Saturday, June 30, 2007

Full Strawberry Moon, and a "Fields" Trip

Moon view from my front walk, looking up through the crape myrtle tree. June is definitely strawberry season! Today's field trip was to northern San Diego County, to see the lavender in bloom.
It was definitely blooming, and the scent was heavy in the air.
The lavender fields are at the end of a long and winding dirt road. Let's just say, we brought the right vehicle: my truck is a good off-road vehicle!
But it was all worth it.
The lavender fields are spectacular, and there was enough bloom to satisfy that craving that's been existing since we were in France.
Sister-in-law and traveling companion Linda and I were thrilled to have been in Provence. There was lots of lavender "stuff" there but the fields were not yet in bloom.
So we were glad to have the opportunity to visit these, closer to us than France and thus much more accessible.
The fields are planted with many different varieties of French, English, Spanish and American hybrids of lavender. Some were in full bloom, some had passed their peak. The harvest was in full swing.
The farm is only open for visits during May and June. Today was the last day of this year's season. We caught the tail end of a tour, and learned quite a bit about lavender and its preparation.
There are llamas and Navajo churro sheep in residence on the farm, as well as lots and lots of lavender.
There is yarn for sale in the Wool Shed on the property. Some of it is churro wool, in natural colors and some dyed in lovely natural hues. Churro wool is a bit coarse, and this was spun into a rustic texture that spoke of felting and warm mittens. There was also some very soft and smooth wool dyed in wonderful shades. The guide explained that the dyer will often look outside and match the colors in the natural fields. However she does it, it's gorgeous stuff.
The distillery is where the cut blooms and stems are turned into essential oil and perfumes. The farm is a certified organic grower so all of their products are pure and natural.

Closeup of the lavender plant:
There are lots more photos on my Flickr page--just click the link on my Flickr badge and you can go see!

We finished the day with a visit to La Petite Knitterie in Ladera Ranch. No, this is not really "near" the Lavender Fields--there's a lot of hills and mountains in between--but it was a nice day for a road trip. Traffic was rather heavy going from one freeway to the other, as the area is being developed a little more rapidly than the roads are.
Anyway, LPK was quite wonderful. We *almost* met Lori Lawson, who does the gorgeous Capistrano Fiber Arts hand-dyed rovings and yarns, we got to fondle many of the gorgeous colors (and yes, some of them came home with us) and textures and samples. It's a great store and I for one will probably visit them again whenever I am in the area. Kat told us that they are planning to offer the CFA yarns (and others) on their website, as soon as they can. You can bet I for one will be checking it out!
That's it for tonight. See you in July... I'm off to bed, to watch the moon! (Moon gaze? Moon struck? Whatever!)


jillian said...

My gosh, you take the best trips! That sounds like an incredible place - and wool too! Glad you got to pop into LPK on the way. CFA on the web?? I better knit up what's in my stash so I can feel OK about grabbing some more!

Sheepish Annie said...

Now that sounds like a great field trip! And what a coincidence...I got the fixings for strawberry shortcake today.

Madge said...

What a wonderful day you and Linda had!

And LPK too. *sigh* Yes, a wonderful day.

mary said...

I can almost smell the heady aroma of the lavender. mmmmmm Topped off with LPK? Ah, truly a wonderful day.

LotusKnits said...

Wow, I'm so jealous. Lavender is my favorite scent! I hope you got to take some home...

junieann said...

What a lovely site. You have more goodies down there - to view and enjoy.

Great trip. I have some heather here, but wow, I bet the smell of lavender was just wonderful.

PS the yarn from Art Yarns is really yummy. your swatch is gorgeous.

Annette said...

Sounds like a perfect day! I'll have to remember the lavender fields for next year. I love the scent. I'm also going to have to make a trip to LPK. I haven't been there yet. I'm feeling the need for a field trip coming on. :)

Monica said...

I went to Lavender Fields last fall and I got some of their products. I love their lotions.