If you’ve ever been driving out in the country around Newberg, you might have run across Chehalam Flats Farm Market with its beautiful fields of lavender and cute red farm store. It’s such a nice surprise, and even nicer once you go into their store. Cflats, as it’s lovingly known, is the project of Janna Ellings and her family. Not only do they have lavender products, but they also have many local products, as well as produce.
How long have you been growing lavender and what led you to lavender farming?
We started growing Lavender about 10 years ago, as a yard/garden plant that helped fill a steep hillside so we didn’t have to mow it. Sounds crazy, but it’s true. It also fed the bees, and that is important to us. I didn’t know what to do with all of the flowers, so I set up a little tent and table and sold them, honor system, at the roadside. I learned about lavender at the Barn Owl Nursery while looking for plants. Chris told me about the OLA and wow, have I learned a lot.
How did you come up with the name of your farm?
Our little farm store started out of several “missions” and continues to evolve. The name came from our location in the Chehalem area; and our farm is mainly a huge flat field. Lavender and lavender products are the mainstay of our store. The majority are products we make, but we also love having products from other farms too. We all work off the farm so the store hours change a bit based on work schedules. At some point we would love to expand hours and ideas.
What is your favorite lavender variety? Why?
My favorite lavender is always changing; currently I love Melissa Lilac. It is such a sweet plant with an elegant scent! We have several planted with Betty’s Blue and it makes a lovely color contrast. What is your favorite use for lavender? I simply love fresh bouquets of lavender! While we make many products nothing tops fresh lavender! Distilling the oil is very time consuming but also very satisfying when it all goes right. We do a “single variety” oil of Opal Rain that is delightful! What’s your best Lavender growing tip? Pruning is the biggest task. I am so thankful for a Mother’s Day gift of an electric hedger! It saves the day.
Who helps you with your lavender farming?
The farm is totally a family adventure, and I could not even consider most of it without all the help I get from my family and friends. My daughter makes most of the products. She keeps it simple and all-natural. I just love her skin care line, “Farmer’s Daughter.”
Do you grow anything in addition to lavender?
Lavender is really the focus of our store. The past few years we have added fresh produce to our store in late summer. We have U-pick figs in summer and late fall.