Lavender Fields Forever – Touring Keys Creek Lavender Farm
Let me take you down, cause we’re going to lavender fields…lavender fields forever.
This past weekend I was able to spend some time in lavender fields and it was lovely. No, I didn’t jet on over to Provence (believe me, this would be a whole different type of blog if I could do that). I merely took a drive down to northern San Diego County. Nestled in the bucolic area of Valley Center is the Keys Creek Lavender Farm.
Keys Creek is an organic farm that harvests its lavender for use in various products including honey, jelly, soaps, lotions, balms, and essential oil. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in May and June free tours are offered of the farm. Since I love tours (and freebies!) and June was almost over, I knew I had to get down there.
Getting to the farm is an adventure. It only took me about an hour to get to the freeway exit, but it was another 30 minutes until I arrived at the farm. 30 minutes of winding country roads. Not my favorite driving conditions but it was an adventure. The farm itself is situated along a narrow dirt road. Boy, did I gain some driving experience!
Conveniently, there is a parking lot and from there it was a short walk to the farm itself. A short walk through lavender fields.
We hadn’t even made it to the actual farm yet and already I was loving it! Once at the farm, we first came across the quaint gift shop.
This was also the meeting point for the tour. The tours are offered at 10:30 and 1:30. I made sure to get there for the earlier tour as I figured it would be the least crowded of the two. I am so glad I did. The tour is entirely outdoors and it was already quite hot. I can’t even imagine how hot it was for the later tour. Soon, our tour guide, Chris, met us and began to discuss the history of the farm. The farm itself has been there for about ten years and has been under its current ownership for over two years.We also met the current owner who was quite lovely.
We then left the gift shop and started to tour the fields themselves. The entire time our guide informed us of the various types of lavender, their uses, and the essentials of their farming. It was a very open and informative discussion (no top secret stuff here!). I found that so refreshing. It was clear that he loved lavender farming and was happy to teach others about it. I also learned some interesting stuff. Did you know that lavender is related to mint and rosemary and that (certain types of) lavender came substituted for rosemary in a dish! Whoda thunkit?
The tour ended at the distillery, where the process of distilling the lavender into the essential oil was explained. Unfortunately, at this point I was pretty hot and could see the refreshment stand looming like an oasis in the Sahara and…I ditched the tour. I know, I know, I let you guys down. But it was hot! Really hot! I was already sunburned…andIkindasortawantedtobeatthecrowdtothedrinks. Next time I will last the entire tour. I promise.
Everything at the refreshment stand was made with lavender. They had lavender iced tea, lavender lemonade and lavender scones with lavender jelly. I opted for the lemonade and scone.Oh, and a water. Don’t worry, it wasn’t lavender flavored. But it was pretty cool, it was made from purified ocean water.
The lavender lemonade was so refreshing and the hint of lavender was a nice counterpoint to the lemon. The scone and jelly were delicious! I almost ran back for another one, but held myself back. The lemonade was $1.50, the scone and jelly $3.50, and the water $2. Not bad when considering that everything else was free. And it was the perfect ending to a lovely tour.
I then took a stroll through the gift shop and marveled at the various item made with lavender. It truly is a versatile product.
So, when next May rolls around, definitely head on out to Keys Creek Lavender Farm for a lovely, lovely day. I know it would have been better to recommend it next year, but I loved it so much I couldn’t wait to tell you about it.
Keys Creek Lavender Farm
12460 Keys Creek Road
Valley Center, CA 92082
open Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10-4, May-June