Colorado's lavender continues to make its mark in the industry, with conditions in Western Colorado being prime for the crop. This weekend lavender growers and lovers will be celebrating the herb at the third annual Lavender Festival.
Paola Legarre, owner of Sage Creations Organic Farm, said, "I'm really seeing the growth because there's a lot of existing farms that want to incorporate lavender into their farm, or there's just new growers that want to start a lavender farm."
In just a few years she's gone from 40 plants to 12,000.
"I was looking for an alternative crop to tree fruit and I thought lavender would do really well in our region," said Legarre.
Not only does the herb thrive in high altitudes and dry conditions, it has a fighting chance during frost.
"This is a year where I'm going to see it supplement the income because we completely froze out on our cherries, so it will be interesting to see how the lavender will make up for that," she said.
Legarre and other local growers have been hard at work not only in the field, but also advertising, "It's been a challenge. A lot of it is marketing the crop and educating people about the uses of lavender."
As the only lavender festival in Colorado, they hope to educate folks from all over the state.
"Using it as an herb to cook with, to using it in bath and body products and using the essential oils for aromatherapy."
They hope to give people the same sensation they get every day at work, "When people are actually in a lavender field they just love it. It's like blooming tulips in Holland or something like that. A beautiful and relaxing environment to be in."
The Lavender Festival is from July 12-July 14.
On Friday a guided lavender tour will take place from Palisade to Paonia.
On Saturday the public is invited to enjoy free entry to Community Park in Palisade. Folks can shop for high quality lavender inspired products, enjoy live music, food and cooking demos. Special sessions will also be held in the morning and afternoon, prices vary.
On Sunday people can take self-guided tours of lavender farms, orchards and wineries.
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