CRESCENT BAR — The Lavender Man takes his name seriously — his shirt, socks and even his face mask are all shades of purple. Joseph Downs runs Crescent Bar Lavender Ranch, which held its first workshop of the year on Saturday. A class of 10 got a crash course on crafting dried lavender wreaths. Downs runs this farm in Crescent Bar and another near Pangborn Memorial Airport near East Wenatchee. During the lavender-growing season in late spring and summer, their focus is agrotourism. But in the offseason Downs offers workshops to stay connected with the public. “We’re trying to have it where people come throughout the year and not just during the lavender season,” he said. “... It’s the middle of winter but we’re still on the lavender farm having a great time.” Downs was able provide limited-capacity tours but the pandemic was tough on the tourism side of the business last year, he said.

210223-newslocal-Lavender04.JPG

Joseph Downs, known as "The Lavender Man" holds up a finished lavender wreath as he helps Heather Hankins work on her wreath. Downs held a lavender wreath-making class on Saturday at his farm near Quincy.

“It was kind of sad and lonely, really, because so much of our business is agrotourism because we like to interact with the public,” he said. “Sales online were really great, but we’re agrotourism so we like to have people come to the farm.” Every year his operation produces somewhere around 20,000 hand-size bundles of lavender for use in the culinary world. Many go to local makers like Dryden-based Independent Cider and McGregor Farms in Wenatchee, Downs said.

210223-newslocal-Lavender02.JPG

Ellyn Kiner of Electric City gathers bunches of lavender to make her wreath. Joseph Downs, known as "The Lavender Man" held a lavender wreath-making class on Saturday at his farm near Quincy.

“Plus we do a lot of our own (products,)” he said. “We have about 35 different recipes that lavender is used in — dips, rubs, dressings, seasonings, sugars.” Another 12,000 bundles a year are dried for opportunities like the Saturday workshop. Attendees learned how to sort, trim and wrap the lavender bundles around a metal ring and fasten them securely in place. If kept out of direct sunlight, the wreaths will keep their vibrant colors for around nine months. Their longevity is thanks to Downs’ drying process, which uses cool, dry air as opposed to heat, he said. “It just sounded like a really fun project,” said Ellyn Kiner of Electric City who was invited to take the class by a friend. She was sitting next to Diane Oliver of Hartline, who planned to take advantage of lavender’s reputation as a sleep aid. “I’ll probably put my wreath in my grandkids’ room to make them nice and sleepy,” she said with a laugh.

CRESCENT BAR — The Lavender Man takes his name seriously — his shirt, socks and even his face mask are all shades of purple.

Joseph Downs runs Crescent Bar Lavender Ranch, which held its first workshop of the year on Saturday. A class of 10 got a crash course on crafting dried lavender wreaths.

Downs runs this farm in Crescent Bar and another near Pangborn Memorial Airport near East Wenatchee. During the lavender-growing season in late spring and summer, their focus is agrotourism. But in the offseason Downs offers workshops to stay connected with the public.

“We’re trying to have it where people come throughout the year and not just during the lavender season,” he said. “... It’s the middle of winter but we’re still on the lavender farm having a great time.”

Downs was able provide limited-capacity tours but the pandemic was tough on the tourism side of the business last year, he said.

210223-newslocal-Lavender04.JPG

Joseph Downs, known as "The Lavender Man" holds up a finished lavender wreath as he helps Heather Hankins work on her wreath. Downs held a lavender wreath-making class on Saturday at his farm near Quincy.

“It was kind of sad and lonely, really, because so much of our business is agrotourism because we like to interact with the public,” he said. “Sales online were really great, but we’re agrotourism so we like to have people come to the farm.”

Every year his operation produces somewhere around 20,000 hand-size bundles of lavender for use in the culinary world. Many go to local makers like Dryden-based Independent Cider and McGregor Farms in Wenatchee, Downs said.

210223-newslocal-Lavender02.JPG

Ellyn Kiner of Electric City gathers bunches of lavender to make her wreath. Joseph Downs, known as "The Lavender Man" held a lavender wreath-making class on Saturday at his farm near Quincy.

“Plus we do a lot of our own (products,)” he said. “We have about 35 different recipes that lavender is used in — dips, rubs, dressings, seasonings, sugars.”

Another 12,000 bundles a year are dried for opportunities like the Saturday workshop.

Attendees learned how to sort, trim and wrap the lavender bundles around a metal ring and fasten them securely in place.

If kept out of direct sunlight, the wreaths will keep their vibrant colors for around nine months. Their longevity is thanks to Downs’ drying process, which uses cool, dry air as opposed to heat, he said.

“It just sounded like a really fun project,” said Ellyn Kiner of Electric City who was invited to take the class by a friend.

She was sitting next to Diane Oliver of Hartline, who planned to take advantage of lavender’s reputation as a sleep aid.

“I’ll probably put my wreath in my grandkids’ room to make them nice and sleepy,” she said with a laugh.

Reilly Kneedler: 661-5213

kneedler@wenatcheeworld.com or

on Twitter @reillykneedler