The Santa Ynez Valley, popular for wine grapes and olive oil, now has a new color to add to the canvas. Lavender. Fields of lavender are in bloom and many popular products are in production ranging from lotions, to seasonings.Meryl Tanz owns Clairmont Farms off Roblar Road in Los Olivos. It was once a horse ranch, but her idea to plant lavender began to bloom just over a decade ago.12,000 Grosso variety lavender plants are in the ground now on the five-acre site. They were planted by hand. Tanz says she has a personal relationship with all of them, and knows if they need more attention or if new plants need to be added.She says the public is returning to more “natural products,” for their health and beauty. She uses the lavender oil to produce body butter, creams, lip balm, mists, hair conditions, massage oil, bath gel, and an assortment of culinary products that use lavender as an ingredient. They even have a cookie product with lavender and also pet products.As successful as the lavender business has become, Tanz had a heartbreaking setback last December when her husband Glenn passed away suddenly. The days ahead were a tremendous life-challenging struggle, But with the help of her son Sean, the duo is in full production with Glenn’s memory in mind every day.There are several lavender farms now in the Santa Ynez Valley, but not all are open to the public. Clairmont Farms is open seven days a week.KEY News Senior Reporter John Palminteri has the story.
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