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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Now Revolution! in Pozos

It was a happening at Nick Hamblen's Galeria 6 Saturday when scores of people flooded the gallery
to see five San Miguel contemporary artists present their versions of NOW Revolution!

The quality of art in this show is incredible, the energy of the viewers and participants quite the buzz!

It was a wonderful day for Pozos. Every store and tienda was busy. The restaurants were packed. People were eating pastries in the jardin, rather than standing in line at the cafes. The ice cream man was running out of ice cream. All the vendors were selling.

Thank you Nick!
Thank you, Manrey!
And thank you the artists of Now Revolution!

If you haven't seen this exhibit, take the time to go to Pozos and visit Galeria 6. It is so worth the drive. And while you are in Pozos, stop by and visit LavenDar Farms and have some fun with us!

Calling All Chefs

We have signed up to be a sponser for the San Miguel Chili Cook Off, an event in January which brings over 2500 visitors to town to participate in competition for the best margaritas, chilis and more.
All Donations go to charity and it is a wonderful fun event for everyone concerned, so plan to be there.
Mark your calenders for January 29, come early, and stop by our tent!
But in the mean time, we need help. We want to create a great Lavendar-Chili rub for meats and chicken! yummmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Call, write, phone your ideas. We are looking for all the help we can get.
We only have a month or so to get this together with all the holidays in the foreground.
so, call , write or email with your best idea....a free week-end at Lavendar Ranch is yours if we use it!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Rain, Wonderful Rain

It rained most of the night and continues to sprinkle this morning,cleaning the dry desert air. It is beginning to get cold at the ranch, the fireplaces are already on. We have been harvesting the english lavender this week. Javier and Antonio have been cutting daily and hanging the bunches to dry. We are trying to get as much cut before winter arrives and slows the growing cycle, something I am so looking forward to. Life on the farm has been much harder than I ever dreamed, especially being from a city of bright lights, and constant entertainment.
Here we talk about chickens, goats, burros, horses and of course LAVENDER, and what it takes to keep it all going. Most of the time I wonder, OMG, what have you done?
And then I look around at the ongoing beauty, the mountains, the soon to be 9000 lavender plants, The arroyos, the animals and the infinity views.
Maybe LavendarFarms was the right decision after all.
Come see for yourself!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Suspicious Characters

There must have been a red alert at Houston Intercontinental this morning. I have never seen so many nervous guards in all my years of traveling to, from or through there.
After traveling all night from Argentina, both Cynthia and I were a bit groggy upon arrival, but soon noticed something was different as we were hustled from one area to the next before going through customs yet one more time.
Soon we arrived to the very loud and firm sounds of "jackets off, shoes off , all jewels in the box, belts off, hurry up, computers out of your cases, speed along."
Such command and authority, I thought to myself as I hurried as fast as I could. Nobody was in line but a bunch of old geezers, myself included and they were patting down every other one. And one really old lady.

Then it was my turn to walk through. Ding, ding, ding!
after patting me Down, that wasn't good enough so I got to experience The big new machine, hands overhead, feet spread, the cylinder closes and right there in front of everyone I got a high tech strip search!
Pretty interesting I must say, but my advice for the day is Get your botox before going through IAH this week!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Olive Harvesting Yum!

Olive harvesting began this week with Cynthia deep into Brine School 101. As most things at the ranch at their essence are simple--like brown chickens lay brown eggs--now the mystery of green and black olives is about to be announced. Ready? Time's up. They come from the same tree, the only difference is in the ripeness. Now, in addition to the lavender field tours, we have the hands-on olive picking tour. Another simply amazing fact is that to test the salinity of your salt and water mixture for the brine, place an egg (still in its shell) into the water. If your egg floats, brine it! Voila. In a busy world, these basic pleasures are wonderful to explore and share.

Big Juan

Well today he came! The biggest, fanciest cock of the walk I have ever seen, completely attached with a plume of giant orange feathers. A sight to be seen on this Bicentennial day, September 16, 2010!
The girls ran as fast as they could, all ten of them, to see whom would soon be his favorite.
We have decided to call him Big Juan, the Cartel King.
Now, after a week with no eggs, maybe the girls will begin to produce again.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Brown Chickens

Who in the world would ever guess that brown chickens would lay brown eggs! It makes perfect sense but something I would never think of, until these ten chickens arrived at the ranch and can you believe they lay more eggs than we can eat, all brown of course, and perfect!

When I told the ranch hands I wanted a chicken coop, they thought I was crazy as most of their chickens are free-range and run wild, but fearing the worst with wild coyotes and such, I demanded a chicken coop.

