<p>This past winter was a mild one, even by temperate New Mexico standards, and it looks as though spring will be no different. With temperatures already in the high 70s, the farm is in full-bloom mode and we couldn’t be happier about it. All across the property, stone fruit trees, daffodils, hyacinth, and irises are showing off their colors, proving that there’s nothing quite as magical as springtime on the farm.</p>
There’s an air of excitement on the farm as the winter holidays grow ever nearer. Trees sparkling with lights and mantels hung with garlands are stirring our festive spirits. But nowhere is quite as holly-jolly as over at the Farm Shop, where our third greenhouse room has just opened to the public. Packed to the rafters with tree trimmings, unique little stocking stuffers, and authentic folk art decor, it’s the place to be for holiday cheer. Stop by the Farm Shop where our wonderful staff is waiting to help you pick out the perfect gifts for everyone on you list (yourself included!).
We are beyond thrilled to introduce the newest addition to our line of hand-crafted, small batch Los Poblanos products. Meet our new Herbal Bug Repellent! Formulated with a base of lavender hydrosol, distilled from our own plants, and a blend of essential oils that are known to repel bugs. Our farmers and gardeners have been using lavender oil to deter pesky biting bugs in the fields for years, so when it came time to craft our own bug repellent it seemed only natural to use their tried and true method. And wouldn’t you know, it really works! Before releasing it to the world, the LP farmers field tested (quite literally) the formula and came back at the end of the day, unbitten and smelling great.
Speaking of smell, it’s no big secret that bug repellents tend to smell let’s just say…not great, it’s a compromise we’ve all made in the the name of remaining itch free. But we are happy to report that this Herbal Bug Repellent smells fresh and lovely and is never overpowering like some other chemical-heavy sprays. Lavender and rosemary essential oils give it an herbal softness while cedar wood, lemon grass, and citronella essential oils lend bright citrus notes. Much like fine perfumes, the scent of the spray changes slightly with each person’s own body chemistry, making it the perfect compliment for anyone. We are proud to say that this product is safe for you and your family, it contains no harsh chemicals such as artificial fragrances or deet, which has been known to cause health concerns.
Packaged in sleek and durable stainless steel, the slim profile fits perfectly in a purse or backpack. We’ve already gotten rave reviews from guests at the Inn, wedding parties, and patio diners at the restaurant who all agree that they’ll be taking this Herbal Bug Repellent with them wherever they go.
Herbal Bug Repellent is available in store and online from the Farm Shop. Open daily from 9 to 5, stop by and grab a bottle before your next camping adventure or night out on the patio. Happy bug repelling!
Lavender is near and dear to our hearts here at Los Poblanos. If you’ve been to the farm you have probably seen our 3 acre organic field filled with row upon row of our favorite botanical and maybe even purchased a product or two at the Farm Shop. What you perhaps haven’t seen is the full life cycle of our much-loved lavender plants. To us our plants aren’t just a commodity, they are living organisms that requires care, attention, and understanding. Each step in every plant’s life is incredibly important; from the initial propagation all the way through planting, growth, harvest, distillation, and finally incorporation into our lavender products. Our farmers work year round tending to the needs of our plants; protecting them for pests, weeding their beds, and making sure they have adequate water to cope with the heat of our high desert climate.
The fields at Los Poblanos are always in flux, changing and evolving with the seasons. Although we can plan as much as we want, ultimately the plants, the rain, and the sun will do just as they please. It is the job of our farmers to work with the whims of nature, adapting the plan as they go, in order to keep the farm alive, well, and productive. Each new season we like to check in with the farm team and see how they’re doing. These are the field notes from Farmer Travis and his team about what is changing, happening, and growing out there on the farm this summer:
Welcome to summer I hope everyone enjoyed the solstice! Here at Los Poblanos we have been trying to stay cool while harvesting garlic, radish, turnips, herbs, and greens for the kitchens. Coming soon to those kitchens will be onions, fava beans, carrots, kohlrabi, rutabaga, blue corn, and four types of tomatoes. Watermelon, cucumber, okra, and four types of winter squash have just been planted for late summer and fall harvest. Additionally, we have started an herb bed in the greenhouse and look forward to harvesting them all year round.
Some people wait all year for the winter holidays to roll around, but here at LP we wait with giddy excitement for something else completely: Lavender Season. So, as the first velvety purple blooms begin to emerge, we are pleased to announce that the time is finally here! And to celebrate we have packed our Events Calendar full-to-brimming with Lavender Labs events (that’s what we call our collection of lavender-centric workshops, classes, dinners, etc.). All through the months of June and July we invite the community to come learn about and experience lavender. Whether you’re new to it or an old hand, there is something for everyone during our Labs.
Highlights of the season include (but are definitely not limited to!):
Lavender 101 – Saturday, July 25 | 6 to 8pm – This is the perfect class for those looking to learn more about the unique healing properties of lavender. You will have the opportunity to smell, touch, and taste varieties from all over the world, while learning what makes them special and how to use them in your own lives. This class will be lead by Christa Obuchowski, whose experience and knowledge of botanicals – especially lavender – is immeasurable. This experience is designed to work with the Lavender Self Care Class taking place the next day. Update: This class has already sold out!
