Monday, July 23, 2012

Pelindaba Lavender Festival

Although much of the rest of the country is experiencing a heat wave and a record drought, our weather here in the Pacific Northwest continues to approximate early Spring or late Fall. 

Pelindaba Lavender Farm is located inland on San Juan Island in a lovely warm, dry microclimate, just perfect for lavender, but on Sunday we velcro'ed down the sides of the tents to keep the rain out, and bundled up in sweatshirts and windbreakers. The photo above is of me with Pelindaba's Stephen Robins during a sun break. I think the weather might have been my fault because I made hundreds of bite-sized lavender meringues especially for the festival, and meringues don't like rain. So...

Despite the weather, my family and I had a terrific day. The brave souls who ventured out in the rain were interesting and interested, and I met many incredibly kind and friendly islanders. My kids ran through the fields, made crafts like lovely smelling soap balls tied with ribbon, and paintings of the fields in bloom, and Pelindaba's kitchen sold an array of delicious choices for lunch. I had a flaky, flavorful lamb pie with lavender and ended my day with an unbelievably decadent ice cream sandwich made with two rich and chewy chocolate cookies filled with chocolate lavender ice cream. A 9-person Marimba band played under a tent and their music was joyous and spirited, and you could tell they were having as much fun as their audience was. 

All in all it was a beautiful day; the lavender fields are in bloom, and the rain made everything smell particularly fresh and clean. Pelindaba began as an open space preservation project, and that same generous spirit comes through in everything they do. There was a real sense of community at the farm - islanders greeting each other with hugs, strangers introducing themselves, and a whole lot of milling about admiring the lavender. 

As we were getting ready to board the ferry for the ride back to Anacortes at the end of the day, we ran into friends who had sailed to the island. We hadn't seen them in ages, and running into them in Friday Harbor felt like the cherry on top of a perfect Pacific Northwest summer day -- the weather may not have cooperated, but there's no place more beautiful or warm in spirit.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for your wonderful Food Artisans book. I picked it up the other day and started reading while eating a slice of Port Madison goat cheese on a slice of tomato from Billy's Gardens! (A summer favorite at our house - kind of chevre chaud with tomato.) We bought salmon from Pete Knutson for our wedding reception 18 years ago. And I was so happy to see a good article about Wild Things - she is an incredible forager, and we have enjoyed her mushrooms for years. This second-generation Seattle native thinks you've hit it just right! Thanks again.

    Nancy Winder, with whom you took a knitting class in January!