for the love of lavender

A look into the life of a lavender farming family.

Location: Yamhill, Oregon, United States

Saturday, October 07, 2006

the farmers markets draw to a close

We have been doing farmers markets for 5 years now. Selling our fresh and dried Oregon lavender, lavender crafts and some assortment of garden art and other goodies we put together. We even take some of our friends handcrafts now and then. Our main market is in Astoria, Oregon but we often do the farmers market in McMinnville, Oregon too. During the height of the season we have done up to five farmers markets a week- but I admit that's a little crazy.

I was thinking as I was selling lavender at the market. This selling of lavender at markets is an ancient craft. There is mention of the use of lavender and the selling of it at markets in some very old texts. There are even songs made up about it that the seller would shout out to passers by about the attributes of lavender and all the things you can use it for. Things haven't changed much...

As we move out of farmers market season here in Oregon (the season ends when the rains begin) we move right into the holiday market season. The pace changes a little but we're still very busy. We won't slow down until after the holiday gift buying season. A gift of lavender is a great gift!

for the love of lavender...

harvesting art

It's time for harvesting art in Yamhill County! Each October artists in Yamhill County, Oregon open their studios for two weekends. The Art Harvest is organized by the Arts Alliance of Yamhill County and the participating artists. Many different mediums are represented and it can be so inspirational to visit the artists in their studios.

Since I'm a non practicing artist at the moment it can be both inspirational and frustrating. Most would never guess that I was an art major in college and that I have created and sold a lot of art over the years. I always think about and plan for the time when I'll be able to create again. When I retire or when the kids are grown or.... the fact is I just need to set aside time to do it now.

My solace is that I'm surrounded by art and all it's beauty both in nature and in our store. Providing a place for local artists to show their work is very gratifying to me. Wayward Winds Mercantile, Gallery & Gifts is just a very comfortable, fun and interesting place to be. We always have something new, fun and exciting. Maybe one of these days we'll have another artists work to show, mine perhaps?

My good friend Susan Day painted the lovely pastel you see at the top of the page. She also planned and executed the "Paint Out" we had before and during the Yamhill Valley Lavender Festival. Artists came from all over to paint in the lavender fields during the week prior to the festival. They then showed and sold their work during the festival. Ten lavender fields in the area were open for the artists and some of them visited every one of them. The show was successful with most of the artists selling work, some of them multiple pieces. My 14 year old son Riley sold several of his abstracts. The one shown in the middle is his most popular. For information about the Paint Out you can email me

Truth is that Yamhill County and in fact, all of Oregon is so filled with artistic opportunity. Each and every day I see something that makes me say to myself - I wish I could get out there and paint or at the very least, I wish I had my camera. Luckily I did have my camera when I took this picture of one of the artists in a nearby lavender field during the paint out. Next year I want that artist to be me! For the love of lavender.....