A LAVENDER DAY IN OZ
I'm a city girl. I grew up in Bayside, Queens, part of NYC - I went to college in Boston, certainly not a small town... lived in Chicago for a brief time... and spent many years living and working in Manhattan with its 8 million stories of which I was one. Then, like the Brooklyn Dodgers before me, I migrated to Los Angeles, the city of 11 million angels.
As some of you know, last August, Richard and I left big city life behind - the skyscrapers of New York and the LA movie/tv studios and Hollywood sign and moved to the town of Ojai in the Ojai valley - population 8,000! (Really?! My high school in the '60's had a population of 6,000!)
No more hustle and bustle on the city streets of Manhattan. No more bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405. We were in Oz where orange groves were a few steps from "Main" street and the mountains turned technicolor pink at sunset.
And, just this past weekend the town held its annual Lavender Festival.
Yup, we even have lavender farms a la Provence.
And while meandering through the booths...
.. we heard that one of the lavender farms in upper Ojai was open for Oz-ites and friends to visit and pick some fresh lavender.
We had never been to a lavender farm before, so we drove up the winding road, parked our car on Sulphur Mountain Road and walked the short distance to Frog Creek Farms past corralled horses...
... and a sunflower garden.
When we reached the organic lavender field, we grabbed a pair of scissors the farm provided and cut away, concentrating on the Provencal lavender you can use for cooking, baking or infusing in vodka (so delish).
When we finished we went inside the little building on the property to pay for our sprigs...
... that Christel Rogero, one of the owners of Frog Creek, has filled w/ all sorts of lavender sachets, salts, wreaths, bundles and other wonderful sundries (I just love that word) made on the farm. The aroma was intoxicating. (Hey, I'm still a fan of Yardley's English Lavender soap that my mom used all her life.)
Frog Creek Farms will be open for the next 2-1/2 weeks, so if you live in Oz or plan to visit soon, take the scenic drive to upper-Ojai and visit the farm and Christel's little store... cut some fresh lavender... and take in the view as you sit under a tree and marvel at nature's beauty.
Frog Creek Farms
10924 Ojai-Santa Paula Road
(off Sulphur Mountain Rd.)
Ojai, Calif. 93023