E11: Colorado Lavender with Olivia Coe and Lee Ann Nielsen of the Colorado Lavender Association

Why does Palisade have a lavender festival? How exactly does one celebrate lavender? Why does lavender grow so well here? Learn everything you ever wanted to know about lavender and the upcoming Colorado Lavender Festival from Festival Director Olivia Coe and Lavender Association of Colorado Treasurer and lavender farmer Lee Ann Nielsen of Nielsen Village.

For more info about the Colorado Lavender Festival and the Lavender Association of Colorado, check out their website. To learn more about volunteering at the event, check here.

Music by Romarecord1973 from Pixabay.


SpotifyAnchorApple PodcastsCastBoxPocketCastsPandoraAmazon MusiciHeartRadioRSSYouTube


Welcome to Postcards from Palisade, the podcast that shares a snapshot of the people and places that make this slice of western Colorado wonderful. I’m Lisa McNamara.

Today I’m coming to you in a cloud of calming lavender. I’m talking about the Colorado Lavender Festival and lavender in general with Festival Director Olivia Coe and Lavender Association of Colorado Treasurer and lavender farmer Lee Ann Nielsen of Nielsen Village.

Listen on to learn all about lavender, how and why it grows so well in Colorado, why I planted my plants in the perfectly wrong spot, and how lavender is celebrated at the upcoming 12th annual Colorado Lavender Festival, held from June 23rd to 25th, presented by the Lavender Association of Colorado. To buy festival tickets or sign up to volunteer real quick, check out their website coloradolavender.org/annual-lavender-festival.

But then, come right back here, because today’s Postcard From Palisade is an episode for all your senses.

OC: I am Olivia Coe I am the festival director for the Colorado Lavender Festival this is my first year and picked up with the organization I think in end of November of 2022 so I’m very excited to be planning this year’s Festival

LN: I guess we’re excited that she is with us I’m Lee Ann Nielsen I’ve been involved with the association for many years and have been the treasurer on and off for many years so and continue to be on the board work as the treasurer for the lavender Association of Colorado

LM: and Lee Ann how did you get involved with the festival originally?

LN: you know I joined the lavender Association in 2011 and they had only been going for a couple of years and that happened to be their first Festival that they had planned to do so I went as a generic participant I went on the tours I went to the meetings that kind of thing and just learned the value of lavender because initially I didn’t really care for lavender but looked at it as kind of a challenge an easier challenge we started farming with grapevines and that is definitely a lot of work and the I’ll tell you the lavender meetings that I went to were they were so friendly and so passionate and so willing to share that I it just it just caught me up in it and it’s like you know what I can do this there’s people behind me so and then I just continued just learned what I could learn and just develop from there

LM: and Olivia how about you how did you get involved with it

OC: well I moved here to Grand Junction just over a year ago I actually live in Fruita I wanted to move to Palisade so bad but housing fell through like everybody’s story probably

LM: we can still get you here

OC: yeah and fruita is fun too I really enjoy it but Palisade has my heart but so I was just looking for a part-time job I’m actually the store manager for Habitat for Humanity as well and so I was looking for some additional income but it was hard to like find a job at you know like a restaurant or anything like that based on the hours I worked at habitat and I just happened to see this on indeed and I was like oh yes lavender sounds wonderful and I participated in the Lavender Fest working with sprigs and Sprouts about I think was four or five years ago I think it was 2016 so I had enjoyed it and I’ve always loved lavender pretty much that’s one of the only scents I’d buy if I buy scented items so it just all kind of sounded perfect to me and then prior to being here for several years I’ve organized other festivals mainly mushroom festivals but big big events that were like full weekends and so it just kind of was the perfect fit for me so very exciting yeah

LM: whoa it’s good luck that you saw that

OC: I know and lucky that Lee Ann gave me the time of day

LN: yeah well board decision board decision wasn’t just me

LM: the 12th annual Lavender Festival is coming up June 23rd to 25th and did I get those dates right

OC: you did

LM: okay great so what’s the what’s the festival all about what events are part of it what goes on there

