April 27, 2020

A Guest Blog from Ari Katz on Soleado Lavender Farm

I have always loved lavender. When I was a little girl, my father grew it in his very sunny garden in Nutley, New Jersey. And when I had a garden of my own, it was one of the first things I planted. Lavender, Lavendula, is prized for its richly fragrant flowers and aromatic foliage. It is wonderful to bundle up, dry, and give away as gifts, or to use in sachets for drawers and closets. My friend, Ari Katz, and his family live near a special lavender farm. Enjoy his story and photos. 

Several weeks ago after speaking with my neighbors, Sophia Watkins and Kevin Salmeron, I realized that their lavender farm had supplied the lavender once featured in "Martha Stewart Weddings". Excited, I called Martha and told her that my neighbors had contributed to a Martha Stewart production. Martha and I decided it would be a great use of my "newly found" copious amounts of time to do a blog on Sophia and Kevin’s lavender farm, Soleado Lavender Farm - one of the true gems in the Montgomery County, Maryland Agricultural Reserve.

Sophia is the fourth generation of her family to continue farming in Maryland. The land that Sophia and Kevin’s lavender grows on was handed down from Sophia’s grandmother and her father. Sophia and her family’s passion was to be stewards of the land along with farming the land. Although not organically certified by the USDA, Soleado Lavender is one of the oldest organically managed farms in the region and has never used pesticides. Sophia and Kevin were practical in their decision to grow lavender. Their farm is where artists can visit and work and individuals could come cut their own flowers.