Our senses are really something. If you’re anything like me, most of the time they’re craving a freshness of air, wide open spaces, and unending hues of green to fill the fields of my vision. And it’s a real treat to find places that take you out of the ordinary and into a new world of discovery and relaxation – take White Oak Lavender Farm, for example.
A pleasant 15-minute drive into the rurals of the Valley takes you by farmland and mountain views. The family-owned farm is set in a pleasant rise and fall among the fields, with well-tended lavender plots in grids across the front of the property. The scent is simple delight. (The bees kept at the back of the property must know they lead a truly privileged life – they waste no hour of the day in bouncing drunkenly from stem to stem in their gathering of the sweet nectar.)
Enter through the gift shop, where friendly shopkeepers will meet you and send you in the direction of either the gardens or the animals – we met rabbits, turkeys, alpaca, miniature and riding horses, sheep, ducks, and fresh batches of chicks and kittens. Fun fact: their two people-loving turkeys, while comically decorated and awkward, are the brothers to the turkeys pardoned by the President this past Thanksgiving. The rest of the animals don’t seem to pay them much mind as they wobble around the property.
In the back, slip into meditation mode by walking the spiraling turns of their labyrinth or sitting beneath a shady arbor watching the swallows swoop across the pond. It’s the perfect place to spend an hour soaking in the harmony of human and nature.
But back to the lavender. In season (June-September), you can pick your own bunch of lavender, take a tour, or even select a plant to take home. You’ll also want to check their schedule for special events, like distillery demos, firefly walks, or aromatherapy classes. And do make time to browse the gift shop: whether you choose to fill a bag with dried lavender blooms, indulge in some aromatherapeutic skincare, or pick up a unique lavender-themed gift for someone special, it’s a treat to meander through the offerings while breathing in the bloom-tinged air. (No surprise, they even offer a lavender-flavored ice cream.)
Mon.-Sat. 10am-6pm; Sunday 1pm-6pm
Monday-Saturday @ 11am; Sunday @ 2pm
White Oak is a family-owned lavender farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.