OC: yeah so the main the major Festival that we do is June 24th so that’s the big day where everyone comes in shops all day long at all the vendor booths and then we also have live music we have demos seminars we have cooking classes things like that wreath making so that’s only the big to do for the festival that the whole community usually comes out for it’s five dollar tickets not not too bad but really just giving a venue to people who are artisans and craft vendors a lot a lot of them are centered around lavender some are also you know different arts and crafts but so that’s our big main event then we also have Friday night or Friday farm tours so those are private events those including one in North Fork Valley and one in Grand Valley Mesa County so attendees will purchase a ticket and then they’ll visit four to five different farms depending on which tour they choose and then they’ll have a catered lunch delicious and then they’ll get prizes and gifts for each of the locations and be able to shop and each of the farm owners will do a separate in training or or a demo or like teach them how to make some lavender product or things like that it’s really cool and then our Sunday the last day of the festival is more kind of open form so with that one people will do self-guided farm tours so they will be able to visit any of the farms that decided to participate in that and they’ll most farms will usually have some kind of an activity or some specials for the people attending that part of it too so that’s the main part of it Lee Ann what did I miss

LN: dinner

OC: oh dinner dinner hello so we have dinner at Maison la Belle Vie on Saturday night after the festival so that’s a big fancy event they make a delicious lavender inspired meal with each course having lavender infused into the dish so it’s going to be beautiful and lovely you should come if you can

LM: what’s interesting I think too is that it’s you can have a variety of experiences for like different price points like you can have pretty much you know five dollars a ticket it’s not that bad and then it goes all the way up to like quite a bit for the dinner and the farm tours and things but it’s like you can kind of or the self-guided farm tour yes right so I think that’s really cool like there aren’t many festivals where you can have that level or that number of different experiences

OC: yeah, pick your participation level yeah

LN: and I think one of the biggest focuses that’s always been at the heart of the association is the education about lavender and what you can do with it and what because that’s usually one of the first questions people ask well so what’s the big deal with lavender, right and so this gives different businesses and farms a way to really explore and explain how they use lavender from just some basic agritourism to their culinary products to their bath and body and you know how how do you do it you know the essential oils of course are always a big thing there’s many that are big specialists on on that as well so

OC: you know what I forgot the art contest oh yeah I’m going to let you run with that one

LN: oh yes well because it’s kind of

OC: it’s free-form kind of

LN: it is yeah we every year for the festival we promote a an artwork a two-dimensional art piece so for example the artist that we’re featuring this year was chosen last year last year’s festival and so then we purchased her artwork and then are able to use it and all our promotional materials and everything for the for the coming Festival so right now we are promoting the artwork for the 2024 Festival that will be chosen at the end of this Festival it’s kind of confusing on the timing there but we’ll we’ll choose it at the end of this Festival so that when this one is over we’ll have something to work with to start planning our 2024 Festival so and we’re it’s such a an exciting thing to see what these artists come up with and it’s like I said two-dimensional and there’s really no age limit on you know who can participate they just have to meet some of the criteria that the art gallery needs because we have it displayed at the Blue Pig Gallery just in this area

LM: and when is it displayed

LN: it’s actually on display now we reserve the initial vote to the members of the association so the members of the association hopefully will receive the photos and a voting ballot of all the artwork that has been submitted so they can do their initial choices the top three maybe four depending on how hard it is to decide but usually the top three finalists and then those three finalists are featured in continue to be featured at the Blue Pig Gallery for anybody who comes in the week prior to the festival then they get to do their voting of the three that the membership had chosen

LM: got it okay so the public ultimately picks

LN: yeah so then the public picks the final the final one and then the end of Sunday the end of the festival weekend is when we’ll do the tally and so we should hopefully know by the Monday after

LM: so why does palisade have a Lavender Festival who started it why did they start it

LN: oh interestingly I guess I’ll take that because I researched that the looking into this started way back in the mid how do you say that the mid 2000s

