Description and review of Capay Valley Lavender Farm, an organic lavender farm built from the ground up by farmHER Sherri Wood.
Capay Valley Lavender Farm is located in an unincorporated area in Yolo County. The farm was our first stop on the SacTown Bites Capay Valley Farm Tour.
See related blog post: Capay Valley Farm Tour
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There were ten of us on the tour that day. We all met outside the Capay Valley Lavender Farm Store, under the shade of two large trees. It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm with a slight breeze.
We seated ourselves at the shaded picnic tables, where Sherri Wood, the owner/operator of Capay Valley Lavender Farm shared her story – and a most interesting story it is!
A bit after she began her talk a member of Sherri’s staff brought out lavender scones for us to munch on.
Sherri Wood, FarmHER
As an adult, Sherri had a career in banking. She and her husband lived in San Francisco, and it was only after his death that she decided to forge a new path. A home and land in the country had always been a dream of hers, so she started looking to purchase land within a two-mile radius of San Francisco where she has many friends.
Her search ended when she found a plot of land in the Capay Valley on which to build her dream home. It was only when she called to have the electricity hooked up that she discovered she did not have access to power! The nearby power lines belonged to her neighbor. Sherri eventually purchased her neighbor’s property – problem solved.
Sherri was 64 when she planted her first field of lavender. She is currently expanding her production of agricultural commodities to include olives.
A novice when it came to farming, Sherri learned the ropes a bit by bit – sometimes the hard way. It was most interesting to hear her stories of trial and error.
During her talk, Sherri made a point to express her heartfelt thanks to other farmers in the area who provided her with much needed encouragement and advice.
We then took a short walk to inspect the nearby lavender fields – both those in full bloom and those newly planted. Sherri explained the lavender farming process – from planting to harvest. She also discussed the various types of lavender, including those that do and don’t do well in the hot summer climate of Capay Valley.
Our tour group then headed to the distillation workshop as Sherri continued her talk. She showed us the equipment used and described the process to distill lavender essential oil. The oil is a key ingredient in many of the products she produces.
The workshop building is also where several of the on-farm workshops she hosts are held.
Sherri’s banking background has proved an asset, helping her make a variety of key financial decisions about her farming operation. As she answered questions posed by the group, she whipped out a color-coded graph to add a visual to her answer. She estimates that in several more years she will start recouping the funds she has invested in the property to date.
Our group then headed over to the Farm Store to enjoy lavender-lemonade while shopping prior to bidding our farewell to Capay Valley Lavender Farm. Our next stop was Taber Ranch.
A Bit About Capay Valley Lavender Farm
Many small and mid-sized farms and ranches in California rely on agritourism to help pay the bills. Capay Valley Lavender Farm is no exception. Over time Sherri has developed a line of varied lavender products and opened a Farm Store.
Agritourism events on the farm include:
- Farm tours
- Varied workshops, including a distillation (essential oil) workshop
- Painting classes
- Lavender festival
An ideal time to visit Capay Valley Lavender is when the lavender is in bloom from mid-May to mid-June.
Items available for purchase in the Farm Store (and on-line) include:
- Bath and body products (hand cream, lip balm, sugar scrub, soap, massage oil, etc.)
- Dried lavender buds and lavender sachets
- Essential oil
- Food & drink (lavender spice walnuts and almonds, baking mixes, lavender tea, etc.)
To Sum Up
To sum up, my friends and I thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Capay Valley Lavender Farm. Each of us purchased assorted items at the Farm Store. My purchase of 1.7 ounces of lavender essential oil will be a lasting reminder of a memorable visit.
Comments on Capay Valley Lavender Farm?
Have you visited the farm? What else would you add?
Capay Valley Lavender Farm Snapshot:
- 20472 Road 79, Capay, CA 95607 (2 miles past the town of Capay, towards Cache Creek Resort)
- (530) 507-8383
- Well-behaved dogs on a leash welcome
- Private tours available with advance notice
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