Totem Pole Depicts Port Ludlow’s Evolution A Year In The Making

Urbanites to Lavender Farmers

Sequim’s 2012 Lavender Weekend celebration is just a week away, July 20-22! The bloom is right on schedule, shrouding Sequim in a vibrant sea of purple!

Jardin du Soleil, one of 7 farms on the renowned Heritage Lavender Farm Tour, is under new ownership this year by a couple who just may hold the record as Sequim’s youngest lavender farmers ever!  An adventure of a lifetime led them to Sequim – and they are working hard and loving a new life that they never before imagined!
Summer Bloom

The Schiefen’s Story 

What would possibly motivate a thirty-something pre-school teacher and her insurance agent husband to pack-up their two small kids (ages 5 and 2) and the dog and chuck their comfortable urban life in Santa Barbara, Calif.  —  to become lavender farmers? Particularly when neither had any kind of farming experience whatsoever – in fact, they never even had a yard!  

According to Jordan and Paul Schiefen, it all began with a search for a more  simple, stable life that involved selling the family business, buying a small trailer and setting off on a cross country journey with destination unknown. Their only requirements – wherever they landed must have ocean, mountains, and be within 3 hours of a major city.

After traveling from California to Maine and back to the west coast — still searching – the Schiefen’s happened to roll into Sequim during an uncharacteristically rainy 2011 Lavender Weekend celebration. They visited all of the destination farms on the Lavender Farm Tour, and noted that the last one, Jardin du Soleil, was up for sale.

After touring the farm and speaking with owners Pam and Randy Nicholson, the stars aligned! This was what the Schiefen’s had been looking for! They made an offer the Monday after Lavender Weekend, and because harvest was imminent, got a 15-day Escrow!

Jardin du Soleil
A flight back to California to tie-up loose ends, then back to Sequim to undergo 3 intensive days of training with the former owners, and the Schiefen’s were on their own with a lot of lavender to harvest and lavender oil to distill!

“I had no idea one year ago how much work running the farm would be – growing, distilling oil, and running the on-site gift shop,” says Jordan Schiefen. “We’ve taken it step-by-step and the Lavender Farmers Association has been a big help along the way. We’ve loved every second of it! This is the life that we were looking for.”

“As we approach our initial year on the Heritage Farm Tour, Schiefen continues, “we welcome visitors to what is not just a business, but our family home – complete with playhouses, sandboxes and chickens! Our 5-year-old son will most likely be mingling with visitors selling the basket full of lavender bundles that he clipped. Oh – and there is no longer a ‘please hold your child’s hand’ sign on the gift shop door!
The Schiefen Family and Jardin du Soleil will be featured on King 5’s Evening Magazine on Wednesday, July 18 at 7 p.m. Be sure to tune in!

About Sequim Lavender Weekend
Sequim Lavender Weekend is comprised of two separate events – the Lavender Farm Faire, which features the renowned Heritage Tour of 7 destination lavender farms, each a festival unto itself, plus “Lavender in the Park” at Carrie Blake Park/Reuse Demonstration Park, a free family-friendly central source for all things lavender – food, music, cooking demonstrations, crafts, family programs and more.

The second event, Lavender Festival, features a self-guided “U-Tour” of more of Sequim’s many lavender farms, plus the annual Street Fair on Fir Street in downtown Sequim.

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