SEQUIM — With the help of his family, Victor Gonzalez, owner of Victor’s Lavender Farm, looks to expand his lavender reach.
Gonzalez, his brother Sergio and sister-in-law Monica Gonzalez plan to open Meli’s Lavender Farm, 62 W. Diane Drive in Sequim today.
The farm, just north of Old Olympic Highway and about a quarter-mile west of North Fifth Avenue off Elizabeth Lane, features 1,000 lavender plants for U-pick and more than 30 lavender products made by Maribel Gonzalez, Victor’s wife.
Its intent is two-fold: expand Victor’s business and help pay for his niece Melissa’s education.
“This is only the beginning,” Gonzalez said.
“We look to expand and plant 2,500 plants nearby. We have a high demand that we can’t keep up with.”
Gonzalez has traveled the world teaching lavender production to farmers and continues to operate as a wholesale producer and a major propagator of lavender for farms in the U.S., Canada and much of the world. He guesses his lavender can be found at most, if not all, lavender farms in the Sequim area, too.
“The goal is to have 25,000 more plants in two years,” he said.
That might include a new operation he’s looking into starting to support his growing U.S. and Canada customer-base on the East Coast.
His farm at 3742 Old Olympic Highway near Port Angeles hosts more than 3,500 lavender plants in 150 varieties. It’ll be part of Sequim Lavender Weekend from July 21-23 and he and many other farms host workshops, food, U-pick lavender, music and more that weekend.
Meli’s Lavender Farm is taking a smaller approach to the lavender experience.
Opening Meli’s Lavender Farm this year wasn’t something the Gonzalez families decided to do until recently, Victor said.
Because of that, the new farm doesn’t appear on Sequim Lavender Weekend guides or maps.
However, Monica Gonzalez said they’ve been open a few hours in recent weeks to let people know they are ready for business.
They’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays through the end of August and daily the same hours from July 17-23.
Monica and Sergio remember planting the farm’s 1,000 plants with their family in a cold winter spell two years ago, but their efforts are coming to fruition as the plants will be in full bloom for visitors in the next few weeks.
“We want a lot of people to come and visit with us,” Monica said.
The couple first visited Sequim in 1999 and Sergio said he liked the area for his children, Melissa and Jonathan, who both went on to graduate from Sequim High School after moving to Sequim from California in 2006. Sergio and Monica also bought a janitorial service, now called V&S Ace Janitorial.
Sergio said he bought the lavender farm property initially for storage but Victor suggested he plant lavender with the stipulation that money earned goes to Melissa’s education at Western Washington University where she’s studying computer science for a major.
The couple joke that upon moving here they didn’t know there was a Melissa lavender variety. Now it’s one of many types of lavender they sell.
Throughout the years, Sergio has developed a keen understanding of lavender, too, and says he is known for his lavender wreaths, which he can make up to six in an hour.
For more information on the farms, visit www.victorslavender.com or call 360-681-7930.
Victor’s Lavender Farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and due to the McDonald Creek Bridge closing for construction, travelers are encouraged to drive on U.S. Highway 101 and go north on Barr or Shore roads and go east on Old Olympic Highway to the farm.
For more on Sequim Lavender Weekend, which includes dozens of events, visit www.sequimlavenderweekend.com.
Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at [email protected].