For the Love of Lavender. The Lavender Fields of Western Colorado

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Lavender originated in the Mediterranean regions of Europe and grows well in like-minded climates. It likes to populate an area full of sun, arid soil, low humidity, and high altitude – making Colorado’s Western Slope the perfect environment for lavender fields and farms.

At Your Pace Freestyle Cycling Adventures’ Colorado Wine Country Self-guided Bike tour is the perfect trip to take you somewhere that is not only visually remarkable but will appeal to all of your senses. Just a bike ride away from Grand Junction you can find the lavender fields of Western Colorado, and one of our favorite Lavender Farms, Sprigs & Sprouts, among the orchards of Palisade.

We spent the afternoon talking everything lavender with owners Linda Bailey and Ruth Elkins.

So how did you get into the lavender “field”?

I used to work with Linda doing medical transcription and we lost our jobs when everything became digital. We looked at several properties and found a piece of land that was in foreclosure and secured our new future. Once we had the land, we looked into specialty crops, found lavender, and blossomed ever since. – Ruth

 

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How has your life changed since switching to growing lavender?

We are a lot more mobile and get to be outside everyday. Growing lavender is very exciting and full of hard work, but we enjoy it. You have to love lavender to want to grow it. Any business is stressful and we both like everything to be perfect, and a lot of the time it isn’t perfect. But I enjoy being able to get up and move around everyday. I sleep really well at night! Most people are so infatuated with the smell, I don’t even smell it anymore. But they walk in the door and love the way it smells. – Linda

How many people come through your doors?

It is hard to say. We do see a lot of cyclists, bus tours, and even foot traffic. We have a great gift shop so we are very popular around Mother’s Day and you can find the perfect Christmas presents here. – Ruth

What is the best time of year to come and what can visitors expect?

Between June and the end of July, maybe even early September lavender is still blooming. But we are busy from June until December.

We take people on tours of the fields, our tasting room, and shop. Each variety of lavender has a distinct scent and people typically don’t know that, so we have them pick the stem of each to see the, variance in variety.

We have a gift shop, tasting room, olive oils, and aquaponics. There is a lot to see and taste; we even provide culinary samples using our lavender. Our aromatherapist blends her own essential oils using our lavender and we are able to sell it right here.  – Ruth and Linda

 

“For centuries lavender has been prized for its sweet perfume, medicinal properties, and beautiful color. It’s easily one of the best known and most popular herbs on our dear old Mother Earth. You’ll find this amazing plant used in cooking, essential oils and hydrosols, the healing arts, and a myriad of crafts and creative endeavors.” – Lavender Association of Western Colorado.

 

What is the lavender industry like here?

Well, the lavender trend for us started around 2009 and blossomed with CSU partnership with the Lavender Association of Colorado and the United States Lavender Growers Association. A variety of lavender can be grown in the area and the associations are currently redesigning what constitutes “high altitude” lavender.

At first we partnered with the Palisade Lavender Association, across the street, and distilled a special English and French lavender and entered into a Nose Knows competition in New Zealand, and we placed second the first year! Ever since, we have been inundated with everything and Sprigs & Spouts exploded. We currently have over 4,000 lavender plants over our 2.5 acres. – Linda

What is the trend in visitors?

We opened on Mother’s Day in 2012 and every year since our sales and crops have increased. Sprigs & Sprouts goes off of a Mediterranean theme; lavender is from that region and we really embrace the diet, fruits, vegetables, and oils from that region and offer them here. Typically people stay from 30 minutes to over an hour. Our tasting room allows their imagination to run away and they get caught up contemplating what new recipes they can create with our products. – Ruth

*Sprigs & Sprouts offers cooking demos at the Palisade Farmer’s Market.

What is your favorite thing to cook with lavender?

Oh, everything! Lavender ice cream, pasta with lavender, lavender infused honey, but people love our seasonings. – Ruth

What is your most popular product?

We sell so many different aspects of seasonings with lavender. We have olive oil with lavender, lavender balsamic vinegar, and essential oils. It just depends on how you want your lavender. – Linda

Do you have anything special coming up soon?

We are hosting a Warrior Women Full Moon Yoga and Movement event on May 21st. Doors open at 6:30pm for refreshments and class starts at 7:30pm. The class is an all levels class the night of the full moon. Also, the Colorado Lavender Association’s annual Lavender Festival will be taking place from July 8th – 10th.  – Linda

-$25 can get you in the door, tasting lavender treats, being enveloped by the scent of lavender while practicing yoga among the lavender fields. Get your tickets here.

After speaking with Linda and Ruth I could see how much they love what they do. Every answer came from their hearts and you could hear them light up when speaking about the varieties, culinary applications, and pace of life in the lavender fields. So next time you are on the Western Slope stop in and see the duo and treat yourself to some lavender love. And if you are hooked after the first lavender farm and one is just not enough, we also recommend visiting Belli Flori for lavender specialties, small-batch aromatherapy, culinary, and body care products or Sage Creations, an organic farm, that sells, in addition to lavender, sweet cherries, heirloom tomatoes, potted culinary herbs, lavender plants, both fresh and dried cut bundles, and an array of lavender products ranging from lotions, essential oils, neck wraps, eye pillows, and wreaths at their modest farm stand.

For more information on Colorado’s lavender fields the Lavender Association of Western Colorado’s website. – found here

Featured Lavender Farms

Springs & Sprouts, Hwy 6, 3669 G Road Palisade, CO , (970) 234-1261

Belli Flori Lavender, 728 24 Road, Grand Junction, CO 81505, 970.462.9223

Sage Creations, 3555 E Road Palisade, Colorado 81526, 970.623.9556
*All pictures sourced from Sprigs & Sprouts Facebook page – found here.

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