Those looking for fresh fragrances and fun outings in the Fresno area have two more chances to pick lavender this month.
The French lavender that Dallas Nord planted on his Kerman farm last year looks like it’s already five years old the way it’s blossomed, he said.
“We planted the first acre last year in May,” Nord said. “So yeah, they’re just one year old. They look like 5-year-old plants. They didn’t waste any time.”
The Word Blossomed for Nord’s U-Pick Lavender Event
Solace Lavender Farm had its first picking event June 10, and Nord said the word spread to the point that he lost count. The next event is Saturday, followed by June 24.
“We weren’t really sure what to expect I’ve been doing the Instagram thing for almost a year, just trying to get the word out starting early,” Nord said. “I really didn’t know how that would translate to the crowd on Saturday.”
Nord estimates 200 people showed up to the event.
The test acre of lavender he planted started as a pandemic research project, Nord said. He had some bare acreage and he wanted to find something different to try.
From what he’d read, lavender was perfect for this Mediterranean climate.
“The more I was learning about it, just the better it sounded. The perfect plant for our climate, our soil type. It can handle the water irregularities,” Nord said.
Multiple Uses for the Perennial
Lavender is an herbaceous perennial that flowers in June.
Nord is distilling the herb for essential oils to sell at farmer’s markets and eventually online. But people can come out to pick fresh lavender, and he has instructions on his website on how to dry it so it lasts much longer.
He suggests sprinkling the buds on the carpet before vacuuming.
Lavender-infused drinks and foods are also becoming popular. The English lavender he planted for next year is more suited for culinary uses than the French lavender, he said.
The herb can be used in teas, baths, or potpourri.
Other U-Pick Farms Around the Central Valley
Other self-picking farms around Fresno and Visalia include:
- Apricots at Two Sisters U-Pick in Fresno beginning Friday (Appointment Only)
- Stone fruit at Naylor’s Organics in Dinuba through September
- Blueberry picking at Big L Ranch in Woodlake until May 25
- Berries and stone fruit at Rancho Notso Grande in Hanford
- Boysenberries and sunflowers at Mountain Brook Ranch
- Strawberries at Sunshine’s Farm in Kerman
Visit Fresno County has a blog with details on other U-Pick farms.