OC: the mid aughts

LN: the mid ok thanks I don’t know how you say that so what happened was prior to 2007 we had a Master Gardener in the Grand Junction area who worked very closely with the CSU Tri River Extension Center that’s out there on Highway 50 and her name was Kathy Kimbrough she’s still in the area she has Garden Scentsations her own still a Master Gardener still doing her design work and such but she had noticed that and I got this out of an article she had noticed that in all of the homes that she would go to to help with their landscaping situations the lavender was there you know there was everywhere or once in a while she would see lavender and and she saw how it was thriving and she worked very closely with the Extension Center at the time Dr Curtis Swift was the horticulturist agent Horticulture agent at the CSU and I guess she with her passion and her vision convinced him to really work on this so when and so that was prior to 07 so then in 07 he agreed to put a test plot out at the Extension Center just to study it find out how viable is this you know can can they prove there what she was seeing in the public homes and their landscaping and it was very successful so then he furthered the prospect and sent her to Sequim with the Master Gardener scholarship sent her to Sequim Washington who has been doing lavender up in that area it’s kind of at a peninsula up there in the Washington area they’ve been 30 40 years doing lavender up in that area so she went up there to learn what she could learn and and that further fed her passion and her and her vision for it so in April of 09 they’d done their test plot you know she studied wrote her reports in April of 09 they and they put out their feelers for a a like a test meeting you know or you know to to find out how they could you know if there was any interest out there and they ended up with over 50 people showing up at their meeting at their very initial meeting yeah so there was big interest

LM: that’s a lot

LN: big interest out there so they explored the whole avenue of everything and shortly after the Lavender Association of Western Colorado was formed and so initially lavender in the state started here on the Western Slope in the Grand Junction around that area kind of Mesa County and and South a little bit down into the North Fork Valley region another person was at that meeting who had already been a long-term lavender growing long long time and that was Paula Lagar from Sage Creations who is still here in business and I guess she’d been growing lavender for a few years so Kathy went out to see her place and said oh my God you’re already doing it then that means everybody can do it too type of thing so they just and that just furthered everything so then you know and when you think about starting up a whole organization which is kind of a a prospect these people were had to have been extremely committed because they had the legal side of it the whole organizational side of it to do yeah some impressive work that they got accomplished in October of 09 Dr Curtis Swift and Kathy Kimbrough wrote a research article of which we have on our website but wrote a research article about the whole viability and the things that you need to think about and what what would work best and even down to how to propagate lavender because it doesn’t necessarily grow by seed you have to some plants truly just have to be propagated from another plant so there’s two main varieties that are that are seen predominantly even across the country but it in our state in particular one has to be propagated the other one can be done by seed but it’s iffy as to its success so there was a lot of activity going on in 09 they formed the organization they got the research project done and they held their first annual lavender and artisan Christmas Fair by December of that year so yeah these were some some hard-hitting fast-moving people that were that were really working on this

LN: and then what is it 2011 was our first annual festival to be held in the summer time so and then we just continued to to progress from there and it was in 2018 that we went statewide took a you know a year or two to to really work on that focus because there were farms that had already developed on the Front Range or in the southwest corner you know there was the statewide there was people growing lavender in in all kinds of areas so we said oh my gosh we need to embrace these people and and really focus on lavender as an entire state not just in one region so since 2018 we’ve been statewide and changed our name then to just the Lavender Association of Colorado

LM: I had no idea that there was a lavender would you call like a trade association or um what’s the right name for it

LN: it was just it was a non-profit association of like-minded people that their love was lavender and how do we promote it and make money on it I mean that’s kind of one of the features of why you do some farming is can I earn anything off this and so it was a cash crop believe me I I had a vineyard that I managed and took care of it was very small it was only three acres it was a losing proposition because because it’s hard work and major amount of effort that goes into it so I have great respect for CAVE and everybody involved in that arena but I had to make my exit yeah and I exited into lavender which is I’ll have to say much more pleasurable right off the top I mean the plants you smell them right away and they’re beautiful right away so yeah there’s my new love yeah

LM: why does lavender grow so well here where they were able to figure that out when they were doing the study

LN: oh yeah we have very dry dry and hot same same way grapes do well here dry hot they don’t need very much water very little water actually and we have slightly alkaline soils which is really good for for lavender although lavender is very adaptable it can grow in crazy stuff but sunshine and sunshine is the other big key you’ve got to give it at least six hours of sunshine a day at least and we have I mean you just don’t want to plant it on the north side of your house or where there’s a lot of shade

LM: I’m thinking right now about where I planted by yeah and that would explain why it’s this big. It’s in the shade.

