Mark and Debbie Aguiling of Auburn gather some U-cut lavender at Purple Haze Organic Lavender Farm on Friday, July 17, 2020. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Mark and Debbie Aguiling of Auburn gather some U-cut lavender at Purple Haze Organic Lavender Farm on Friday, July 17, 2020. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Lavender farmers say weekend was smaller but steady

Many farms to remain open for summer with restrictions in place

SEQUIM — With masks on, standing at least two lavender plants apart from strangers and using hand sanitizer as needed, visitors to Sequim’s lavender farms still seemed to enjoy the sights and smells of a modified Sequim Lavender Weekend.

Despite no Street Fair, vendors, live music or food tents allowed on farms because of the state’s Phase 2 guidelines for COVID-19, many lavender farmers reported a toned-down but consistent flow of visitors.

Carmen Sepulveda, co-owner of Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm, said “everyone has been extremely gracious” about her business’ precautionary efforts.

Inside her shop, masks/face coverings are required with hand sanitizer available by the door as visitors come in. Outside, much of the farm’s lavender is closed off because it’s largely used for culinary purposes, and Sepulveda said they don’t want to run any risk of contamination with her products or visitors.

“People have just been happy to be out,” she said. “We had no issues.”

Typically, Sequim Lavender Weekend brings thousands of visitors to area lavender farms, events and businesses. However, with new health guidelines in place regarding the novel coronavirus, various organizers scaled back, such as the Sequim Lavender Festival cancelling its Street Fair in Carrie Blake Community Park.

Clallam County’s Phase 2 doesn’t allow for formal gatherings like an official festival; farms, however, could open to visitors/customers and sell existing products under state guidelines that include use of masks inside buildings and social distancing.

Family friends, from left, Amara Gonzalez, 13, ELizabeth Ramriez, 11, and Belinda Ramirez, 13, make lavender wreaths together at the new lavender farm Rancho La Morada off Marine Drive. The farm’s co-owner Juan Gonzalez said his family has cultivated lavender for years and they wanted to open their farm this year. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Family friends, from left, Amara Gonzalez, 13, ELizabeth Ramriez, 11, and Belinda Ramirez, 13, make lavender wreaths together at the new lavender farm Rancho La Morada off Marine Drive. The farm’s co-owner Juan Gonzalez said his family has cultivated lavender for years and they wanted to open their farm this year. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Options

Some farms like B&B Family Farm moved their stores outside for visitors to peruse easier and farther apart.

At Juan Gonzalez and his family’s new Rancho La Morada Lavender & Flower Farm, he said “people have definitely been coming around.”

He wavered on the idea of opening over the national concern of COVID-19, but figured he’d try. Family and friends helped out under tents making lavender wreaths and selling products for visitors, too. The business opens this weekend — 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Saturday — at 1434 Marine Drive.

“We’re hoping next year everything will come back to normal,” Gonzalez said.

Of the dozens of farm visitors interviewed across Sequim’s many farms, most were from the I-5 corridor, saying they sought an escape or a day trip from the city.

Molly Nguyen of Kent came with her family to Sequim five years ago and returned seeking a day trip, too.

“It’s sad there’s no big festival,” she said. “We prefer the bigger events with more activities.”

Others saw the weekend as a treat: Heather Amoranto of Lakewood visited seven farms on Sunday as a present to herself on her birthday weekend.

Aspiring lavender farmer Melissa Broughton of central California visited Sequim, seeking tips for growing lavender back home.

She saw a sign for Meli’s Lavender and wondered if it stood for Melissa. It did, and she spent a few hours speaking with Sergio Gonzalez and his family at the farm about lavender.

“Sergio is like me; he’s passionate about lavender and loves to tend to it,” Broughton said.

For updates on Sequim Lavender Weekend 2021, visit www.sequimlavenderweekend.com.

Here are Sequim’s lavender farms’ openings for the remainder of the summer 2020:

B&B Family Farm, 5883 Old Olympic Highway; open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Sept. 30. 360-504-2585, www.bbfamilyfarm.com

Graysmarsh Farm, 6187 Woodcock Road; open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday through September. 360-683-5563, graysmarsh.com

Fleurish Lavender of Lost Mountain, 1541 Taylor Cutoff Road; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Monday through Sept. 7. 360-681-2782, fleurishlavender.com

Jardin du Soleil Lavender, 3832 Sequim-Dungeness Way; open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily in July; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday Aug.1- Sept. 30. 360-582-1185, www.jardindusoleil.com

Lavender Connection, 1141 Cays Road; open by appointment through Sept. 7. Visit www.lavenderconnection.com to schedule a free visit. 360-681-6055

Meli’s Lavender, 62 W. Diane Drive; open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Aug. 1. Wednesday-Sunday. 360-461-9958, www.facebook.com/melislavender

Nelson’s Duckpond & Lavender Farm, 73 Humble Hill Road; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. 360-681-7727, nelsonsduckpond.com

Olympic Lavender Company, 1532 Marine Drive; open through Sept. 10 a.m.-4 p.m., buylavender.com

Purple Haze Lavender Farm, 180 Bell Bottom Lane; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Sept. 7. Downtown store, 127 W. Washington St., open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. 360-683-1714, purplehazelavender.com

Rancho La Morada Lavender & Flower Farm, 1434 Marine Drive; open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 24-25. 360-461-7679, [email protected]

Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm, 274154 U.S. Highway 101; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through September. 360-683-6453, www.sunshinelavender.com

Troll Haven/Bandy Farms, 950 Gardiner Beach Road; open for U-cut 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1 during Farmer’s Market. www.facebook.com/TrollHavenBandyFarms

Victor’s Lavender Farm, 3743 Old Olympic Highway; open 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, through Aug. 30. victors lavender.com; also Victor’s Rain Shadow Lavender Farm, 1410 Kitchen-Dick Road; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, through Sept. 27. 360-912-3938

Washington Lavender, 965 Finn Hall Road; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Sept. 7. 360-452-4877, www.facebook.com/walavenderfestival

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