Local lavender farm takes root

Evergreen Valley offers products from its field of heady, aromatic herb

Staff writerJuly 6, 2014 


    Owners: Thane and Peggy Bryenton

    Location: 9733 Evergreen Valley Road SE, Olympia

    Years in business: 600 lavender plants were planted in 2009.

    Service: The farm is open for people to visit and to enjoy the sights and smells of lavender. There’s also a gift shop that sells several items made from lavender. Some of those are produced by the Bryentons, while others are made with the help of local artisans.

    Hours: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday through Aug. 17.

    Online: evergreenvalleylavender.com

    Advice to business owners: Peggy Bryenton: “Treat your customers like they’re friends and everything else falls into place.” Thane Bryenton: “Running a business is more than working 9 to 5, and don’t expect the business to take off at first.”

    Did you know? Lavender can be incorporated into meals. The Bryentons sell a form of lavender that can be applied as a rub on white meat, such as pork, chicken or fish.

Meet Thane and Peggy Bryenton and there’s a chance they might be wearing clothes that are violet or purple or perhaps even a shade of lavender.

“Purple is our uniform,” said Peggy Bryenton during a recent visit to her home and farm in southeast Thurston County.

Why all the purple? Take a peek at the farm.

The Bryentons run Evergreen Valley Lavender Farm, a 3.8-acre spread that not only doubles as their home, but also is home to 600 mostly English lavender plants, which they harvest throughout the lavender season.

But the farm also is open to visitors to see and purchase a variety of lavender products, or to just sit and admire the lavender blowing in the breeze for a little “me” time, as a brochure about the farm suggests.

They bought the former horse pasture property in 2006, built a barn-like agricultural building the following year and then got serious about lavender during a trip to Sequim, which is known for its lavender, with their daughter in 2008.

It was there that they became captivated by lavender’s scent and color, but also by its potential.

During their visit, Thane Bryenton was busy scratching away at some mosquito bites when one of the local lavender farmers suggested he dab them with a little essential lavender oil.

Soon, the desire to itch was gone, as were the welts, he said.

Hooked, the Bryentons began to study the plant, consulted other growers and then made the plunge, purchasing lavender from a location in Oregon because this particular variety was better suited to wetter weather in Olympia.

A farm was born.

Among the lavender products the farm sells are buds sold by the pound for potpourri, culinary buds for cooking, lavender sachets, lavender neck wraps, as well as soaps and lotions.

But Evergreen Valley also produces, through a steam-distillation process, an essential lavender oil, which, as Thane Bryenton discovered, can be used to treat an insect bite or minor burn or used in aromatherapy.

A secondary distillation product called hydrosol — a lavender-infused linen water — also is bottled and can be used for cleaning, or as an air freshener, or even as a sleep aid by spritzing a little lavender on your pillow at night.

Red Wind Casino, too, uses their lavender and incorporated it into a lemon lavender cheesecake which premiered at the 2014 Capital Food and Wine Festival, according to a Red Wind publication, The Breeze.

Up next for the Bryentons is to become a stop on the Thurston Bountiful Byway, a recently created route of stops through rural Thurston County to promote agritourism.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403

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