Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Thank you, Bend Chamber of Commerce and Facebook, for putting on an excellent seminar for small businesses.  I was unprepared--I went with my little tablet and pencil and all around me were computers (duh), I was in awe--the lady who taught the course and the local small business team she assembled to field questions from the audience with practical answers was perfect--and I now know what direction to go to grow Still Waters Lavender.  Of course, I didn't understand most of it but it opened the door for me to learn.  It is always good to stretch those little gray cells.  Now... onward and upward!  Or... out into the great unknown!  Going where this woman has never gone before!  (These are all encouragement remarks because it's the great unknown, going where I've never gone before is a little bit scary.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Saturday, April 19, 2014 Gene and I participated in the Central Oregon Master Gardener Show.  We were there at 7 a.m. setting up.  We were welcomed at the door by helping hands and, before we knew it, we were ready for customers... and they came.   

On the front table we had plants:  lavender--Grosso and Munstead and herbs--Sage and Oregano.  We also had the Oregon Lavender Association "Lavender Festival" sign and the lavender scythes on the table.  On the front of the table, we put up a sign about upcoming events:  The May 2-4 Deschutes County Home and Garden Show when HearthCricket Farm will participate along with us, and the July 12-13 Oregon Lavender Association's Lavender Festival in which lavender farms across the state open their farms to visitors.  This will be our first year involved in the lavender festival and the first year we will be open to the public:  July 1-August 31; Tuesday - Saturday; 10a-6p.

People asked many questions... good questions... about the lavender.  We referred them to Sarah Bader's book "The Lavender Lover's Handbook" when asked about specific plants.  We invited people out to Still Waters Lavender to walk among the lavender, to choose what they preferred and to observe which plants did well and which ones do not.   People asked about the Oregon Lavender Association's (OLA) Festival and we gave out hundreds of the beautiful brochures prepared by the OLA.  People asked about the scythes--how do you use them--and we referred them to Susan Harrington's minute video on her webpage "Labyrinth Hill Lavender".   

The vendor behind us (in the next aisle) was Paulina Springs Bookstore.  Gene was apprehensive about being next to a bookstore--he thought he might lose me for the day.  There were so many good books about gardening, composting, small land farmers (as I said, so many good books).  I understood his concern but it all worked out well.  We--Gene and I--decided that two books were paramount for us:  "The Lavender Lover's Handbook" by Sarah Berringer Bader and "Discover Cooking with Lavender" by Kathy Gehrt.  I did not have any culinary lavender buds--Miss Katherine which is sweet and Folgate which is subtle--with me because they all sold in 2013; however, that does not mean we cannot talk about cooking with lavender with our customers.  Even though lavender has been used for centuries in cooking, people were surprised to hear about using lavender in their everyday cooking and seemed eager to learn.  Every time we talked about using lavender in our food or were asked about specific plants, we would let people know that Paulina Springs Bookstore could order those two books and delivery would be in just a few days.

The book "The Lavender Lover's Handbook" is on top of the shelf containing the lavender-infused honey and the lavender-infused preserves.  Just because I didn't have any culinary lavender buds for sale was no excuse for not having "Discover Cooking with Lavender" so, for our next show on May 2-4 at the Deschutes Country Fair and Expo Center's "Home and Garden Show", "Discover Cooking with Lavender" will be displayed so that people will be able to see recipes using this wonderful culinary herb.  Also at the May 2-4 show, HearthCricket Farm will be participating.  We sell their lip balm beauty product.  We use them, we like them and we think you will like them, too.  Another culinary delight is the lavender syrup... People try; people buy.  Another bath/beauty product is our handcrafted soap:  honey n' oatmeal and the ever popular goats milk lavender soap made from the Saanan goat milk from HearthCricket Farm.  There is also lavender essential oil and lavender hydrosol.   Many handcrafted items using WITM Enterprise's beautiful fabric is for sale:  a variety of lavender-filled sachets as well as lavender/rice-filled chicken doorstops.  A new item, lavender spheres, are also for sale.  When children came by our booth, we explained how to make the spheres:  four ingredients--styrofoam ball, paint (to seal the ball), white glue and lavender.  Place the spheres in a vase or bowl on a table and, when the sun hits the lavender spheres, the oils will be released from the lavender buds and will make your home smell lavenderly wonderful.  Still Waters Lavender buds are available for this project, although in a limited quantity.

