The horses that graze in the golden pastures of Otis Orchards sensed
there was something different in the air a few years ago.
The aroma of barley and oats had been replaced by lavender.
It seemed that someone had turned a rocky patch of land on Lynden
Road into a flourishing oasis, blooming with rows of spectacular
purple and green.
Visitors to the area also noticed the upgrade. They began to stop
by and wander through the fields, talking to the owners of the farm
about the unique species of flora that blooms each July.
Sharon Russell wades through a sea of purple at the Leisure Lavender
Farm in Otis Orchards. Last weekend, the farm donated a percentage
of its proceeds to help the Children's Miracle Network.
Over time, the Leisure Lavender Farm became recognized as one of
the area's leading producers of the fragrant flower. Calls now come
in from Chicago to Hawaii, requesting items from the farm's retail
line - essential oil, dryer bags, eye pillows and more. Prices are
reasonable, ranging from $6 to $11.
Greg and Elecia Seaman have been operating the farm since 2000.
Greg's dad, Ron, works the fields, a task he describes as "labor
"People come out here and ask about starting up something
like this," Ron said. "I tell them to try it for two days
and then see what they think."
The farm is only opened to the public from July 7 through July
29, the growing season for lavender. Those who stop by can pick
a bundle for $7 after being equipped with a straw basket and some
scissors. Dried lavender runs $5 a sleeve.
The season actually begins in May when the farm is represented
at the local garden expo. The business also operates a booth each
weekend at the Liberty Lake Farmers Market, which runs from May
through October. Plant sales and street fairs round out the appearance
It is the three weeks in July, however, when the Leisure Lavender
Farm makes its name. Ron talks about how visitors show up from all
over the region to simply bask in the glow of radiant purple. Visitors
are welcome from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are reminded to wave away
the bees that hover around each plant.
Sharon Russell of north Spokane stopped by the farm earlier this
week. Russell said the smell of lavender has always been one of
"It's soothing," Russell said. "And besides the
fragrance, it's a radiant color."
Last weekend, the Lavender Farm contributed a percentage of its
profits to the Children's Miracle Network, an alliance of hospitals
throughout the U.S. and Canada that provide care, research and education
to kids in need.
Locally, Valley Hospital and Medical Center as well as Deaconess,
Holy Family, Sacred Heart hospitals and St. Luke's Rehabilitation
Institute are part of the network.
Elecia said the family decided several years ago to support the
"We just think it's important to give back to the community,"
Melissa Pederson, a development assistant with Children's Miracle
Network, said donations from local companies like the lavender farm
make a big difference.
"We really appreciate it because they're raising funds and
awareness," she said. "It means a lot because the money
they raise stays local."
While the network is known for the paper balloons that sell in
grocery stores and other area businesses, last weekend it was all
about the bouquets of purple.
"It's a great day out there," Pederson said.
Want to find out more?
To donate to the Children's Miracle Network or to find out more,
call or visit www.childrensmiraclenetwork.org.
To learn more about the Leisure Lavender Farm, call 927-0405 or
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