US (OR): Lavender in the Walla Walla Valley blooms in time for seasonal harvest

Take a little trip down Crockett Road, and one will find a sea of fragrant lavender just waiting to be harvested.

Before becoming known for its purple buds, Crockett Road Lavender Farm, 53671 W. Crockett Road in Milton-Freewater, underwent various transformations that shaped it into what it is today.

In 1982, Tom Binder, the owner, bought the property, which was a thriving apple orchard at the time. However, a shift occurred in 1989 when a study on Alar, a chemical used to manage growth and enhance apple harvest efficiency, implied it was a carcinogen.

The report hit the agriculture industry hard, and Binder closed shop as an apple farmer and planted hay instead, but hay wasn't as profitable as he had hoped.

"The whole Milton area changed after the Alar scare," Binder said. "There were a lot more orchards back then."


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