Albuquerque · food · New Mexico · Travel

Finding Beauty: the Los Poblanos Lavender Festival

Forget frying an egg. Saturday was hot enough that you could have made a whole stinkin’ frittata on the sidewalk. Conditions were sublime for a trip to the beach, running through sprinklers, or just sitting in rapt stillness in an air-conditioned room.

What did my husband and I do? We ignored all that sensible noise, put aside our to-do lists, and took ourselves to an outdoor festival. An outdoor festival with very little shade.

No, we were NOT crazy, because this wasn’t just any festival: it was the sort-of-annual Los Poblanos Lavender in the Village Festival. I’ll clarify:

  • “Sort-of-annual”—the event seems to be held almost every year, but not quite. Maybe it depends on the economy, or the crop.
  • Los Poblanos – a really cool organic farm in Albuquerque’s North Valley. It’s rural, with lots of tall (yes, legitimately tall) trees, close to the Rio Grande, and it’s beautiful.
  • “Lavender in the Village” – lavender because of allll the things made with lavender from local fields; village because the North Valley is its own microcommunity.
  • Festival – self-explanatory delight.

See why I, I mean we, had to go? [thanks for humoring me, Robin Hood!]

I wasn’t altogether sure about this year’s iteration of the festival. In previous years, the event spanned three venues: the farm itself, an elementary school down the road (vendors sold their wares in the parking lot), and Casa Rondena Winery (arguably Albuquerque’s prettiest winery). This year, the only venue was the Los Poblanos Agricultural Center, across the street from the farm. Sure, there was plenty of space outside and a barn for additional offerings, but…I felt a twinge of apprehension.

I needn’t have. Yes, it was dusty and relentlessly hot, but I am SO glad we went. I don’t go to festivals as often as I used to, and I miss them.

We did a lot of ambling that day. Considering the heat, the crowd, and the number of vendors, it was really the only acceptable pace. We partook of delicious festival food, and yes, there was a lot of lavender. For example (we tried some, but not all of these):

  • Lavender lemonade
  • Lavender ale
  • Lavender honey cheesecake
  • Lavender jam
  • Lavender ice cream

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We bought stuff. We learned stuff (there’s over 1,000 kinds of lavender). We guzzled our water and lemonade, and we ambled some more. The people-watching and lavender-sniffing were phenomenal.

Just as I was practically intoxicated on the aroma of lavender oil, we were done. We had seen everything we wanted to see, filled our bellies, and contributed, ahem, a couple of dollars to the local economy. We had stayed hydrated and not been defeated by the heat!

Who says you can’t find beauty in trying times?

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One thought on “Finding Beauty: the Los Poblanos Lavender Festival

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