Max LaFebvre of Tacoma snaps photos in Lavender Connection’s fields during his family’s scheduled visit earlier this week. He said reserving a spot was easy and it was one of many farms they planned to visit. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Max LaFebvre of Tacoma snaps photos in Lavender Connection’s fields during his family’s scheduled visit earlier this week. He said reserving a spot was easy and it was one of many farms they planned to visit. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

A Lavender Weekend like none before

Farms host visitors with state restrictions in place

The extras may not be available, but the star of the show remains for Sequim Lavender Weekend: the lavender.

Tenured and new farms open this weekend July 17-19 — with many also open before and after — for what is traditionally the biggest tourist time of the year in Sequim.

For Rebecca Olson, co-owner of Lavender Connection, not opening the farm becasue of the COVID-19 pandemic didn’t feel right.

“We considered not opening,” she said, “but it wouldn’t have felt like summer if we didn’t.”

Taking extra precautions was a unanimous decision among her family. They chose to make the farm open by appointment via their website or email, giving staff more time for cleaning and space for social distancing.

“This way feels best,” Olson said.

Upon pulling in, you’ll be stopped by a sign on a sawhorse for an “Appointment Waiting Area” where a family member will direct you in. Other signs encourage masks, and social distancing of a distance of two lavender plants apart, an idea coined by Rebecca’s dad Rick and shared with other farms with the Sequim Lavender Experience marketing group.

Shari Roland of Tacoma looks at some soaps during a visit to Lavender Connection’s gift shop. Lavender farms must require visitors and staff to wear masks inside buildings and recommend them in lavender fields, Clallam County health officials say. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Shari Roland of Tacoma looks at some soaps during a visit to Lavender Connection’s gift shop. Lavender farms must require visitors and staff to wear masks inside buildings and recommend them in lavender fields, Clallam County health officials say. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

“We definitely have a lot fewer customers but they’re so pleased and so happy to be here,” Rebecca Olson said.

Sequim friends Sherry Niermann and Diane Moore visited the farm for St. Luke’s Episcopal Church’s photo club this week because club members are visiting different lavender farms to share their photos via an online meeting next week.

The friends said they loved the ease of reserving a space and openness of having the farm to themselves.

Those looking for a spot this weekend, Olson said some openings are available by emailing her at rebecca@lavenderconnection.com or filling out a form at www.lavenderconnection.com for a free visit.

Vendors and modifications

Despite modest plans already in place due to COVID-19 precautions, many lavender farmers learned last week that no live music, vendors or food trucks are allowed on grounds at any point during Phase 2 of the state’s Safe Start reopening plan for 2019 novel coronavirus guidelines.

Sue Waldrip, environmental health specialist for Clallam County Health & Human Services/Environmental Health, said in a phone interview that farms can reopen and sell what they already sell but not bring in extras such as craft vendors.

Under Phase 3 that could change, she said, but it depends on if guidelines change.

Visitors must wear masks in farm shops, and it’s recommended by the state to wear them in lavender fields depending on social distancing, Waldrip said.

“Stay 2 Lavender Plants Apart” was an idea by Rick Olson, co-owner of Lavender Connection, to encourage people to social distance themselves from others while visiting their farm. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

“Stay 2 Lavender Plants Apart” was an idea by Rick Olson, co-owner of Lavender Connection, to encourage people to social distance themselves from others while visiting their farm. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Phase 2 does not allow for formal gatherings of any kind, which led organizers of the Sequim Lavender Festival to cancel this year’s Street Fair in Carrie Blake Community Park, and their farms on tour canceled their vendors.

Several independent farms have made modifications, too.

Janet Abbott, co-owner of Washington Lavender, said she had to cancel her few vendors who were planning to be outside during their Washington Lavender Festival July 10-19.

Visitors still came the farm for the first weekend, she said.

“It wasn’t overwhelming by any means,” Abbott said. “The bottom line is, there is so much space to be safe.”

As another effort to be cautious while catering to the cravings of visitors, Abbott said they offer pre-scooped, and prepacked lavender ice cream in their gift shop.

