One of the places the San Juan Visitors Bureau took me to visit whilst I was on San Juan island was the Pelindaba Lavender Farm.
Barbara Marrett of the Visitors Bureau had it all planned out – she obviously knows the best spots on the island, and this was one of them. And as purple is my favourite colour, imagine my delight when we pulled up at the farm?
What’s in a name?
Pelindaba is a Zulu word that translates to “Place Of Great Gatherings.” The founder and owner of the farm – Stephen Robins – is of South African heritage, hence the name. The Lavender Farm was created in its original form in 1998, mainly by removing old buildings and cultivating a crop on the land to “enhance the beauty of the landscape.”
By 1999, approx 2500 lavender ‘starts’ were planted, and too – thus significantly improving the landscape. The farm grew from here until in 2001, it was opened to the public: swathes of fields of purple, bees pollinating and lavender bushes blowing in the breeze – quite a remarkable site.
A fuller timeline and history of the farm can be found here.
Because Pelindaba is a place of great gatherings, this is also reflected in the activities on offer: book readings, musical and theatrical events and film evenings, to name but a few. It offers light lunches and suppers and is a place for both locals and visitors alike to mingle amongst an aesthetically calming and beautiful setting.
To quote the website:
In short — Pelindaba has become a self-sustaining open space preservation model that successfully harnesses mutually compatible farming, manufacturing, marketing and agritourism activities that are as environmentally sound and enhancing as they are economically viable.
- You can purchase products for: the kitchen, personal care, therapeutic care, for outdoors, for the Home, for floral decoration, candles, for pets, jewellery, books, artwork
- Pelindaba now has a number of places that stocks their products throughout Washington State, California and Hawaii as well as Arizona
- It’s possible to hire out the farm for weddings and events (what a beautiful idea!)
My thanks to Barbara Marrett of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau for introducing me to this beautiful place. When you come to the San Juans, be sure to get in touch with the Visitors Bureau for ideas of where to visit.