LN: yeah and sometimes people will put it in their landscaping and water it as frequently as they do their grass lavender does not like wet feet that’s like the common thing they don’t like wet feet

LM: that’s perfect for here so really yeah and low maintenance

LN: so just being dry hot and sunny

OC: so put your plant on the other side of the house now

LM: yeah definitely messed that one up also another thing that we touched on a little bit earlier so you Lee Ann have a lavender farm and you were saying that this year was a little bit more challenging and that kind of ties into it because it has been such a wet year that the lavender isn’t I don’t want to say ripening blooming it’s not blooming on its normal schedule

LN: it’s a little bit slower yeah and one thing that we’ve learned as we were exploring statewide coverage for the state the Front Range is cooler a little bit cooler sometimes although it’s not necessarily a hard truth but it can generally be kind of cooler and where we’re considered high desert on the Western Slope so and we’re generally say around what 43 4700 elevation here but they’re higher generally over there so that’s why they’re cooler for one thing so their bloom and everything is is later than ours so we always started with our bloom in this area maybe around June maybe June July and we’re we’re pretty much done for the season you know as far as our our first big bloom goes where the Front Range will be starting in July so there it’s in it’s neat because you can get everything you need here on the Western Slope lavender wise and then you can go over to the Front Range and get everything again so it makes it a cool thing but this year like you said this year in particular we’ve had a wetter winter time the spring has been much cooler for us on the Western Slope much wetter rainier the wind has not been as bad last year was absolutely horrendous but this year for us that hasn’t been that bad so we are slower this year by almost two to three weeks for our for our bloom but you know what all it takes is is a day in the 80s and they’re going to start going berserk I can see it happening already just this week so it’s just a matter of and on our side of the mountain range we probably have to water a little more frequently than they do on the on the east side so it just kind of and then everybody has their own little micro climate areas and Front Range is much more I think variable and I shouldn’t say they’re more variable they just have a lot of variation there just like we do here because Delta County Paonia Hotchkiss a lot of them are kind of mountainous type of regions we have a huge contingent of lavender down in the southwest corner lots of them down in the Cortez and Bayfield Ignacio Mancos just that whole Southwest arena and I’m not that familiar with that area but I think of it as being hotter yeah than us I don’t know if they really are but that’s what I think only because I think they’re closer to to Arizona and to New Mexico and that Southeast Utah so it’s a hotter to me it’s a hotter area so yeah so they they do I mean every area has its own challenges with that so it just it kind of depends but I know for us here at festival way I think maybe the Grand Junction area has finally caught up to what Paonia and Hotchkiss because they might be a little maybe a week behind this area because we’re a little bit lower a little bit hotter

OC: so now we’re kind of the same

LN: and and now yeah because our cool spring that we’ve been having and this intense cloudiness yeah threat of rain every day it’s crazy yeah it’s just been real different

OC: one thing about the Front Range too with their later blooming don’t they have a July Festival right

LN: yes they do they do yeah the Denver Botanic Garden at Chatfield Farms which is in the in Littleton they do an annual Lavender Festival yeah they’ve been doing that one now for I want to say five to seven years five six years okay something like that yeah they’re members of the Association great supporters yes great supporters of us so yeah we get to we then go to to the Front Range then do festival time again

LM: you probably get to enjoy a little bit more of that because you’re there a little bit more as a tourist than as an organizer

LN: and you know what’s interesting is even though this is our 12th year as a festival we still reach people at the festival who they’ll say I never knew lavender grew in Colorado I never knew there was a lavender Association and then we go over to the the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Festival same thing yeah I didn’t know lavender could grow here it’s just like you guys we’ve been around for a long time but there’s it’s just yeah just getting the word out there is what’s really important

OC: yeah so we thank you Lisa for helping us yeah

LN: indeed most indeed

LM: I’m so glad I have the opportunity to do that so do you do you Olivia do you have a favorite lavender product

OC: oh gosh there’s so many so so many good ones um hard hard one I mean literally the only scent I take get is lavender so you know like lavender soaps and lavender room sprays and lavender dish soap so I don’t know everything I’m just gonna say everything all lavender everything I think if I could make a scent all together I would probably do like an oil like kind of lotion hand lotion sort of thing with coconut oil lavender and then like wild sage that would be like my favorite scent ever

LN: oh that’s an interesting combination

OC: somebody make it for me please

LN: I bet we could do that gotta find some wild sage somewhere

OC: ok I’ll bring you some from my my warmer neck of the woods in the Cortez Mancos Durango area