Sequim lavender farms’ plans for summer:

Note: free entry to all farms listed; no city shuttle this year

B&B Family Farm, 5883 Old Olympic Highway; open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.daily through Sept. 30. Features U-pick lavender; lavender products and plants; free farm tours; leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-504-2585, www.bbfamilyfarm.com

Graysmarsh Farm, 6187 Woodcock Road; Open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday through September. Features: U-pick lavender; lavender products and plants, berries. Contact: 360-683-5563, graysmarsh.com

Fleurish Lavender of Lost Mountain, 1541 Taylor Cutoff Road; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday-Monday through Sept. 7. Features: U-pick lavender, lavender products, plants. Leashed pets OK. From July 17-19 purchase Keith Ross’ photographs, and see alpacas. Contact: 360-681-2782, fleurishlavender.com

Jardin du Soleil Lavender, 3832 Sequim-Dungeness Way; Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily in July; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Monday Aug.1-Sept. 30. Features: U-pick lavender, products and plants. Outside store for ordering. Leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-582-1185, www.jardindusoleil.com

Kitty B’s Lavender Farm, 82 Cameron Acres Lane; open daily 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through July 19. Features: U-pick, lavender products and plants; oil distillation. Contact: 360-772-2062, www.kittyblavenderfarm.com

Lavender Connection, 1141 Cays Road; open by appointment through Sept. 7. Visit www.lavenderconnection.com to schedule a free visit. Features: U-pick lavender, products and plants, oil distillation, and more. Leashed pets OK. Contact: website, 360-681-6055

Meli’s Lavender, 62 W. Diane Drive; open 10 a.m.-4 p.m. through Aug. 1. Wednesday-Sunday. Features: U-pick lavender, plants for sale, leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-461-9958, www.facebook.com/melislavender

Nelson’s Duckpond & Lavender Farm, 73 Humble Hill Road; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Features: U-pick lavender, plants and products. Leashed pets OK. Mask required on grounds. Outside shop available July 17-19. Contact: 360-681-7727, nelsonsduckpond.com

Olympic Lavender Company, 1532 Marine Drive; opened July 15. Features: U-pick lavender, plants and products. Up to date information on opening at buylavender.com

Purple Haze Lavender Farm, 180 Bell Bottom Lane; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Sept. 7. Features: U-pick lavender, plants and products; leashed pets OK. Downtown store, 127 W. Washington St., open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, noon-4 p.m. Sunday. Contact: 360-683-1714, purplehazelavender.com

Rancho La Morada Lavender & Flower Farm, 1434 Marine Drive; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. July 17-19, 24-25. Features: U-pick lavender, lavender products, plants, lavender wreaths, and more. Leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-461-7679, randolamorada@gmail.com

Sunshine Herb & Lavender Farm, 274154 U.S. Highway 101; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through September. Features: U-pick, lavender products and plants. Contact: 360-683-6453, www.sunshinelavender.com

Troll Haven/Bandy Farms, 950 Gardiner Beach Road; open for U-cut 10 a.m.-4 p.m. July 17-19 with a Farmers Market on July 18. Additional U-cut dates from 11-3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, during the Farmers Market. Contact: www.facebook.com/TrollHavenBandyFarms

Victor’s Lavender Farm, 3743 Old Olympic Highway; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, through Aug. 30. Classes following state guidelines available at victorslavender.com; also Victor’s Rain Shadow Lavender Farm, 1410 Kitchen-Dick Road; open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, through Sept. 27. Features: U-pick, lavender products and more. Leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-912-3938

Washington Lavender, 965 Finn Hall Road; open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through Sept. 7 with modified festival going through July 10-19. Features: U-pick, lavender products and plants; leashed pets OK. Contact: 360-452-4877, www.facebook.com/walavenderfestival.

Susan and Rick Olson, and Rebecca Olson and Doug Mazzeo, co-owners of Lavender Connection, made the decision to make the farm by appointment only so they could comply with state guidelines for Covid-19 to social distance and clean areas better. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Susan and Rick Olson, and Rebecca Olson and Doug Mazzeo, co-owners of Lavender Connection, made the decision to make the farm by appointment only so they could comply with state guidelines for Covid-19 to social distance and clean areas better. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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