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webmaster 06-01-2007 03:18 AM

Arabela: Lavender Spring Ranch

Lavender Spring Ranch Features
U-Pick Lavender, Flowers, Veggies and more...

Arabela, New Mexico: Hidden away on State Rd 368, north of the village of Tinnie, NM is the picturesque hamlet of Arabela and one of southeastern New Mexico's most popular family-run farms -- the bountiful fields and natural beauty of Lavender Spring Ranch. This unique U-Pick-It farm and private Guest Retreat is the mountain retirement home of Bess and Cliff Crouch. Most of the year they live up there all alone in their private mountain haven. But when spring comes, Bess and Cliff are as busy as beavers every day lovingly planting, cultivating and tending their fertile fields of naturally grown lavender, sunflowers, raspberries, peas and corn and other fresh veggies too.

The Crouches proudly explain that everything on their farm is naturally grown. No man-made chemicals are ever applied to these fields. And no pesticides or herbicides are used on their plants either. As Bess puts it, "There's nothing unnatural or unhealthy here. Everything produced on our farm is grown the way God intended it to be!"

Unless there has been a cold spring or a late winter, by mid-June, the Lavender is usually in bloom and the berries, peas, corn and other fresh homegrown veggies aren't far behind. So, by mid-to-late June their small farm located on that lonely country road becomes a weekend mecca for friends, fans and customers from as far away as Roswell, Ruidoso and points beyond who get their fun by hand-picking and buying their own farm-fresh products and taking them home to eat.

In addition to the farm itself, the Crouches also operate a gift shop on the property where their popular lavender and other flower products plus a few fresh produce items from their fields have been carefully transformed or handcrafted into gifts that can be purchased and sent to friends and family members who are far away. That lets the grandma who lives in Iowa or sons and daughters who are away at school or loved ones stationed in lonely outposts around the world enjoy the freshness and beauty of Lavendar Spring Ranch too.

The friendly folks who visit the ranch often bring their families to this out-of-the-way place so the kids can get the experience of picking their own fresh fruits and veggies and taking them back home to wash, peel, cook and eat. It's a fun family experience most of us don't get these days. That's probably why everyone seems to enjoy themselves so.

Meanwhile, Bess and Cliff are having the time of their lives... Their web site - tells their story this way... "Our names are Cliff and Berss Crouch. We are a retired couple in our early 60’s just “playing in the dirt.” It’s good clean dirt where we are growing lavender, raspberries and vegetables. God is good and He has blessed our lives in so many ways. We don’t really have a plan we just “wing it” pretty much of the time. We never planned to retire and start a U-Pick Farm…it has just evolved one day at a time..."

They invite you to drive on out with your family and friends and join them and their many friends at Lavender Spring Ranch. Find out for yourself what the fun is all about. To learn more about them and their beautiful mountain farm, visit their web site at or call 505-653-4992 for details and the "pickability" status of their various summer and fall crops.

Please tell Bess and Cliff you heard about them in Steppin' Out. They're sure to appreciate that!

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