Last month, I had the great pleasure of visiting Lavender Ridge Farms, an herbal and culinary destination just up the interstate from my house.
Located in Gainesville, Texas, this two acre lavender farm has been in the family for more than 150 years.
In previous generations, the farm grew melons and strawberries. It opened in 2006 as a lavender farm, one of the few such farms in North Texas. (If you have ever tried to grow just a few lavender plants in your backyard garden, you will understand and appreciate why there are few lavender farms locally.)
Visitors to Lavender Ridge Farms are given a basket and instructed on how to properly harvest lavender.
I was surprised to see that all sorts of pollinators are as attracted to lavender blossoms as humans are.
In addition to growing and selling lavender, the farm’s gift shop houses many lavender items for bath, kitchen and home. (If you are weak and buy all things herbal, take a trusted guardian. Though I don’t regret buying two cookbooks, a package of their house blend lavender tea, lavender pepper spice blend and an enormous bag of dried lavender buds for future craft projects. Plus. A few plants, including the lavender plant Phenomenal. Below is a display of Lavender Phenomenal, not what I purchased.)
Lavandula x intermedia Phenomenal is a new variety of lavender that is marketed as durable in our high heat and humidity better than other varieties. Lavender Ridge Farms has had phenomenal success growing this plant.
The farm also sells irises, which can be viewed and ordered in the spring, with delivery and planting that fall.
Cafe Lavender offers a shady respite, where you can dine in a lovely plant-filled courtyard while overlooking the lavender field. (Sorry, I failed to take a picture looking that direction, I was too enamored by the plants in the courtyard!)
The cafe’s menu features several lavender infused dishes, such as lavender honey chicken salad and lavender cheesecake. (Both were divine!)
The farm’s large pollinator garden was aflutter with butterflies the day of my visit.
I could have spent all day poking around the gardens and viewing the many assorted garden ornaments.
I loved their creative use of rusty saws and garden implements.
Lavender Ridge Farms’ facebook page says it best:
An herb’n experience you can’t get in the city.