I arrived at my hotel room about 4pm on Sunday following a long drive and a great meeting with members of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists. What a great day!
I left home this morning at 5am- my hubs, oldest son, and grandson were all still snoozing away. Wags and I loaded in the car and a couple of audio books later were pulling off the Interstate and heading to Lavender Ridge Farms.
I have never been to Gainesville, TX, and didn’t know what to expect. It IS still Texas in June, though, and pushing one-hundred degrees. Regardless, this is a lovely location to have a meeting and talk about things relating to essential oils.
Since I had a long drive, and you never know about traffic on I35, I left early and arrived about 30 minutes before the official start of the meeting. A couple of things:
- You would never know this place existed; it is WAY off the beaten path….but so worth the drive. If you remember I blogged last year about the lavender festival that I attended with my grandkids and the lavender fields were quite sparse? That is not the case here. A B-E-A-utiful butterfly garden and a huge field of well established lavender plants.
- A great little cafe and gift shop. Everyone is extremely nice, helpful, and knowledgeable. They have plants to sell (of course I had to get some) and products in their gift shop from soaps, to lotions, to culinary, and, of course, all lavender related.
So, as I said, I arrived a little early and walked around and ended up at the lemur cage. Yes, LEMURS!
How cool is that?! At first, they were all in their shaded house, but when they saw Wags (my service dog), they all came out and grunted at her. They didn’t seem scared, it was more like “better not come in here, dog!” They were super cute.
At 11:30 I met with three other members of the Texas chapter of AIA. This was just a mixer, not an educational seminar, and I was glad to finally be able to attend.
Two of the ladies have been members for quite a while and it was great to see their enthusiasm and hear about their experiences. One of them is an RN and does consultations in the hospital where she works.
Believe it or not, Aromatherapy is being recognized by many hospitals as a
Complimentary Alternative Modality.
One of the other ladies is working toward her Doula certification. Her focus is helping pregnant women and their newborns.
We had a lovely, light lunch in their cafe and I had a piece of the lavender cheesecake. It was amazing! Super light with a faint flavor of lavender. I know there are many people who cannot stand the scent of lavender, much less the taste, but if you like lavender, I would recommend this tasty dessert.
As I said before, it was pushing 100 degrees today. Wags, being a black Scottish Terrier, was having a difficult time. I made sure she always had water available, but the grass was sparse and the sand was hot! She spent some time in the shade on the porch of the gift shop.
I bought one of their lavender plants and a rosemary plant.
Their lavender plant (Lavandula x intermedia Phenomenol) is a special hybrid. Supposedly it is perfect for Texas. If their rows upon rows of plants are an indication, I am hopeful it will take in my little yard. It has a light lavender scent but you can definitely smell the camphor as your bruise the leaves. The information card does not say in what zones it flourishes, but I am excited to see if I can make it work in zone 8.
The Rosemary plant (Rosemarinus officinalis) has the typical rosemary scent. The information card says it can grow up to 4 feet tall! Now, that’s exciting. In San Antonio, you’ll see rosemary planted all around the city as a decorative plant, but I’m looking forward to walking out my door and getting some fresh for my Rosemary-peach glazed chicken—YUM!
I also picked up some lavender honey, the idea to add some culinary lavender to my favorite black tea, and was reminded about lavender shortbread (I haven’t made shortbread in quite a while—this might have to happen soon).
Of course, just about everywhere you go, you see a pump-jack!
As I said, it was HOT outside (as evidenced by the hot, sweaty pic of me below), but this was worth the trip. I got to meet ladies who are like-minded, make connections in my new field, enjoy a light summer meal, learn more about the organization that I belong to, and spend time enjoying God’s gorgeous creation.
If you get a chance to visit Lavender Ridge Farms, you should. Great place; great people.