Lavender Self Care Class – Sunday, July 26 | 9am to 5pm – Immerse yourself in lavender with this full-day class designed to heal the mind and body. Begin the morning with a sound meditation in the lavender fields, lead by Aimee Conlee (our Lavender Wholesale Manager and resident Lady Lavender), which will include breathing, light stretching, and relaxation techniques involving sound. Following the meditation, enjoy a guided walk through our fields, led by aromatherapist Christa Obuchowski, who will give an in-depth discussion about the botany of lavender, and its long history as a healing plant. After a leisurely break for lunch under the cottonwoods, Christa will instruct students on how to make a cooling mist, bath soak, as well as other therapeutic lavender compositions.
For those of you looking for the ultimate lavender experience, we suggest taking both classes as well as booking a night at the Inn. Just imagine waking up in a beautiful sun-filled room, and taking a lavender scented bath before heading over to the restaurant for a gourmet field-to-fork breakfast. All before a full-day of relaxation and enrichment for your body and mind, can you say “ahhhh”?
Long Table Dining Series: Lavender Dinner – Friday, July 8th & Saturday, July 9th | 6 to 9pm – Join us as we continue our Long Table Dining Series featuring culinary lavender and Rio Grande Valley Cuisine. Los Poblanos will be hosting a four-course dinner highlighting lavender and the flavors of summer in the North Valley. Chef Jonathan Perno has created a special menu to share both nights that pays homage to our favorite botanical. Wine pairings have been thoughtfully curated by our Beverage Manager and resident sommelier, Dylan Storment. To complete the experience, every guest will take home a lavender favor from the farm at the end of the evening.
Lavender Distillation Demo – Friday, July 29 & Sunday, July 31 | 11am to 12pm – Come see how the fruits (or more accurately, the oils) of our labor are made! We spend all year getting our organic Grosso Lavender plants ready for this process. Join our farmers and owner, Armin Rembe, for a fascinating demonstration as we capture lavender oil through steam distillation. The essence of lavender is extracted using steam to liberate the oils. The essential oil rises to the top where it is drawn off and bottled, ready to be enjoyed. The distillate water, also known as hydrosol, flows from the bottom of the separator, where only the water has accumulated, and is bottled for use in our artisan lavender products.
Los Poblanos has been a part of the New Mexican landscape for as long as almost anybody can remember. From it’s time in the 1930s as an 800-acre ranch owned by the Congressman, Albert Simms, and his wife, Ruth Hanna McCormick Simms to it’s life today as a historic inn and organic farm proudly producing its own artisan lavender products and Rio Grande Valley cuisine. Throughout it’s 80-year history, Los Poblanos has worked its way into the hearts and minds of every person who has ever strolled the grounds, spent the night, or come to celebrate. Su Casa Magazine captured it best when they said, “one could spend a lifetime at Los Poblanos and never fall out of love.” We wholeheartedly agree and it is our greatest pleasure to be able to share this special place with our guests and visitors.
On a Mission
As both a family and a community, we seek to preserve the historic Los Poblanos Ranch by cultivating a dynamic business dedicated to sustainable agriculture, hospitality, historic preservation, and community. Under the stewardship of Executive Director Matt Rembe, the business has grown in fulfillment of that mission. We have built up our historic inn from six guest rooms to twenty-two, which also houses our field-to-fork restaurant that specializes in Rio Grande Valley cuisine; created a line of small-batch, hand-crafted farm foods and spa products using our own farm-grown lavender and herbs; opened the brick-and-mortar Farm Shop store to sell our products along with a thoughtfully curated selection of other local and artisan goods; our events staff have made Los Poblanos into a must-have venue for weddings, meetings, and celebrations of all kinds; and finally, our dedicated team of farmers have thoughtfully transformed the surrounding fields into a fully organic farm that produces our signature lavender as well as fruits, vegetables, spices, and herbs for our restaurant and private event kitchens.
The next phase of growth for us will be the renovation of our historic dairy barns (the original home of the dairy co-op that started New Mexico’s own Creamland Dairies). The barns are set to include a new restaurant, bar, small-batch bakery, Farm Shop, and lavender production space. Additionally, we will add 26 new rooms to our Inn that will look out over our fields and the majestic Sandia Mountains. We are beyond excited to be able to restore part of our historic property and to be able to once again share it with the community.
For those who would like to experience first-hand all that we do here we invite you to take a look at our events calendar, where we have listed all of our upcoming Lavender Labs events (workshops, dining, demos, and more!) as well as other fun goings on around the property. Come for a class or stay for the weekend – either way we’d love to see you all down at the farm!
For a glimpse into the magic of Los Poblanos turn the volume up and take a look at this wonderful short film by Cottage Eight Films:
Credits: Silo photo by Josh Hailey. Video by Cottage Eight Films.