Skip to main content

Lavender Fields Forever

05/15/2013 11:14AM, Published by Enjoy Magazine, Categories: In Print




John D. Rockefeller once said, “I do not think that there is any other quality so essential to success of any kind as the quality of perseverance. It overcomes almost everything, even nature.”

For David McGee-Williams, Ph.D., and his wife, Gail Winslow, Ph.D., perseverance truly has overcome nature. To the delight of thousands of visitors since 2004, their trials and refusal to give up reaps one of the most stunning landscapes in far Northern California: the Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms.

Their lavender story began more than 20 years ago when the couple moved to Mount Shasta to escape Bay Area congestion. The two loved gardening together and needed a physical outlet to compensate for the long hours spent at their psychology practice in Redding.

But as years passed and their neighborhood developed, trees grew tall and blocked the essences of their joys. Without the sunlight they craved and a clear view of the mountain they loved, it was time to seek something different.

When they found their farm property, it was nothing but 800 acres of rocky soil. No road. No electricity. No water source. One thing it did have: a stunning, unadulterated view of Mt. Shasta. That was enough for them. So they bought the property, built a dirt road into it and drilled their first well, which didn’t produce enough water. So they dug another, deeper well, this time hitting a water lode.

They picked a spot to clear for their first lavender field, one of the few crops they suspected would thrive in the rocky soil. “We discovered the rocks went near to the center of the earth,” says David, who, after weeks of futile skimming, rented an industrial tractor to till a “mine field of rocks” from that first plot.

Anxious to see their vision bloom, the couple air-freighted their first 4,000 plants, a fragrant, patented, English variety, from Australia. Eager to meet his precious living cargo, David drove to San Francisco to greet them.

The USDA quarantined the shipment, relegating the plants to a locked warehouse with no water or sunlight over a three-day weekend. “I almost cried,” says David, who thinks his near-tears earned him a one-time pass through inspection if he could prove the plants were “clean.” So David and a friend shook growing medium off 4,000 plants by hand before wrapping each in damp newspaper.

Only 400 plants survived.

“We were terribly discouraged,” says David.

Stymied but not stopped, they found an Oregon grower, invested in more lavender and got to planting.

When the fields began to bloom in earnest, friends encouraged David and Gail to open their garden to the public. Their first open weekend, only 12 cars came through. “Our daughter said, ‘You know,

maybe this wasn’t such a great idea.’”

But the idea of sharing their farm seemed right. So they continued to open during summers, selling soaps, lotions and lavender-based products they made themselves.

In 2012, more than 10,000 visitors from as far away as Japan and Australia meandered, clipped lavender sprigs and inhaled the abundant 20-acre aroma, believed to relieve stress and anxiety. Entrance to the farm is free and visitors are encouraged to walk far and wide or take an 18-minute meditative stroll through a labyrinth.

“Be sure to take your camera when you go,” says Christina LaBella, a Redding resident, “because the views are spectacular. Pack a lunch so you can stay and enjoy the views.”

“When they first get here, people burst into tears all the time,” says Gail. “It’s that stunning.”

While this labor of love called Lavender Farms demands endless work, investment and periods of disappointment, it more than pays off. “Working an office job is deadly,” says David. “Farming is physical with a purpose. If we are here doing this, we aren’t doing that. And if I’m doing that, I’m not thinking about this. It’s the perfect balance.”

“And yes, we’re tired,” says Gail. So at the end of every season, after the visitors are gone and they are weary to the bone, the two collapse into chairs, pour  champagne and take in their mountain. And then one says, “You know what we should do next year?” •

 

Mt. Shasta Lavender Farms • 9706 Harry Cash Road, Montague • (530) 926-2651

www.mtshastalavenderfarms.com



on the map 2013


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Ranger-guided Activities Offered on Memorial Day Weekend Whiskeytown National Recreation Area...


