I hijacked my own Mother’s Day this year. I love sleeping in and having breakfast in bed and all, but traipsing around a farm on a Sunday morning sounded so much more fun! Forcing my sleepy family to get up, get dressed and get on the road, we took the one hour drive out to Keys Creek Lavender Farm in Valley Center, California.
This fragrant oasis is the only USDA-certified organic lavender farm. The farm previously known as The Lavender Fields, has more than a dozen varieties of lavender on eight-and-a-half acres of land.
The Keys Creek Lavender Farm has been my very own elusive mystical unicorn. I hear about it, I want to see one, but yet every time I made an effort to go – poof, the opportunity disappeared! The Farm is only open to the public in the months of May and June, and weekend tours often sell out in advance. In other words, plan your trip — if you think you can get a glimpse of this magical place on a whim, it’s just not going to happen. I planned and bought my Mother’s Day tickets months in advance, so I finally had set plans. If you’re a good planner as well, they also host English High Teas, tours, healing and yoga retreats, numerous classes and workshops, private events and parties, and getaways.
After we arrived at the farm, we were met by our lovely tour guide, Sarah Jones. Sarah has a lovely British accent and says things like, “Watch out here – it’s a bit slippy!” And, “These plants can be a bit persnickety.” Needless to say my tea-drinking, everything-British-loving daughter was floating around on cloud nine. Also floating around were about a billion busy bees. The bees were buzzing around in a pollen gathering frenzy on the fragrant lavender plants warming in the sun. Meanwhile my husband appeared panicked, and his eyes were darting around as if he were looking for stray bullets. He’s allergic to bees — oh boy, did I feel bad. With no epi-pen on hand, or even an anti-histamine, my husband really stepped up and bravely marched through the buzzing acres like a good ‘Mother’s Day’ sport. Note: Honey bees like these are NOT interested in you. Do not go into the bushes, swat at them, or make sudden moves if one lands on you and you’ll BEE just fine. 🙂
We learned about different varieties of lavender, which ones have more oil and even saw an oil distillery. It basically looks like a moonshine set-up, but for making glorious golden lavender oil instead. I believe it takes 250 pounds of lavender to make one large bottle. Lavender takes a lot of work, but the labor of love is evident throughout the farm.
After the tour, guests stopped at the adorable tea house to purchase lavender based foods – teas, lemonade, scones and cookies. The gift shop a bit further down the path offered lotions, soaps, dried satchels of lavender, scone mix, candles and more. Needless to say, the store smelled amazing.
Lavender has many healing properties (see below), but most notably it has a calming effect. It’s great in cleaning and beauty products, and my personal favorite use is in a diffuser.
If you’re headed out for a visit, grab a lavender treat from the farm, but then stop for lunch at the Yellow Deli. You will most likely pass it on the way in, but this farm to table deli offers a an organic food menu and they have a lovely terrace in the shade to dine at. The food from the Yellow Deli is actually grown at the farm that neighbors the Lavender farm!
This is a great San Diego day trip, but PLAN PLAN PLAN. It’s beyond worth it!
For more information, go here – https://www.kclfarm.com/