and discourage certain types of bugs.

According to the brochure put out by Lavender Association of Western Colorado, it’s also used in “flower arrangements, essential oils, fine handcrafted arts, food and beverages, and such health and body care items as lotions, soaps, mists and sachets.” Classes revolving around lavender cultivation, aromatherapy, art and even cooking (the Lanes are currently working on a formula for lavender-flavored sausage) are becoming more and more popular, also, as well as seasonal farm tours where visitors can pick their own.

Both Bob and Roxi have taken Aroma 101 classes at Delta Vocational School and will next take a course in Denver in order to get more certification, but in the meantime they continue experimenting, not only with lavender but with other herbs. “We’ve planted rose hip bushes around the lavender because it forms a protective hedge against harsh winter winds,” she continues, “plus it serves double-duty since we use the hips for tea, which is one of the highest sources of vitamin C.” In the future, their Antique roses will be distilled for rose hydrosol (think rose water) and also sold to the public. Meantime, they’ve been infusing honey with rose petals (by placing them in jars and filling each with local Olathe honey), making a savory treat. As for other, naturally-based products, Pinion pine essential oil and hydrosol has been successfully used as an expectorant, and Bob swears on their Juniper Berry lotion, which has helped him (and others) tremendously with gout, arthritis and skin spots.

With so many irons in the fire it’s hard to believe that the Lanes have extra time to start Lavender but they love it, and plans are moving forward. Already, thanks to local Farmer’s Markets, family referrals, a few school tours, and of course, word of mouth they’re getting more and more interest. “Someday soon,” Bob tells me, gesturing towards their family’s 70-year-old granary that he’s in the process of restoring, “we’ll have our own store” where they’ll sell 100 percent grass-fed meats, free-range chicken eggs, produce and herbal products. With the lavender fields blooming in the background – and sprigs of it hanging inside – the place is certainly going to smell good.

For more information please contact Bob and Roxi Lane at 5184 6000 Road, Olathe, Colo., 81425, Roxi@DayspringFarm.net or http://www.DayspringFarm.net.

You may also contact the Lavender Association of Western Colorado at P.O. Box 582, Palisade, Colo., 81526, http://www.ColoradoLavender.org or info@coloradolavender.org.