Meet New Owners of Lavender Fields Forever
By Caryn Gehlmann
I’m really pleased to introduce to you the new owners of Lavender Fields Forever, Michael and Cheri Lowry. This lavender farm is so near and dear to my heart so it’s good to see the new owners continue its legacy while adding their own new events and activities. You’ll enjoy the interview below, especially if you’re a lavender lover like me! This photo is of Bonnie Rinaldi, Cheri Lowry and myself out at the farm this summer.
Tell us a little bit about your background and what led you to buying a lavender farm.
My husband, Michael and I have lived the past 37 years in Escondido, CA. Michael retired from The Escondido Fire Department in June of 2016, as their Fire Chief. I retired in June of 2019 after nearly 15 years with the City of Escondido working in Risk Management, the last 4 months working remotely. We have 3 children, Travis, Jennifer and Jacki and 4 grandchildren, Elizabeth, Thomas, Abby and Emma. We love spending time with our family, camping and now working our lavender farm. This is certainly not what we thought we would be doing in retirement, but we love the area and the people who visit us on the farm.
What do you like most about living on a lavender farm?
I love the lavender, there are so many uses for it and purple is my favorite color! We don’t just live on a lavender farm, but on a lavender farm on the Applegate River. What’s not to love?
What kinds of lavender to you grow?
We grow two culinary varieties, Ana Luisa and Royal Purple. We also grow five aromatic varieties, Miss Katherine which is slightly pink, Alba which is white, Grosso, Gros Bleu and Hidcote Giant. Grosso and Gros Bleu are the biggest oil producers.
What activities will be available at your farm at the next Lavender Festival?
The next Southern Oregon Lavender Trail Festival weekend is July 12-14. At the Lavender Festival we will have amazingly gifted crafters who create beautiful jewelry, painted windows, table runners, pot holders and hand painted bottles. You can make a wreath, pick your own lavender bouquet and embellish it as well as make your own lavender sachets. We will have distillation demonstrations as well. We will also have games such as cornhole and jumbo Connect Four that kids and adults can play together! Hope to have more activities next year, but since we are just starting we don’t want to take too much change at one time.
What other events do you have available at the farm?
We have a variety of classes scheduled throughout the summer. We will open the farm to weddings, baby and bridal showers. We have many local photographers who use our farm for professional photo shoots as well as local photography clubs and painters who love capturing the beauty on the farm. Would love to host a Mother’s Day tea and possibly a wine tasting in the lavender field in 2020. Stay tuned to see what events we dream up to host on the farm.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I am so grateful to Caryn Gehlmann, Bob Sibbett and John & Bonnie Rinaldi who have encouraged, mentored and jumped in to help this lavender season. Their help has been invaluable smoothly transition the lavender field operation to the new kids in town.
Thanks Cheri for sharing the exciting events going on at Lavender Fields Forever this summer. I know I’m really looking forward to teaching Lavender Distillation and Lavender Harvesting & Care classes at the farm. If you’d like to join me (and help support the new owners of Lavender Fields Forever) make sure to sign-up soon as space is limited.