While driving around the foothills of the Chehalem Mountains, roughly 25 miles SW of the airport in Portland Oregon, My wife and I discovered a hidden gem. We noticed the “You Pick Lavender” signs along the Hillsboro Highway, which runs north to south from Hillsboro toward Newburg. Nestled along the highway and up a long driveway is the MOUNTSINSIDE LAVENDER FARM a family owned farm, owned by Bill and Lori Carlson. We were greeted by their chocolate lab, Milo who is friendly and curious at the same time.
17805 SW Hillsboro Highway
Hillsboro (Scholls), OR 97123
As a photographer, I was immediately taken by the scenic beauty of this farm. Not only is the lavender in full bloom (the purple & green is something to see and these images don’t do it justice!) but this location is breathtaking. Lori and Bill Carlson have more than 2,000 lavender plants in shades of white, pink and purple available for U-pick. On clear days Mount Hood, St. Helens, Rainier and the Coast Range are clearly visible along with the pastoral views of the Willamette Valley. Many painters and fellow photographers take advantage of this beautiful location with the permission of Bill and Lori.
Lavender is a native of the Mediterranean and thrives in dry, sunny, rocky habitats. This location is all of that. Yes, it rains in Oregon, but typically between mid June and October less than 2” of rain fall. It’s sunny most of the time. And besides, England is not exactly a hot dry climate is it and England is also a world renowned area for growing lavender as well.
Here on the farm, Bill and Lori not only offer “You Pick” Lavender, but they do their own distillation. The “essential” oils from the lavender plant can aid in helping sunburn as well as acting as a mosquito repellent. Interestingly enough the oils also helps digestion. Most folks use it as soap and other fragrant uses. You can purchase lavender oils in their Lavender Store, as well as many other crafts from local artists ( web sales are also available)
This weekend is the OREGON LAVENDER FESTIVAL. (July 12th & 13th 2008) All the lavender farms (and there are quite a few) are open with music, food, and special events to coincided with the peak of the growing season. Check out www.oregonlavenderfestival.org . The MOUNTSINSIDE LAVENDER FARM is already decked out for this event. They are open 9 am to 6 pm both days
Weather you live here in the area or are venturing out to the beautiful Pacific Northwest, don’t miss seeing the MOUNTSINSIDE LAVENDER FARM. And if you are not as lucky as we are to live close by, you can always contact them on the web at www.mountainsidelavenderfarm.com to purchase their products mail order.
When you stop by, tell them Jack says hi!
JG / Sherwood, Oregon firstname.lastname@example.org