Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mount Shasta Lavender Farm revisited

The most spectacular place I visited last summer was Mount Shasta Lavender Farm. Its extensive fields of lavender nestled against a hillside in the high desert north of Weed are possibly the most stunning sight in the North State. Click here to read last year’s post if you missed it.

All year I had been looking forward to the perfume of lavender permeating the air and a cool glass of lavender lemonade, and this weekend we finally went back for another visit.

As you can see from the GPS, Mount Shasta Lavender Farm is located in the middle of nowhere. As soon as we pulled off Harry Cash Road onto the steep dirt road that goes to the lavender fields, our navigation system displayed nothing but terra incognita.

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But very soon you’re rewarded with the view you came for:

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The lavender was past its prime, but the fragrance emanating from the fields was even stronger this year. And the panorama was as majestic as ever.

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The parking lot was almost full but most people don’t seem to venture far afield. Walk a few hundred feet towards Mount Shasta, and you can enjoy this natural splendor in virtual solitude.

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As lush and green the tree-studded town of Mount Shasta is, the valley to the north is bone dry. The native vegetation is dominated by sage brush and juniper; not much else survives the aridity. So while the 250+ days of sunshine and the freely draining volcanic soil are ideal for growing lavender, it would not thrive without water. All the lavender beds at the Mount Shasta Lavender farm are on drip irrigation fed by wells.

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Clearing the site must have involved moving untold tons of rocks, large and small. The native rocks are truly beautiful. I should ask if I can come with a truck and haul some of it away for use in our garden!

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The gift shop is a modest but beautiful stone building that evokes Tuscany.

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This year they also carried handmade terracotta pottery with lavender designs. I meant to write down the name of the Seattle potter who makes them but I forgot.

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This is a great way of creating planting pockets on a hillside. I’ve got to find a way to incorporate stacked stones in our garden; I love how textural it is.

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Behind the gift shop is a wood-burning oven. I wonder for what occasions it gets used. I bet that bread or pizza baked in this oven tastes fantastic.

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The walls of the gift shop have a lot of character. I loved this metal ornament resembling a lavender flower stalk…

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… and this planter with Russian sage.

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The patio offers a beautifully framed view of the lavender fields and Mount Shasta. It’s the perfect place to enjoy the lavender-infused lemonade dispensed for free in the gift shop.

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Just below the gift shop patio, a new lavender field has been planted. To me this means that Mount Shasta Lavender Farm is doing well economically. To help them do even better, you can buy some of their lavender products in their online store.

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3 comments:

  1. It looks so nice there! How hot does it get? The lack of shade around the building makes it look less welcoming, as I envision it hitting 100ºF all summer long.

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    1. Now that you mentioned it, I'm surprised, too, that they don't have any trees providing shade for the house. While I don't think it ever gets to 100°F (the altitude is close to 4000 ft.) shade is always welcome. There was a nice breeze when we were there, which is quite typical for the high desert north of Mt Shasta. In fact, high winds are often a problem for motorists on Interstate 5 some 15 miles west of the lavender farm.

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  2. I still remember that post of yours from last year, with your great photography it captured the beauty of the place well and looked spectacular. The fragrance must be wonderful and love that pergola!

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