After our day touring the Petrified Forest, we spent the night in tiny Holbrook and the next morning drove to Red Rock Lavender Farms. Months and months ago we had found a groupon that included entry to their lavender festival as well as a “pick your own” bouquet of fresh lavender. Curious to explore more of Arizona we purchased the tickets, booked our motel, and planned our road trip. Before moving to here, I didn’t know all of the wonderful weekend places the state had to offer. This was my first time in eastern Arizona and it was a blast.
As you drive away from Phoenix making your way north the cactus thin out and soon shrubs take over the scenery. When you climb in elevation the trees (real trees!) tower over your car. At one point we missed the turn for the small county road that to us to our destination. Stop signs and stop lights can’t be seen for miles at a time. The most exciting thing you’ll pass are cows and yellow signs warning you about elk crossing.
The lavender festival is located in the sloping hills and scrubby bush of eastern Arizona. We turned off the paved road onto a dusty, gravel one and could see the purple rows of lavender in the distance. The red dirt makes an even starker contrast with the plants seen up close.
You’re telling me you can EAT lavender?!
Yes, it is possible to cook, bake, and even concoct with lavender! We attended a demonstration during the festival that explained to us the best techniques for using lavender in your kitchen. For example, there is a specific type used in the kitchen and it’s called culinary lavender. You can use this to season chicken in a rub or bake with it if you’re making a cake. You can also steep dried lavender in boiling water, as if you were making a tea, and then
Beware the lavender store!
If you’re anything like me, gift shops are your wallet’s worst enemy. I am a self-professed stationery addict which is absolutely one of the top reasons I enjoy going to museums. The gift shop at the end always has postcards, stationery, and other artwork that I buy up as a way to commemorate my visit. This lavender festival was no different. I bought a few sachets of loose lavender, two lavender plants, and a set of watercolor cards and postcards. The artist who made the watercolor cards, Catherine Sickafoose, came to Red Rock Farm and painted various scenes. They are absolutely gorgeous and you should check them out HERE!