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Love of lavender: Santa Fe festival celebrates versatile plant, other herbs

Lavender and herb product vendors along with lectures and hands-on activities will be part of the Herb Lavender Festival. (Courtesy of Vic Macias)

Lavender and herb product vendors along with lectures and hands-on activities will be part of the Herb Lavender Festival. (Courtesy of Vic Macias)

Smell, taste and savor the essences of herbs and lavender this weekend on the outskirts of Santa Fe.

The Herb & Lavender Festival at El Rancho de las Golondrinas on Saturday, June 18, and Sunday, June 19, will feature several lectures and hands-on activities, as well as more than 20 vendors selling soaps, lotions, essential oils, art, food, plants and more. Vendors include Anthro Pottery, High Desert Rose Soaps, Love of Lavender, Martha’s Body Bueno, Mia Maes Handcrafted Spice Blends, Sweetwater Herbs, Wild Earth Remedies and others. The Providers will be serving up lavender tea and lavender cookies in the concessions area.

“We have three talks going on,” said Vic Macias, events manager at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. “The educational talks will be in our educational center. One of them is ‘Planting, Growing and Caring for Lavender Plants’ with Purple Adobe Lavender Farm (at 11 a.m. both days). We also have this year baking with Intergalactic Baking Co. They will teach how to make herb bread and teach how to bake it in a traditional horno (at noon both days). … There will be another one with Pyara Ingersoll. She works a lot with essential oils and is doing a take on how to cook with essential oils, which right now is a pretty popular thing to do.”

Ingersoll uses essential oils of therapeutic grade and quality approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Ingersoll will lead a lecture beginning at 1 p.m. both days on cooking with the oils. She also will have a booth where she will sit and talk with people about essential oils and how they affect the brain in certain ways.

“I will show how to use them in cooking,” Ingersoll said. “There’s a pretty small percentage on the market that are safe for ingestion. Less than 30 percent are safe for ingestion. It’s a pretty rigorous five-step process. Testing to make sure they’re not synthetic and just like any kind of plant or herb are safe for the body and to consume. … They are really powerful.”

Enjoy some swinging jazz by The Shiners Club Jazz Band from 1 to 3 p.m. both days.

“This year, as far as music-wise, it is a little different from last year,” Macias said. “We have The Shiners Club Jazz Band. They are kind of a Roaring ’20s, swing kind of jazz band who are local musicians here in Santa Fe. They are very lively, very interactive, very fun.”