Although I had originally bought a soap-making class from Sarah at the Keys Creek Lavender Farm for Lauren and I to attend, Lauren was off on a hike so thankfully my sister Stephanie was able to attend and we had a wonderful day on Saturday learning how to make soap. I got there early because I love that place and because they are now closed to the public except for private events (like soap making classes) -- more on that later. Though I’m not usually a front row kind of student, this time I decided I would sit right up front so that I could take good notes and get some good pictures since this was more of a demonstration than a hands-on class. However, once the class started, Sarah asked if anyone would like to come up to be her helper and my hand shot straight up -- so I was able to watch the process up close and even help with some of the measuring and stirring. She eventually brought everyone up to help with the stirring, but I felt very fortunate that I was able to participate in the process. Her soaps are all natural and smell heavenly -- and she was a very funny, kind, and informative teacher. I would highly recommend the class for anyone just starting out in soap making.
During the lunch break, Steph and I decided to wander through the farm. We ran into into the owner of the farm, Alicia Wolff, who I’d had the good fortune to meet the last time we were here. She is a lovely woman and I was so happy to be able to talk with her again. We told her that we were there for the soap class, but had neglected to bring anything for the potluck lunch -- and she immediately went into her kitchen and grabbed a plate of sandwiches for the high tea scheduled later that afternoon so that we would have something to contribute (I told you she was a lovely woman). She then explained why she had closed the farm to the general public. Unfortunately, it had become a bit too popular, with busloads (sometimes up to 150 people at a time) descending upon her farm and then not respecting her request to not walk among the fields -- instead running through them, sometimes laying on them, and creating a great deal of cumulative damage. This year, she had to replant several fields because of the damage done by tourists and decided at that point that she needed to limit access. I completely understand her point of view -- this is a place that she loves and is her home, so of course she wants to protect it. But how sad to think that the disrespectful and inconsiderate actions of a few have taken this beautiful place away from so many.
Hello! My name is Pam Reynolds Baker and I am a mom/wife, English teacher, writer, and lavender farmer who lives in Dundee Oregon .