LN: okay good okay

OC: it grows well down there

LM: did you grow up down there

OC: I grew up in mostly in Norwood and I worked in Telluride for a long time and then I would always go on trips in the kind of further south area southwest corner of the state

LN: I forget that that you’re kind of from that area

OC: that’s ok yeah but I would say like it may be a little bit drier I don’t know if it’s much hotter but I think I can think of like the Mancos Durango area I think that’s a little a little more pleasant yeah Cortez Dolores Dove Creek area that would be a probably similar climate but maybe even a little more dry

LM: Lee Ann what’s your favorite lavender product if you have one

LN: um favorite lavender product I’ll have to say probably for a body product my two favorites are the oh maybe it’ll have to be three favorites maybe it’ll have no I do I like lavender I like lavender lotion and I like lavender in soap in a bar soap but I also like the lavender sprays that the farms can make when they do their distillation they get the essential oil and then the water feature that comes off of it is is called hydrosol it’s a or a lavender water or something like that and it’s you know with an with an essential oil you really need to dilute it before you use it you know regardless of what you’re going to do with it you should be for safety sake but the hydrosol that comes off in the distillation process is usable immediately you don’t have to mix it blend it anything you can spray it right on your face right away you know it’s just yeah it’s an amazing product and so and I I’ll have to say I guess I use that on just about everything me linens so I guess maybe that’s my all all time number one must be it’s got to be the number one

OC: yeah okay I thought of one thing okay so it when I worked at sprigs and Sprouts about 2015 they had a hydrosol that was called chill pill and it had like it didn’t smell like perfume it smelled like lavender but it had this like sweetness behind it that wasn’t overpowering it was perfect so I wonder what I think it was gone now

LN: I’ll have to ask him and I’ll let you know I have to see if they still make something like that yeah yeah and that’s that’s kind of the beauty of lavender is you you can blend it with other other things and there is there is a difference between what is produced from from a farm itself versus what you get in the grocery stores two different things and they’ve been able to perfect the smell if you will of of lavender that many commercial products are synthetic right they’re not even using a real lavender oil I mean lavender based anything and that’s when that’s very initially that was my intro you know in my own youth my intro to lavender and I didn’t I like it right I just I did not like that smell

OC: fake lavender smell

LN: yeah I just didn’t care for it but

LM: it’s a big difference

LN: when I started exploring growing it it’s like then I learned the nuances of some a couple of different cultivars and a couple different varieties so there’s there’s a culinary side of lavender to use that’s very different from your other lavender that is mostly used for body products big and oil producer hydrosol producer so yeah it what you get off the farm is very different from what you can buy commercially even from certain reputed vendors that you buy your products from to make your like lotions or soaps or something depending on where they’re sourcing what they’re getting may not even be a hundred percent pure lavender it may be a combination of constituents to meet a requirement

OC: the chemical combination

LN: yeah it really kind of is the constituents that’s in it you know you have to have this much of this one and this much of that one and and so then it get it lends to standardization it will always smell that way

OC: almost too perfect

LN: that’s right but it skews the the whole idea that will is this real lavender yeah we have our terroirs just like grapevines do and wines deal with so lavender has this has the same thing

OC: the varietals yeah one thing that’s nice about the festival is we only allow artisan handmade products so you won’t see those fake lavender scents in anything there it’ll be all natural real I mean not everyone’s gonna have lavender but yeah if you get lavender there it’s going to be handmade

LN: yeah yeah because we do have that we have that as that is quality a quality issue for our Festival

OC: yeah expectation we’re not gonna you can’t bring in chemical products really

LN: well and part of that is because as farmers we work real hard securing the value of our product you know so we don’t want to who’d want to buy a fake cucumber off of a farm okay well you know this is cucumber it’s yeah

LM: that’s great that’s a great distinction to make one of my favorite things recently has been the little having a little sachet in my suitcase when traveling and then yeah and we open it up and it’s just like it smells like home and it smells amazing I love that

OC: ensuring you have a peaceful good trip right

LM: yeah that’s really nice when traveling so I’m pretty hooked on that and then the culinary thing too like you’re talking about I think it and that’s such a French thing really like herbs de Provence and like I remember the first time I ever tried that and I was like well you can’t eat lavender like it’s a flower you know I had no idea but it’s just such an awesome unique flavor that’s like yeah very I mean very very strong but really interesting like nothing else