  • 53rd Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta

    05/27/2017
    10:30AM — 06:00PM

    The Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta is a two-day sailing race that brings competitors from far and w...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    05/27/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Healthy Eating and Being Active Class

    05/29/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Looking for FREE classes on tips for healthy eating and being active? Then this is for you! Cla...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Senior Health & Fitness Day

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    Shingletown Medical Center Presents 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day® The Shi...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    05/31/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Weaverville Farmers' Market

    05/31/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Weaverville Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm from May through October! tr...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/26/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Canvas and Cocktails

    05/26/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come drink and paint with us! You don’t need ANY art experience to enjoy this evening of fun, mus...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Ranger-guided Activities Offered on Memorial Day Weekend Whiskeytown National Recreation Area...


  • 53rd Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta

    05/27/2017
    10:30AM — 06:00PM

    The Whiskeytown Memorial Regatta is a two-day sailing race that brings competitors from far and w...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/27/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    05/27/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/28/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Healthy Eating and Being Active Class

    05/29/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Looking for FREE classes on tips for healthy eating and being active? Then this is for you! Cla...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/29/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/30/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity. Brew Craft Coffe-Havens Humane Society 1...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    09:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    10:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Art For A Cause

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM

    LOCAL's Gallery Presents: Art For A Cause During May Percentage of All sales will go to charity...


  • Senior Health & Fitness Day

    05/31/2017
    11:00AM — 02:00PM

    Shingletown Medical Center Presents 24th Annual National Senior Health & Fitness Day® The Shi...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Midweek Madness

    05/31/2017
    02:00PM — 08:00PM

    Visit either Wildcard location on Wednesday and get $3 off a growler fill.


  • Weaverville Farmers' Market

    05/31/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    The Weaverville Farmers' Market is held on Wednesdays from 4-7 pm from May through October! tr...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Vinyl Night

    06/01/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    Join us downtown the first and third Thursday of every month. We are going to ditch Spotify for t...


  • Hayfork Farmers' Market

    06/02/2017
    04:00PM — 07:00PM

    Come listen to live music, shop for local goods and produce and cultivate community! The Farmers'...


  • First Friday on Main

    06/02/2017
    06:00PM — 09:00PM

    Join us at Enjoy the Store Red Bluff, home to Cedar Crest Brewing and Vineyard, for live music, f...


  • The Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber Certified Farmers' Markets open June 3rd! All farmers and ve...


  • Join Tangle Blue Saloon and The B.A.M.T. Coalition for Fun Times for the 2nd annual Trinity Celti...


  • Mountain Wintu Herbs Class

    06/03/2017
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Learn how to make: Fire Infusion* (Cider) w/Turmeric When: Saturday, June 3, 2017 Time: 10 a...


  • Saturday, June 3rd, The Friends of the Shasta County Libraries will sell gently used books in the...


  • CityConnect 2017

    06/03/2017
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    CityConnect is a free event for all ages to make connections and become a part of the solutions f...


  • Reggae Fest 3

    06/03/2017
    04:00PM — 10:00PM

    Come enjoy live music, dancing, fun for kids, local food and community vendors, beer garden and m...


  • Wildcard Brewing Company's Brewhouse Tours

    06/03/2017
    04:30PM — 05:00PM

    Want to know more about what goes on behind the scenes at Wildcard? Join us for a tour. This is y...


  • Redding Community Contra Dance

    06/03/2017
    07:00PM — 10:00PM

    What is contra? Contra dance is the American cousin to Scottish and English Country set dances. I...


  • Whiskeytown Paint Out!

    06/04/2017
    11:00AM — 03:00PM

    The National Park Service working in partnership with the Friends of Whiskeytown and Redding Bank...


  • Healthy Eating and Being Active Class

    06/05/2017
    10:30AM — 11:30AM

    Looking for FREE classes on tips for healthy eating and being active? Then this is for you! Cla...


Enter to Win a $100 Gift Card!

Check out our sister publication, Enjoy Magazine: South Valley Living

 

Wedding Style Guide 2017
Enjoy Magazine Facebook
Enjoy Magazine Instagram Instagram
Enjoy Magazine Pinterest Enjoy Magazine

Enjoy Our Sponsors