Fest celebrates all things lavender

Teresa Coons peruses the displays of various uses for the lavender plant at the Palisade Memorial Park Colorado Lavender Festival.



One could argue that one local fest smells better than the rest.

All things lavender — the herb, not the color — were on display Saturday during the 2nd-annual Colorado Lavender Festival at Palisade Memorial Park.

The distinct aroma of the herb enticed hundreds of people into various booths to sniff the soaps, test the lotions and taste the cookies.

Yes, lavender cookies.

Part of the appeal of Saturday’s festival was the chance for area growers and lavender retailers to showcase the variety of uses for the herb, including its culinary uses, such as the bite-sized cookies or margarita mix at Carol Mueller’s The Lavender Lady and Friends Boutique booth.

Resplendent in a purple shirt, with a lavender crown pin and purple fingernails, Mueller, whose store is at 213 Main St. in Palisade, gushed about all the uses she has found for lavender.

“It’s one of those miracle plants,” she said with a laugh.

In addition to the expected lavender soaps and lotions, the herb also acts as a natural bug repellent while simultaneously healing wounds or burns on skin, Mueller said.

(Side note: Mueller discovered lavender repelled bugs when six men at the Livery Saloon tested her lavender-based concoction on a fishing trip last year along the Colorado River. They came back with positive reviews.)

In addition to repelling insects and offering a subtle flavor in margarita mix, lavender also popped up in several other unexpected ways Saturday.

■ Grand Junction’s Gelato Junction sold lavender, chocolate lavender and lemon lavender gelato.

■ Olathe’s Dayspring Farm had lavender espresso brownies and lavender honey for sale.

■ East Orchard Mesa’s Summer Sweet Lavender at L C Sugar Farms displayed lavender-inspired art from Susan Metzger and Gary Hauschulz.

■ Palisade’s Sprigs and Sprouts and East Orchard Mesa’s Sage Creations had lavender jams or jellies for sale.

■ Grand Junction’s Fluffi Luff offered up lavender Bath Fizzies.

Saturday’s festival was brought to Palisade by the Lavender Association of Western Colorado and Fluffi Luff’s Brenn Luff, one of the founding members of the local lavender association.

“If you look at a field of lavender, it makes you feel better,” Luff said.

As a certified aromatherapist, Luff has studied the emotional, spiritual and physical benefits of lavender.

Anyone interested in learning more about the herb today can participate in the festival’s final day of free, self-guided tours of lavender farms and other retailers that sell lavender-related items.

Visit http://coloradolavender.org/lavenderfestival.html for a map and more information about the farms located from Mack to Paonia.


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