|BY CRYSTAL LEWIS BROWN
STAFF WRITER CBROWN@LAWTON-CONSTITUTION.COM
For the last six years, Jag Sodhi has dealt with
the naysayers, and for the last six years, he’s proved them wrong. Now, he and his wife, Lynda, are inviting people
from across the state to see for themselves that lavender can grow in Oklahoma.
Lavender varieties make
for a variety of products
experience the beauty and benefits of lavender for themselves at the Fourth Annual Lavender Festival in Apache. Jag Sodhi said the personal challenge to grow lavender in the state quickly became something more. “It was just a hobby,” he said. “A hobby that turned into
In 2003, the couple began researching and experimenting with lavender. That next year, they bought a few hundred plants and planted them over two acres. Today, they produce 10 different varieties
of lavender and offer a variety of products at their family-owned Lavender Valley Acres. Jag Sodhi said the festival is a chance for people to see the expansive lavender fields and learn about its many uses.
The Sodhis recommend lavender as an antiseptic, insect repellent, soothing aromatherapy and even as a food additive.
“I experimented on myself and it works,” said Jag Sodhi.
addition to the various plants and products normally sold in the garden, there will be over 20 vendors at this year’s
festival, selling lavender-related products like soap and candles. Non-plant-related products will include clothing, hand-made jewelry,
turquoise, woven baskets and more. Other area businesses, including at least two wineries, will be on hand to provide samples
and information about their work.
The first 100 visitors will receive a free hydrosol spray, which
Jag Sodhi says can be used for a variety of things.
“It smells so good on your pillow,”
Visitors will also get the chance for a free gift through the hourly drawings going on
throughout the day. Though many of the plant’s benefits are topical, visitors can also get a taste of how to use it
in other ways. Lavender tea, cookies and other desserts will be available at the festival, as well as an old-fashioned breakfast from 9-10:30 a.m. and a lunch of specialty Indian dishes from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Live
entertainment will also be on hand, including a band, dancing peacocks and two belly dancing groups.
addition to all the fun, Jag Sodhi said he hopes that people take from the festival a knowledge of lavender and try their own hand at growing some. “You will not believe how many call and say they tried to grow it, and
it will not grow,” he said. “If we can successfully grow it here, they can grow it.”
The Fourth Annual Lavender Festival will be held Saturday, June 14 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person with those under 12 admitted for free.
Uniformed personnel with ID pay only $4. For information and directions, visit the Lavender Valley Acres Web site at lavendervalleyacres.com.
This purple flower is one of 10 varieties of lavender grown at Lavender Valley Acres. Owner Jag Sodhi says the plant comes in shades of blue, white, pink and dark purple in addition to the
more widely recognized light purple.
Jag Sodhi walks among his lavender crop before last year’s festival. This is the fourth time the event has been held at Sodhi’s Lavender Valley Acres, though it is only the second one to be open to the public.