We hired three men to build it out of stone, brick, morter and tiles and it took more than a month and more money than I would care to admit (even if it is Mexico). The coop, now fondly referred to as the Posada de Pollos, is now available to all guests to collect eggs in the morning for their Eco-Breakfast!

Now, the only problem is the yolks.....they are not very yellow. There must be a learning curve in Farm Life 101 and we have learned that the yolk color is based on the feed, according to our international poultry consultant, who also has a home here in Pozos.

Enough about the hens, come see for yourself and feel free to give us some good Chicken advice.

Oh, the rooster arrives tomorrow! Cock-a-doodle-doo!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bicentennial 2010

Getting ready for the Bicentenario Independencia, which is the 200-year anniversary of independence from Spain and the 100-year anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, has been no easy task for the gringa owners of LavenDar Farms.

Flags are waving as bicentennial fever grips Mexico and of course at the farm, good thing we got most of the work done last month!
•Betty, the Labrador look-a-like gave birth to 8 puppies, and her husband, Daddy Dog, has joined the continuing growing family of livestock at LavenDar farms, not to mention 5 new brown laying hens who reside in a newly built house fondly known as the "Posada de Pollos."
•The paint pony has been broken and a new striped pregnant goat arrived! We have fondly named the striped goat Gazelda and Antonio has promised not to eat her!
•In other exciting news Sheila Sheehan and Nanci Yuronis, two other lavender growers, have just embarked on a round the world venture to celebrate Nanci's 70th birthday Sept. 22.
•The Mineral de Pozos House and Garden Tour August 14 was a smash-hit bringing a busload of eager visitors to the Farm.
•Another LavenDar Farms grower, Peggy Busby, celebrated her 70th at the Ranch surrounded by longtime friends.
•Cynthia planted the new organic vegetable gardens August 28, Yummm!

So, for those of you may who think things are boring in Pozos, come out for a visit to the LavenDar Farms! Oh, we added 2,500 more plants and 20 more olive trees, made a meditation garden, hiking trails, will have the community room finished by October and the LavenDar Tienda is open!

COME SEE US! Smell and photograph the lavender. We are now open for ranch stays as well.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Stolen Farm Animals

I never understood about stolen farm animals until a few days ago and maybe still don't really understand the concept, but for now it's a good thing, especially for me, and for the ranch.

As you can see the beautiful paint pony below is one heck of a gift to appear magically in the dawn, truly a gift from one heart to another.

A skinny little black ranch dog, starving to death, started hanging out, and we began feeding her. She ate anything and everything, and eventually started herding things our way in gratitude. First a baby goat, then a second one, and then the grand prize, the most beautiful paint pony I have ever seen.

Porkchop, the ranch chihuahua, has now befriended the goats and paint and herded them into the corrals where they will live, all grateful to Betty, who is not so skinny anymore.

P.S. I did eventually buy the paint pony, who turned out to be a plow horse, but no one ever showed up to claim the two goats, even the late afternoon goat herder.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chickens, Chorros and Cowboys

New to LavenDar Farms is the Chicken Coop or Casa de Pollo. Visitors and weekend renters will soon be able to collect their own breakfast eggs.

We are working hard to re-activate young Charros to practice in the rodeo ring for special events. Ask Dar for details.

Don't forget to make your reservations in advance for the upcoming holiday season, as we are booking fast. Our second lavender harvest is expected in late September or early October.
The on-site LavenDar Tienda is soon to be opened and will feature our growing product line of handmade lavender items.

Casa Katalina at Jesus #26 in San Miguel de Allende is now carrying LavenDar products.

Look for LavenDar products in the Museum District of Houston, Texas.

Antonio is always available for special horseback rides, and new mountain bikes have been ordered.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

lavender fields in Washington

After a 41/2 hour flight from Houston to Seattle and another 2 hour drive up the Olymipic highway, I thought we would never arrive but the trip was so well worth it.
The farmhouse pictured to the right, set in the middle of the largest lavender field in Washington state, was more than welcoming to the four of us tired gringas from the "Motherland". How excited we were to learn from the best in America!
Cynthia and Len prepared dinner the second night we there, after scouting the finest organic markets in the area. The food was incredible and oh so Yummy with the fresh caught Halibut!
The Lavender pictured below is a new variety for us, Spanish Dark eyes, but we now have it on our own farm, thanks to the efforts of Luis Franke, our San Miguel supplier. I couldn't help photographing the bearded iris also in the lavender fields of every field we visited.
BTW...the weather was incredibly oh so COOL! Thank you Washington!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010

more stuff to do at the ranch

horseback riding the local trails and exploring the El Camino Real . Local Mines offer great photo opportunities.
And then of course there is always room for more lavender pickers, just bring your hat and lotion. We have stools and clippers. Many a good yarn is spun in the lavender fields by old folks and young folks alike. Soon we will be picking lemons and olives. Book a room for you, your family or a flock of friends. We can sleep up to 26 people if great comfort!
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ann Jones and Group