At the end of the main table we put up a rack containing lavender-filled chicken moth repellents, lavender pomanders, lavender stemmed crochet doll ornaments and amulet pouches.  

At the end of the day, we were tired but thrilled with the response of this first show of the season for us.  Central Oregon Master Gardeners were wonderful hosts and we were honored to be asked to return... and, if the Good Lord is willing and the creek don't rise, we will be there in 2015.  Now, it's home and preparing for the May 2-4 Deschutes County Home and Garden Show.  New products--and the introduction of LongBottom Coffee!  We hope to see you there!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


April 2, 2014

(Something old--wooden box from mom and dad's place, 
something older--milk stool from my grandpa's barn
 and something from last year--dried lavender from our 2013 Harvest)
It's been a month since the last posting.  My, how times change!  In just a short 30+ days, the two greenhouses are up.  The snow has come and gone... and come again; along with sunshine and biting wind and rain...A joke in Oregon goes something like "it's sunshining right now but, give it a few minutes, and it'll start snowing."

Last Sunday, our greenhouses had their shells put on.  My husband and I go into the greenhouses and just stare in amazement.  We giggle, hug each other and giggle some more.  A dream... everyone should have a dream come true.  And it all started with a telephone call from a friend ..."there's some greenhouses you might be interested in."

Gene and I drove to Madras, looked and purchased.  That fast!  We (translate that to Gene) got busy clearing the land and marking the space out.  "Both of them won't fit in that spot," I told him.  I had "eyeballed" the spot and we were lucky that one would fit it the space, let alone two greenhouses.  Gene smiled-that irritating all knowing husband smile--and he just kept measuring and pounding those stakes into the ground. Mumbling, I went back to the house.  

So, measuring and staking for two greenhouses--30' x 48' each-- the gravel was delivered and the base for the two greenhouses was spread and leveled by the fellow who put in our drip irrigation.  The two greenhouses would fit perfectly in the spot Gene measured.  Eyeballing is neither a science nor a commonsense approach to deciding if a building can go into a specific space.  Let's move on...

Then, came the greenhouses... the parts just came, and came... and continued to come.  It looked like an enormous Lego, Tinkertoy, Erecto set outside:  similar parts stacked together--all with marks and codes and strangle little doodlings.  I decided I'd stick to my 1000-piece puzzles that fit on my table.  These particular "puzzle pieces" with their foreign markings belonged to the experts!  I went back to the house...again.

Every now and then, I would peek outside towards the greenhouses and see the builders measuring and measuring again, talking a strange language that only they seemed to comprehend.  It's comforting when professionals are building your dream. With skill and determination combined with a good work ethic, they would get about the task set before them with great zeal.  Then the -30 degrees with snow....  They came out one day and the equipment didn't function very well in freezing temperatures.  While the skeletons of the greenhouses stood all forlorn, we went back to the house for our skis, sled and hot chocolate... 

When the snow stopped falling, the freezing winds came, followed by rain and then the pretty days--cold and windy--but the sun did shine.  Progression was made on the greenhouses until, at last, they were mostly up. There are still a few minor items that need finishing but, for all intents and purposes, they are up.  
Joy! Joy!  Joy! Joy!  ("Ode to Joy"--I don't know the words so I just sing "joy"...that explains pretty closely how we feel).  "A dream is a wish your heart makes... when you're fast asleep."  This dream is now a reality and I am humbled that we have been allowed to have these beautiful structures, worked with extremely talented, gifted people who helped to make this dream come true.  I thank you... from the bottom of my heart... I/we--Gene and I--thank you.

The other morning I glanced out my bedroom window and saw this image.  The sun was coming down the trees, over the lavender fields all white with frost, when its rays suddenly hit the greenhouses and made them glow.  It captured the essence of a new morning, a new beginning...

Now--Plants!  Another Saga in the Life of a Lavender Farmer!  They should be coming in about ten days--TEN DAYS!  Oh my goodness!  The cycle of life is pretty amazing!  Keeps us busy (and out of trouble:  "Idle hands are the devil's handiwork") and our fingers in the dirt... I like that!