We Are Closing Our Business on December 31, 2018

We Are Closing Our Business on December 31, 2018 With some sadness, we wish to announce Harms Lavender will be closing our lavender and aromatic business on December 31, 2018. We have loved growing lavender and distilling lavender and then, in more recent years, helichrysum italicum and rose geranium. Working with these lovely, medicinal aromatics… Read more »

Old Growth Lavender: Lot#Toyon17

Old growth, gnarly vines produce fruit which in turn results in prized wine, but seldom do we hear of old growth lavender. We have a small acreage of lavender that we decided not to replant, but we didn’t pull it either. Its short stems are good only for our still yet so short they are… Read more »

Pause on Pulling a Vineyard

Pause on Pulling a Vineyard The last of the vines were ripped from the earth this week, the vines that were planted the same year Donald and I were married 24 years ago. We both feel sadness in their departure. Piles of vines and trellises punctuate the middle of the vineyard. The earth is disturbed… Read more »

Measure C: the Next Steps

Measure C: the Next Steps The aftermath of the loss of Measure C (the watershed initiative that would have offered some protection for oak woodlands and water supply) by 641 votes out of the 35,700 votes cast, has the quality of the quiet just before dark clouds rumble on the horizon. Soon the winds pick… Read more »

What Big Decisions Are Being Made in the Oak Woodlands?

What Big Decisions Are Being Made in the Oak Woodlands? There is a difference in crowds when the immediacy of the issue will impact them profoundly. James Conaway, author of the trilogy on Napa County agriculture and particularly the impact of the wine industry on the community, has been reading from his book to standing… Read more »

Grace in a Flock of Goldfinches

Grace in a Flock of Goldfinches This morning: a flock of American goldfinches chattering in a still dormant valley oak by Casey and Melissa’s house. Fresh feathers bright yellow against blue, blue sky. Over two inches of rain the last two days, and everything sparkles, air as crispy as goldfinch chatter. It’s been almost 10… Read more »

Mother’s Day Memories: Sweet and Bittersweet

Mother’s Day Memories: Sweet, Bittersweet Every year Mother’s Day brings two big memories, both when I was a preteen, one sweet, one bittersweet. Both were formative in becoming a mom myself. The “sweet” one first: My younger sister Judy and I decided to bake our mother a cake to celebrate Mother’s Day. Although not experienced in baking… Read more »

Lavender and Memory: Evocative Pleasure!

Lavender and Memory: Evocative Pleasure! Lavender is a paradox: the scent  brings you into the immediacy of the senses, and this experience evokes memory.  Lavender has provided an unexpected  journey to my husband and me over these 20 years since we planted it. Casey was still in high school when we first planted the 3500  tiny lavender… Read more »

Eulogy for Bethel : Light that Endures

Eulogy for Bethel: Light That Endures Two weeks ago I received a letter from the district superintendent of Bethel United Methodist Church, in whose congregation I grew up. The country church is being closed January 1, 2017, and I was asked where I would move my membership. I was given a few choices.  My Irish great grandfather Richard Damery was… Read more »

Path of Man and Path of Salmon

Path of Man and Path of Salmon Fern Creek rose in the night with the punishing rain. The log jams are now dams pouring water, bruising, but still navigable— for a coho salmon. Walking along the trail that traces Fern Creek, I watch for the iron fish, each with a number. I have seen as… Read more »