It doesn't matter how hot it is, how windy, how cold, ....Ann Jones Martin always looks great, and so does the rest of her family! Bunny,Martin, Graham and her good friend Kathy L. who owns the shoppe Casa Katrina on Jesus. At any rate, it was great to see the entire bunch roar up the day before I left for Houston. What a fun day it was at Lavendar Farms, in the fields and in the tienda!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Drying Room

The Drying Room at LavenDar Farms of Pozos is a special place. From the moment our guests step into this space the aroma of English and French lavender arouses something very personal. Perhaps it is a sense memory of a distant time, we'll never know, but we invite you to explore The Drying Room on your next visit and to view here the reactions of some of our guests.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Peggys House and Betty

I just checked Peggy's field to see how much we could get from her first harvest this season and noticed how beautiful her interior courtyard looked with all the white climbing roses in bloom and the blue agapanthas against the rows of lavender. It is so beautiful out here this year.
We recently picked up a new pet, a black lab we now call Betty, who runs up and down the rows of lavender and happily greets the visitors. The animals are growing (and so is the feed bill!) Oh, and the horse at the bottom is Regalo, a really wonderful ride. We now have 6 different trails we are taking, about 2 hours each, all starting out on the historic El Camino Real. The horses are gentle and the guide is great (that would be me).
Teska, who is in residence this week, has been kind enough to offer to ride to Texas with me to
get badly needed supplies for the ranch. We are hoping to take our new samples to vendors in wish us luck. We have lots of beautiful sleep masks, pillows and bulk lavender to sale.
until next time, dar

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Saturday, May 1, 2010

olives and citrus

I think everyone in town knows Louis Franke. I always call him the Tree man, because he always brings me the best trees in this part of the country, but now I am calling him the Lavender man because of course he is my lavender supplier. As you can see from the photo on the right, he has now talked me into OLIVES!!!!!!
What is a girl to do! Now we have rows of olives to pick. Next week, Louis and his crew will be bringing 2500, (there is no typo here) yes that is 2500 more lavender plants and enough olives to call it an orchard by any girl's standard to Lavendar Farms (like we have nothing else to do these days but plant, hoe and farm!!!!!!
God, I thought I had retired five years ago!
Now we have a new product line of lavender eye masks, silk pillows filled with french and english lavender in several sizes, bulk lavender and other miscellaneous products to sell to anyone with an extra dollar or two, hopefully to help the ladies of Pozos.
Now the ranch has 12 employees and Cynthia and I are the hardest workers of all.
I am heading to Texas on Monday to find a market for these goods that just keep on producing.
Please say a prayer for me and wish me well my friends, or I will be knocking on your door to buy something...
Saludos for now, Dar
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

As the local herders came down El Camino Real last night, a few sheep escaped the watchful eye of their masters and came to play with Porkchop, our 16 pound chihuahua, (who, by the way, has lost a couple of pounds on the ranch) and now the ranch hands affectionately call her Chuleta. Two other ranch dogs playfully rounded up the herd for the lady herder and all was well before dusk, save for one lone sheep that we found this morning. To say the least, Porkchop is one tired pup!

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teska's house

Besides harvesting four large fields of lavender this month, we have been getting the ranch cleaned up and ready for summer guests as well as ranch property owners from Texas, Florida and North Carolina who normally come down to escape the summer heat.

Teska is here now working on her house, pictured above, which she rents out when she is not in residence.

Below, the old red truck is hauling off brush to the local dump, and the third photo is my home, with mascot Chihuahua "Porkchop" in the foreground.

Cynthia Buzzard, my LavenDar Farms partner, is pictured in the 4th photo, in the lavender fields in front of my house, just after the last harvest.
Wow, it has been an exhausting and fun learning experience here at LavenDar Farms as we proceed to develop this ranch as an ECO RANCH where friends and families can come and stay, hike, ride horses, cook, sing, play and do whatever....we hope you will come join us someday, smell the lavender, breathe the fresh air, feel the spirits and dance the dance.

There is always room for the young at heart. In fact, On May 3, there is a pilgrimage up to the sacred mountain which adjoins the property. Locals say it takes about 4 hours to get to the top of the mountain where a small church sits on top. There are zigzag trails all along the way. Bring plenty of water if you want to take the hike. I have never done the hike but who knows, there is always a first time. Come with me. We can start early!
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