LN: and the strength of it is on the is on the user you know or the cooker whoever is preparing something and that’s one of the keys with lavender because it is a very strong herb and your your culinary varieties are the angustifolias or the true lavender so and they are the ones some of them when they grow they can develop seeds and a lavender plant might grow from that there’s a couple varieties and I don’t know the name a couple of cultivars I don’t remember that you can truly grow them from seed but most of the ones that are on farms and such are done by propagation also and that way you get the the trues there’s hundreds of cultivars out there hundreds of them but the so your culinary one is angustifolia it’s usually kind of a shorter blooming not maybe not quite as dense it has stubbier looking blooms your lavandins which is a common name or the x intermedia are a hybrid so they’re a hybrid of the angustifolia and then another variety of lavender but if they’re very hearty they grow beautiful long flowing they’re graceful you know when you see them and those are not necessarily your culinary varieties you can eat them they have a higher camphor content so it’d be like eating mentholatum or Vicks or something like that yeah so and that’s where people because they don’t they don’t maybe know what they have or what they’re trying to cook with and so they’ll get well no it tastes like soap tastes like my grandma’s lotion it’s like well probably you it’s a combination of factors you’ve used the wrong lavender it’s not a culinary lavender and you’ve used way too much you know if you use too much of any spice it’s going to be off it might taste metallic yeah it’s just not gonna taste good yeah but I have to ask you a question if you were to describe the taste or the flavor of rosemary how would you describe that

LM: that is you know what there are some similarities because it’s definitely piney and you know you do a really strong rosemary when it’s really concentrated it does become almost like a menthol or you know lemony or ah I’m losing the right word but now that you say that I do I can’t think of some similarities

LN: well and my point is people will say well what does lavender taste like well what does garlic taste like

OC: yeah how do you describe it

LN: how do you know how do you describe you know what something salty tastes like yeah I already describe what does salt by itself tastes like so it’s real hard to really put that into a description so some of the descriptors are well it’ll give kind of a floral herbal maybe mineral flavor or something but

OC: it’s so hard to describe

LN: it is it’s just very very difficult to label

LM: yeah and everybody’s tastes are different so it’s a lot like wine like I used to I used to pour wine for people and they’d be like well what does it taste like and I’m like I’m not going to tell you yeah you tell me yeah like everything tastes different to everybody and I can’t tell you what it tastes like a lot of people got mad about that

LN: exactly so true that is so true and then mixing it and it’s an enhancing herb so blend it in with your spices blend it in with your your baked goods or something it will impart a little bit of a flavor on its own that you’ll know that you might know that it’s there you might not but it will enhance some of the flavors of everything else that is that particularly spices I think is where it really works

OC: and I just gotta say lemon and lavender together all the time all the time

LN: lavender lemonade yeah

OC: they made for each other I think

LM: well I think that dinner is going to be a great time to experience that all those different flavors and things and it’ll be interesting to see what they do with it

OC: and this is the second year working with them for the dinner they tend you see they’ve had one round and this one’s going to be even better

LN: oh yeah I’m real excited about the menu this year it this sounds yeah it sounds tremendous yeah sounds amazing

OC: yeah check it out on our website

LM: so I maybe that just answered my question but what part of the festival are you most excited about

OC: I’ll let you start and then I’ll go

LN: oh gosh I have to say that the main event on Saturday the festival in the park is probably the one that takes the most amount of attention and planning for the shoulder events the Friday farm tours for the farms that are participating in that they indeed have to do some advanced planning and I’ve participated many years with that and then Sunday tours is a little bit more relaxed and depends on the location some are are big time it’s like going to another festival at their their location I my location will be more low-key we want to engage with the with the customers that come to us we want to teach them a little bit more about what we do and and that’s probably the biggest value in all of it is is we’re constantly educating people you know how to do something why you do it this way and what good is it for and what do you get out of it type of thing so we’re yeah it’s we have one year we had a a vendor that had come to us from the Front Range I believe they were an alcohol vendor actually and at the end of the day the guy that I had worked with the closest said I have never been to a festival that has been more friendly laid back he said everybody coming to us has been so eager to see us he was so impressed at just the lavender in my and he attributed the whole lavender environment it’s like yeah well it’s proven it’s very calming it’s very yeah

