But I can still smell it. I was handed a sprig of lavender by a vender as I walked west on Spring toward the official entrance on 12th Street, where I was greeted by Norma Moye and given a lovely lavender tote bag. So I collected my business cards and brochures in the bag to help my memories come back when I got home. The sprig of lavender is sitting on my desk as I type, and I just might tuck it under my pillow tonight to help me sleep. If it works, maybe I’ll pick one of the sprigs I’m growing and try it every night.
This was my second experience at the Central Coast Lavender Festival. I attended Second Annual Central Coast Lavender Festival last year. Although it was the same festival today, the experience was different. There were some interesting new vendors, and I made videos on different subjects than I did last year. I will cover them in more detail on other writing sites, but I want to show you some of what I saw today in this post.
As I began to walk the row of vendor exhibits, I began to wonder if this were a lavender festival or the Olive Festival, which is coming later this year. I think there were as many displays of olive oil as of lavender. This is one of them. These gals from Lucero California Olive Oil were having too much fun. They were the jolliest olive oil venders I saw, so I’m going to picture them.
I saw a few old friends. One I’d been looking for and almost missed was Rhoda Chute. I had read that her Fat Cat Farm would be here this year, but I had to look a while before I found her. She is pictured here in her booth. I will write more about her booth elsewhere, but I loved the assortment of lavender and gifts she brought today. I bought my own lavender plant, which is huge now, several years ago at the old Sycamore Farms, which closed after a fire. Rhoda resurrected it as Fat Cat Farm, but it has now closed. Here are some of my memories of Fat Cat Farm in photos and video.
This was one of my favorite parts of Rhoda’s display.
A vendor I do not remember seeing last year at the Lavender Festival is Over a Barrel. I first saw Mike and John’s furniture made from barrels on display at an event at Studios on the Park, where John’s wife Laure is one of the artists. Today I saw a wider selection of the furniture. Here’s a sample. At the left side you see a small portion of one of the dog beds, which they also make.
Below you see Mark with his son, and John talking to an exhibit visitor. Mark’s son was handing out business cards and helping his dad as a salesman. If you’d like to own some of this custom wine barrel furniture, or a dog bed, you can see more on the Over a Barrel web site.
You might wonder what the children had to do (besides help sell furniture) at the festival this year. There was plenty for them to see, including a demonstration of the distiller used to extract the essential oils. I made a video of part of that demonstration which I will post on YouTube soon and link to here in a future post. There was also face painting, and flower pot painting. In the photo below the children are painting pots for planting lavender.
As I attend the local events from season to season, there are some venders that I see repeatedly. One of these is Steel by Cruzen. I don’t need a sign to identify that booth anymore because the style is so distinctive. At this event I saw a new product — or at least one I hadn’t seen before. Unique, isn’t it? I love this bee. The flowers and hummingbirds behind the table are also part of this display. Mark and Richard Cruzen make their designs in Atascadero, and they do custom work. Read more about them on their web site, linked to above.
One of the most interesting new vendors I met was Liz Ann Konn, whose Re-cycled Kon-cepts started almost by accident with an old bird cage her husband wanted her to get rid of before they moved to California. I have a video with her story, but I will feature her in a future post. This is one piece of her work.
Since this is a lavender festival, I will show you one more of the many lavender booths represented.