Methow Valley Lavender, located in Carlton, recently launched a product line of handcrafted culinary and aromatherapy products. The Methow Valley Lavender farm is a culmination of the life experiences of Monica Shallow and four generations of the Donoghue-Shallow family.
Monica and her husband, Mark, purchased land next door to her parents, Kelly and Terri Donoghue, located in Carlton, and the family discussed the best plan for the land, aside from the obvious location of a future home for Monica and Mark.
Monica’s grandmother Sylvia was an experienced lavender farmer in Kingston county, planting, harvesting and selling lavender to farmer’s markets and to other farmers. Monica’s home has always featured lavender in the décor and self-care products. A lavender farm, with record of sustainability, ease of care, and low water usage, along with her grandmother’s experience, was the logical choice.
As a therapist, Monica found her foray into the world of lavender to be a grounding experience, a tangible result of planting and nurturing. As she attended conferences for lavender growers, she met numerous retired therapists — the progression from therapist to lavender farmer presented itself naturally.
Monica and Mark began with a small test plot of six different varieties: Royal Velvet, Grosso, Hidcote, Melissa, Sachet and Folgate. The different plants were chosen specifically for Methow Valley growing conditions and culinary and essential oil uses. The test plot performed well, and the family extended their growing operation.
Methow Valley Lavender culinary and aromatherapy products are crafted by hand in Monica’s home, and shipped using eco-friendly packing materials.
“Our products are everything I would use,” she said, citing her fascination with culinary lavender, and a desire to create a lotion that easily absorbed into the skin without leaving a greasy feel.
The culinary products include a lavender lemonade mix, baking extract, simple syrup for cocktails, and dried organic culinary lavender bud. For aromatherapy, Methow Valley Lavender offers lotion, bubble bath, essential oil, sleep spray, and room spray. Monica partnered with a jewelry maker to create essential oil diffuser bracelets.
Methow Valley Lavender is a true family endeavor, rooted in Monica’s creative vision. Mark handles the finances, their kids assist with the planting, her brother is their tax accountant, her dad manages the heavy equipment and tilling, and Grandma Sylvia is their steadfast chief consultant.
“The whole experience has been galvanizing for us,” said Mark, as a multi-generational family growing a business.
Methow Valley Lavender products can be found online at https://methowvalleylavender.com. Monica maintains a newsletter and blog with beautiful pictures, heartwarming stories, and plenty of recipes featuring lavender.
In the future, Monica hopes to be in local shops and share the lavender experience through local events at the Methow Valley Lavender farm.