OC: hard to be angry

LN: yeah, it’s just like we have so much fun at the festival and at all of our events that we do we just truly enjoy them

OC: so she said all of them that’s what she said

LN: all of them you must go to all of them

LM: mostly Saturday but also yeah for sure like yeah it’s like picking a favorite child or something right

OC: yeah that’s how I feel about it it’s been like giving birth this whole festival thing

LN: it has probably been just as hard

OC: yes for sure yeah it’s been several months of preparing and planning and just you know working and working and trying to make this baby come alive so it’s been fun I will say that probably at the end of it that would be my favorite time because I will have been successful things will be done but I am very excited about the the vendor fair part of the the main event festival I think that’s going to be really fun just meeting all the people that I’ve worked with and started to plan you know things out all the vendors that are going to be there like you said that chill vibe during the fair the festival part of it when I was attending as a Sprigs and Sprouts employee just helping there it was it was just like everybody’s just like oh I’m so happy this is great we’re here

LN: it’s very interesting we enjoy the people that come to us and they seem to enjoy their time so much and yeah it’s just a real shared shared environment

OC: so probably most excited about that but you know I think I don’t even think I’ll get a chance to see any of the farm tours at the beginning probably at the end either because really what I’m in charge of is that main event part and making sure that that goes off without a hitch so no I’ve got a lot of pressure

LN: all the coordination yeah you poor thing

OC: yeah no it’s okay I really am enjoying it and it’s I like figuring out that puzzle of it too you know and just trying to make the things fit together and and it feels good that we’re at a good point right now there’s still a ton to do but I think we’re kind of the main big tasks are behind us

LN: coming down to the home stretch yeah and that’s the beauty of it that is all these stress and stress and stress and plan plan and yeah and then it’s happening and it’s like oh my God it’s falling into place you know just yeah when we thought things were the worst it’s like yeah nope it turned out real good yeah

OC: I have a little side story on that I have a friend who I go to some meetings with and she was talking about planning an event you know and she was talking about how stressed she was and how you know how I’m gonna get it all done and there’s just so many things I’m responsible for and and I told her I was like so I’ve planned a lot of events and you will mess something up absolutely something’s gonna go wrong but you know what you just drop that ball and you walk away you know because somebody’s either gonna pick it up if it’s that important or it’s gonna go away talk about it for next year and how to not do it again

LN: you’ll learn

LM: that’s a really good outlook to have because something always goes wrong it’s like inevitable

OC: yeah I mean do everything you can to get it right the first time you know but don’t don’t live in the stress that it causes to you know worry about what is going to go wrong because inevitably it will so

LN: and while you’re doing it it’s like oh I should have done this I should

OC: yeah you just bring a notebook and you write yourself notes

LN: yeah and you just learn as you’re going through

OC: yeah but it’s gonna be fabulous and we’re gonna have fun I’m not worried

LN: you’ve done some amazing planning and prepping your first time through

OC: thanks it’s been great

LM: is there anything about the festival or about lavender that I didn’t ask you guys that you wanted to talk about

OC: I’d say about the festival we’re looking for volunteers so we have a handful we definitely need more we just added a volunteer coordinator will be helping to recruit and so please go online we are it’s on our website as well as on our eventeny page so that’s where we’re doing our all of our tickets our vendors volunteers things like that are all going on eventeny so do look that up please sign up and volunteer if you can not necessarily you but you the listener

LM: yeah you how do you spell eventeny I’ll put a link in the description for sure

OC: yes it’s e-v-e-n-t-e-n-y and just dot com and then you can just look up Colorado Lavender Festival and that should pop up yep

LM: awesome

OC: yeah what about you Lee Ann

LN: oh gosh I could go on and on

OC: you’re a wealth of knowledge I love it well I’ll say something about Lee Ann I couldn’t have done this without her she has been so helpful and and just somebody who I’ve always turned to and I feel like my mentor in this so I really do appreciate everything that she’s brought to the table

LN: I guess it attests to how long I’ve been around

OC: but you’re so kind about it and you really care and it means a lot

LN: thank you

OC: yeah

LM: that’s so sweet

OC: no crying girls

LM: so before we go I have to ask you both what your favorite thing is about the Palisade community because I ask everybody that so

