Our next stop was Goodwin Creek Nursery in Williams. Here we had a delicious blackberry/vanilla sorbet. (It was nothing do with lavender, but it was divine!) They only sold lavender plants so we did not see any fields. We had a most interesting conversation with a gentleman about milkweed and Monarch butterflies. This was the first time I have seen milkweed plants for sale. In Oregon they are considered to be a "noxious weed". What they don't realize is milkweed is a staple of Monarch butterflies and with the spraying of pesticides and mowing down of milkweed, Monarch butterflies are on a decline. When the boys were little we could find milkweed and Monarch caterpillars. Now I cannot find them. Their habitat is being destroyed.
The next stop was one of my favorites and was the farthest out, Luna Blue Farms. It was quite the chore to get to the lavender so we decided to take advantage of the sun umbrella and chairs. The first thing we noticed were all the butterflies! There were 4 varieties of lavendar, but we only noticed the butterflies on one row. There was swallowtail and buckeye butterflies. We sat and watched them frolic through the blooms. The bushes were alive with honey bees, bumblebees, moths and butterflies. Soon the farmer came to visit with us and we discussed the lavender business. It was peaceful, quiet except for the hungry buzz. Overhead red tail hawks were scavenging in the sky. It was soul satisfying!
We left Williams and traveled to the town of Applegate. Eight miles up Thompson Cr. Rd. was the English Lavender Farm. The lavender was planted on a sloping hill so when the breeze blew the lilac scent was sent down the hill. It was a freshly graveled road and new "barn". They served Stim coffee, lavender lemonade, and sold all kinds of lavender products. Again I thought the prices were spendy.
We decided to not stop at the Applegate Valley Lavender Farm as a sort of political protest. All the other farms had banded together to publicize and advertise the Trail. This person decided since she was on the main highway she did not need to pay into the organization. In other words, she took full advantage of the publicity to benefit herself and not her neighbors. That's dirty and I would rather not support someone with such callous business practises.
Last on the list was Lavender Fields Forever, which was probably the best organized, best prices, and most user friendly. They had a food cart, Figgy's, and craft booths. We were shown how they make the lavender wands by a very nice young lady. I spent a lot of my money there buying bath gel, mist, essential oil, and patronizing my classroom helper, Susie's craft booth. My favorite was the cute stuffed bird with the lavender tail!
We ended the day at Fiasco Winery where Chef Jesse Sword had created some quenching lavender iced tea. We tried his wine marinated shrimp wrapped in prosciutto and drunken apple, smoked chicken, bleu cheese pizza. (YUM!) It was a truly lovely day.
We both decided though that NOTHING could beat the Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms: http://www.mtshastalavenderfarms.com. The view, the fountain, the free lemonade, the well priced gifts, the lavender and THE MOUNTAIN. Sorry S. Oregon you just don't have it all. You can drive 49 mile to Williams or 60 miles to Mt. Shasta. Go for the mountain!