Breathe the Sweet Summer Air at These 6 Philly-Area Lavender Farms
It's lavender season! Here's where you can pick your own, do yoga in a field, channel your inner impressionist, and stock up on all sorts of infused products.
As the Philadelphia region reopens after the long, isolating pandemic, lavender farms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey are gearing up for — ahem — a scent-sational summer.
Lavender has been used for centuries for its distinctive fragrance, flavor and wellness properties. With soft spikes of purple blooms, lavender is particularly known for its calming properties, and its scent has been shown to reduce anxiety. After more than a year in COVID-19 lockdown, who couldn’t use a little soothing lavender aromatherapy? Lavender growers are putting a fresh spin on age-old traditions with outdoor activities and special events, perfect for family-friendly day trips, a leisurely afternoon date, or a friends’ day out.
Lavender blooms from mid-June into July. Depending on the farm, visitors can make lavender crafts, sample lavender-infused treats, take a yoga class, or set up an easel for a “plein air” painting session. And, of course, you can shop. The farms offer a wide variety of lavender merch, including dried lavender arrangements, bath and beauty products, and culinary items.
Each farm has its own events, business hours and visiting guidelines, so check before you go to see what’s happening and when.
Hidden Spring Lavender/Alpaca Farm
890 Route 601, Skillman, hiddenspringlavender.com
Hidden Spring Lavender/Alpaca Farm grows 15 varieties of lavender and distills its own lavender oil each July. Unique to the farm’s gift shop are “Buena Bears,” small, plushy bears filled with Buena Vista lavender. “You’re not going to see our products anywhere else,” says owner Marie Voorhees.
The farm also has a small herd of alpacas that visitors can arrange to take for a stroll. No reservations are needed to visit the farm during business hours, but you’ll need to reserve ahead to walk an alpaca.
Hope Hill Lavender Farm
2375 Panther Valley Road, Pottsville, hopehilllavenderfarm.com
At Hope Hill, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary of opening to the public, visitors can sign up to make a lavender wand, tour the farm, and do yoga in a lavender field. “We work hard to keep the farm natural, so it’s relaxing,” says owner Wendy Jochems.
Hope Hill distills its own lavender oil — it takes 11 pounds of lavender flowers to make just one ounce of lavender essential oil, Jochems notes. The farm’s store stocks lavender-based products made on-site and by local artisans.
The farm’s website also offers recipes, from almond lavender cake to lavender granola.
Mt. Airy Lavender
123 Mt. Airy Road, Coatesville, mtairylavender.com
Mt. Airy Lavender is run by two sisters, Joanne Voelcker and Amy Saha. “What makes us unique is that it’s a family farm,” says Voelcker. The property is open to visitors only at select times but holds open houses throughout the year and has an online store featuring lavender-based products, including recently added mixes for lavender cookies and cakes.
Visitors can sign up for lavender-field yoga, and groups can arrange for private tours.
Peace Valley Lavender Farm
802 New Galena Road, Doylestown, peacevalleylavender.com
At Peace Valley Lavender Farm, visitors can pick their own bunches of lavender and take in the natural beauty of the Bucks County location. “People come and hang out and enjoy the view of Lake Galena,” says owner Patti Lyons. While photos of the lavender fields are allowed, professional photographers should call for guidelines.
Peace Valley’s shop is stocked with a broad range of lavender products, including some unusual items, such as lavender lollipops and lavender soda. Lavender plants are also available for a limited time. No reservations are needed.
3741 Lawrenceville Road, Princeton, princetonlavender.com
A trip to Princeton Lavender during weekend hours or by appointment during the week starts at the property’s farm stand, where, with a $10 purchase for adults and a $5 purchase for kids, visitors can tour the farm and feed the goats, alpacas and turkeys. Fresh and dried bundles of lavender are available for purchase.
Food has become an increasingly popular attraction. Owner Brad Smith says the farm’s homemade cold-brew lavender coffee, lavender lemonade, and homemade vanilla ice cream with candied lavender flowers have been a big hit. “We’ve really gone the culinary route,” he says.
Warwick Furnace Farm
This family-run working farm isn’t regularly open to the public, but rather prides itself on creating unique experiences for visitors throughout the year. “The experience is more special when it’s limited and curated,” says Ed Rosen, farm owner and family patriarch.
The Chester County property is steeped in history as the site of the Warwick Furnace, which produced armaments for George Washington’s army, and provides a picturesque backdrop for lavender-related activities. Events include private group tours, participating in the farm’s lavender harvest, open-air painting sessions, professional photography sessions, and cardio barre and yoga instruction. Participants will be given the farm’s address in confirmation emails before scheduled events.
Shoppers can also check out the farm’s store in person by appointment or online to buy products including handmade essential oils, lavender floral mists salves and dried flowers.