OC: you live here I’ll let you go first

LN: you know I I I just enjoy the small town vibe being in the whole small town arena and I also really appreciate the agricultural focus that is here we have a lot in this area that is incredibly an incredible amount of agricultural things that are I mean the farms the vineyards the the grapevines the everything and it’s that gives me a sense of unity and I and it’s interesting when I talk to somebody else who isn’t from Palisade they’re very impressed that I live in Palisade which further supports my belief that it’s a really cool place yeah it’s a really cool place oh you’re in Palisade I want to live there I know yeah we pat ourselves on the back I’m glad I chose it

OC: good choice for me I grew up like I said in San Miguel County so Norwood that area and it’s a very small town vibe as well very small 500 people when I first moved there in the I know right long ago but this small town is a different vibe it’s definitely I feel like you definitely get it’s just very peaceful and live and let live and like I think that it’s just a very open and understanding community and they still you know do all the same things that were done out there but there’s also the access to more you know activity in the area and so I think for me coming from that small town and coming here felt like home you know in more of the way that worked for the person that I am so you know it just has some magic to me that I can’t describe

LN: I know it is it’s kind of hard-hitting

OC: and it’s drawn me for many years

LN: the tourism focus the agriculture

OC: yeah my best friend she lived right across from the blue Pig right up on those top apartments up there and I was gonna get that apartment and so I was devastated when I didn’t get it and ended up in Fruita but you know it’s cool to still be part of Palisade and the festival and everything

LM: and like I said we’ll get you over there

OC: yeah someday someday I’m crossing my fingers it’ll work out

LM: just keep looking for stuff it takes awhile

OC: but thank you for having us here in Palisade

LN: yeah I appreciate it I’m excited to listen to the podcast

OC: what about you what’s been your favorite things about Palisade

LM: oh it’s the I mean the community I love how you said the unity

OC: yeah Palisade it is special and there’s like I don’t think you get like in in the rest of Mesa County there there is community in Grand Junction and Fruita and Clifton

LM: for sure oh yeah absolutely

OC: but it’s it I don’t know Palisade like I said it’s just it’s magical and people like really want want you to be around it feels good

LM: I know it’s so cool I don’t know I don’t know what it is and maybe I don’t I don’t want to figure it out but it’s just like maybe it’s the lavender in the air maybe that’s something

OC: maybe that could totally be it yeah I mean especially coming from the Norwood area Telluride like Telluride had such a they had a really great community for a really long time and a lot of locals have said that now it’s changed a lot and it’s not as kind of wholesome and tight-knit and you know a little bit more I don’t know just it’s not what it used to be it lost its spirit so I’m hoping that Palisade hangs on to it

LM: I know I know that’s really scary how do you balance that and yeah yeah Telluride yeah it is just so busy so many people who live there don’t live there full time

OC: yeah most of the most of the residents well prior residence now live in Norwood or Montrose or Cortez or you know things like that and so it’s nice that people can still live in Palisade mostly

LM: I know I know hopefully with planning and everything it seems like they’re trying to be intentional about keeping it the way it is but it’s like yeah that’s tough that’s tough balance

OC: it is it is I think they’re striking it right now so let’s just keep keep on hoping that they continue

LM: thank you so much for your time it was really fun getting to learn about lavender from you both and the festival and I hope I’m sure it’s gonna be awesome event I can’t wait to check it out

OC: yeah thank you so much for having us

LN: yeah thank you thanks for having us this was exciting

OC: first podcast I’ve been part of

LN: me too

LM: Get some of that lavender calm for yourself at the Colorado Lavender Festival this weekend, either as an attendee or a volunteer or both. And don’t forget to swing by the Blue Pig Gallery asap to vote for the artwork that will be featured at next year’s festival! I’ve already cast my ballot. And, if you’re up for it, shoot me an email and let me know what you think lavender tastes like at lisa(at)postcardsfrompalisade.com

Are you enjoying this podcast? There are a couple ways you can let me know: you could leave me a rating or review on Apple Podcasts or a follow or rating on Spotify. I’d really appreciate it! If you’d like to be part of or have an idea for an upcoming episode, you can reach me at lisa(at)postcardsfrompalisade.com.

Thanks for listening. With love, from Palisade.

Leave a Reply