Wow! The FarmGirls just returned from an extended stay on the West Coast.  Our travels included a drive down the pacific coastline, The National Heirloom Exposition, interviews with authors of sustainable living, gardeners and lavender farmers.  

Nine Texas gardeners, all but two are members of the Green Garden Club attended the National Heirloom Exposition with us.

It would be very hard to pin point a favorite part of the trip. In general it was simply inspiring to listen to informative garden and sustainable speakers, share the event with fellow Texans, and drive through the outstanding Redwoods.  

A Scandinavian Santa with lovely white hair and beard was at the Exposition with an oversized Santa suit. Santa was promoting eating greens, not hanging greens! He was on a mission to change the American image of Santa Clause and encourage all of American to eat healthy.  He had lost 77 pounds eating vegetables and greens and healthy!

Ira Wallace from Southern Seed Exposure taught on garlic.  Ira is a long time seed saver. The topic of garlic was timely for us because September and October are our months to plant garlic cloves for a late spring harvest.

In Texas we plant the stiff neck garlic. There are so many wonderful varieties of garlic to plant. The typical grocery store carries one or two selections leaving many consumers to believe garlic varieties are limited.  

Not so, I raise several flavors including red Janis, red creole, porcelain, music, red Russian and more.  

Many times I have offered fresh garlic to chefs who cooked joyously adding new flavor to their cuisine.

We selected an array of garlic from vendors and nurseries along the journey. Some for customers and some for our gardens and all added a lovely fragrance to our rented Toyota Prius as we were navigating our lengthy drive up the coast!  

While we were in the Seattle area, we drove 90 miles to Sequim and were only 19 miles from Canada.

Sequim is a community that is in the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains allowing limited rain.  Farmers there were required to give up logging trees due to the endangered spotted owl. In an effort to revive the community they encouraged farmers to plant lavender fields. The lavender had been harvested but several local farmers opened their farm operations to us.  

The sight and aroma was lovely at each farm.  Purple Haze Farm said the community and all lavender fields are visited by half a million visitors during the lavender season.  

You can bet our rental car was loaded with purchases from these farms, such as lavender essential oil, lotion, sprays, teas and lavender honey ice cream but the garlic aroma still lingered!  

To learn more about our trip to the lavender farms Tune into our show next Friday at 1 p.m. on KAAM 770 or www.kaamradio.com and we will see you over our garden gate!  Follow The FarmGirls on Facebook: Garden Inspirations and sign up for classes: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com

FarmGirls of Garden Inspirations, a garden education company are Marilyn Simmons and daughter, Donelle Simmons.  You can email us at farmgirls@gardeninspirations-tx.com and join our weekly email by signing up through our website: www.gardeninspirations-tx.com, like us on Facebook!  Tune in every Friday at 1 p.m. to the FarmGirls Organic Radio Show on KAAM 770 AM.