Pelindaba Lavender Farm – San Juan Island

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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?

Miles upon miles of purple at the Pelindaba Lavender Farm - San Juan Island - Washington State
Miles upon miles of purple at the Pelindaba Lavender Farm – San Juan Island – Washington State

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.

Activities

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.

Lavender

Lavender has a variety of uses, ranging from perfume, decorative settings, a culinary hereto therapeutic properties such as an antiseptic, a natural sedative (helps calm you when you’re ready for bed…put a few drops on your pillow or better still, buy a lavender pillow) and even a mosquito repellent (trust me, it works.  I went glamping and it worked perfectly).  Here you can read all about the various uses of lavender.
The farm offers a variety of lavender products – including lavender ice cream, lavender lemonade and lavender dog biscuits!
Yes, those that know me well will know I couldn’t leave the farm without purchasing a variety of goods – thus weighting my case even more!
One of the many products on offer to buy at Pelindaba Lavender Farm
One of the many products on offer to buy at Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Peaceful

You might think a visit to a lavender farm sounds somewhat boring – trust me, it isn’t.  The environment was peaceful, calming (even before smelling the plants and products) and soothing to the mind and spirit.  And its location on San Juan Island made it even more special – miles upon miles of purple.
Bees pollinating the lavender at Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Bees pollinating the lavender at Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Beautiful lavender plants at Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island
Beautiful lavender plants at Pelindaba Lavender Farm on San Juan Island

Facts

  • 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.

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