Marcus Larson/News-Register##While her mother Amanda works on making wreaths, 6-month-old Norah Bozich chews away happily on a
lavender flower at the Lavender Festival.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##While her mother Amanda works on making wreaths, 6-month-old Norah Bozich chews away happily on a lavender flower at the Lavender Festival.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Lavender Festival volunteers Diana Lewis and Abby Durrell work to create bouquets of lavender for visitors to purchase.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Lavender Festival volunteers Diana Lewis and Abby Durrell work to create bouquets of lavender for visitors to purchase.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Lavender oil maker Butch Bochart empties his vat of used up lavender plants.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##Lavender oil maker Butch Bochart empties his vat of used up lavender plants.
By Emily Hoard • Staff Writer • 

Festival unites lavender and art

During the festival, four lavender farms were open to the public: Wayward Winds Lavender, Chehalem Flats Farm Market, Mountainside Lavender and Red Ridge Farms.

The festival featured lavender crafts and a variety of vendor booths offering lavender wreaths, soap, fragrances, candles and more — even lavender-flavored wine, beer, tea, brownies and honey.

The lineup included Marilyn Thompson of Victoria’s Lavender in Newberg.

The business is named for her daughter, Victoria. It carries a line of luxury lavender products featured in hotels, spas and stores across the country, including Incahoots in McMinnville and the Alison Inn & Spa in Newberg.

Thompson’s husband, Troy, died of Lou Gehrig’s disease shortly after they purchased property for his landscaping business. She had learned about natural medical alternatives during his illness, and this led her to launch Victoria’s Lavender.

One attraction was being able to stay home with Victoria and grow lavender on the property. “I raised her through this business as a single mom,” she said.

As the scope of the business has grown, Victoria’s Lavender has come to employ other stay-at-home moms as well, enabling them to work while caring for their children. The business now encompasses 100 products, including an all-natural bug repellent and a sun exposure balm.

She said lavender has a calming quality that can help people sleep and relieve headaches. It also has antibacterial and antiflammatory properties, so is good for cuts and burns.

Butch Bochart brought a still to demonstrate the process of distilling lavender essential oil.

“It’s not rocket science,” he said. “It’s a very old process. They’ve been doing it the same way for 3,500 years, except with wood fires instead of propane.”

Inside the Cultural Center, the Plein Air Art Show displayed work from 100 artists. They had spent the previous two weeks painting outdoors at participating lavender farms.

“The participating farms were willing to host artists during the busiest time of year, and we really appreciate it,” said Portland artist Diane Holland.

“It’s grown year by year and has attracted high quality artists,” said fellow participant Nathalie Equall of Cedar Hills. She titled one of her paintings “Ninety-seven” because it was 97 degrees the day she created it.

Chehalem Flats was selling its own lavender products in addition to featuring those of other producers, including Katula Herbs and The Farmer’s Daughter.

Owner Jan Ellings said her goal was to develop her own business while also promoting other local producers. “We do our very best to keep local products, mostly from Yamhill County,” she said.

Ellings has several projects planned for her property, a former dairy farm.

She plans to convert the old milking parlor into a small kitchen for visitors to experiment with food, perhaps creating their own jam. She also hopes to develop a classroom where workshops can be held.

Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS