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Creating a lavender farm has been a long time dream of ours and we have finally begun! If you want to see our humble beginnings and join us for this adventure, read on!
People need dreams. There’s as much nourishment in them as food.-Dorothy Johnson Vaughan
After searching for years to find land for our forever home (God willing), we finally came upon 25 acres of land to buy. Thankfully long before the market skyrocketed!
Previous to this amazing blessing, we had scarcely been able to dream up much of anything that laid inside the unspoken parts of our hearts.
But with glorious land at our disposal, we finally set our dreams free. Something we had thought would be a wonderful adventure was to grow lavender . . . lots and lots of beautiful lavender.
Sage Creations Farm in Colorado was hosting a multi-day lavender educational experience where we could go and learn from a long time lavender farmer and soak in this beautiful farm.
It lit such a fire in us! We felt deep in our souls that lavender farming was going to be a big part of our life and work.
It’s been 3 years since we went to Sage Creations, and the reality of time and money (or the lack thereof) put a big halt on our ambitious, dreamer plans.
But alas – God is good.
We recently felt prompted to sell some of our land (as painful as that was), have hubs quit his job and come home to work with me and begin our homestead and lavender farm. (Perhaps I’ll share more of that big leap of faith . . . but yes – it’s huge for us! And utterly terrifying.)
With a little more resources to lean on and finally some time on our hands, we decided to start this lavender thing!
But we want to be smart about it, so we are starting small-ish. Let me tell you about our little plot of baby lavender!
WHY DO WE WANT TO GROW LAVENDER?
Besides the gut feeling we get when we talk about lavender, it is actually a great crop to grow in our area for these reasons:
- Lavender thrives on low water and sandy soil, so it is actually a great crop to grow in our dry area of the world. Protecting it in the winter will be our biggest task!
- Deer don’t like it . . . and our land is basically a home for deer so we can only grow what they won’t destroy.
- Lavender is typically in the top 3 for the highest profit crop in America (and often listed as number 1). We could potentially make a whole lot more money on lavender than the alfalfa that we currently have in our field.
- It’s so great for pollination and wonderful for the community.
- It’s super pretty, smells good and is an amazing herb . . . need I say more?
To sum it up, we want to find a way to make money off our land so we can sustain ourselves. Here is our very first harvest! Haha!
I also just want to make pretty things. The end.
WHAT TYPE OF LAVENDER HAVE WE PLANTED?
Did you know there are dozens and dozens of varieties of lavender?! Mind blowing, right?!
There are pinks, whites, dark purples, light purples, silver foliage, green foliage, large plants, small plants . . . and everything in between!
Different varieties can be ideal for:
- essential oil
- cut stems
- fresh vs dried
- lotions, soaps, etc.
- different smells
- and more!
After seeing first hand a few handfuls of varieties, we’ve researched and decided to try at least 14 varieties to see how they do in our climate and conditions.
HOW MUCH LAVENDER HAVE WE PLANTED?
To begin this adventure, we sectioned off 1/8th of an acre in our big alfalfa field to plant the 14 varieties. We may add a few more rows, but so far we’ve put in 224 plants.
This little plot could have the potential of being a beautiful U-pick area (should we go that route), and would be great for educational purposes (should we go that route). We could also use the cuttings from this plot to propagate our own plants (should we go that route).
But mostly, it will hopefully give us a solid idea of what we prefer and what variety will thrive in our Rocky Mountains.
WHERE DID WE GET OUR LAVENDER?
It seemed fitting to purchase our plants from where it all started . . . Sage Creations. I should have captured more of their farm, but we were quite enthralled with getting our order.
If you ever find yourself in Colorado – it’s a farm and gift shop worth stopping by! The smell is intoxicating! Be sure to grab some lavender chocolate and lavender lemonade!
We do love how Paola (the creator) has made a place for tourists, for education, and of course for lavender, herbs, vegetables and so many beautiful organic plants. She mentioned to us she is in the process of writing a book, and I know it will be incredible!
WHAT’S THE FUTURE PLANS FOR THIS LAVENDER FARM?
It actually takes about 3 years for a lavender plant to be fully established and for a full harvest. In the meantime, we wait and watch and plan ahead for more. Definitely not a quick money maker – but truly – it’s about so much more than that!
We hope to convert our 4 acres of alfalfa into 4 acres of rows and rows of lavender. Perhaps even a little venue in the middle of it. Can you just imagine it?!
HOW DID WE PLANT THE LAVENDER?
If you want to know way more from Kevin about his process, be sure to watch this video he helped me make.
But the short explanation of our process includes:
- testing and amending our soil
- building up raised rows of dirt
- covering the ground with landscape fabric
- installing the watering drip system
- cutting holes in the fabric for the lavender plants
- planting the lavender
- Filling the rows with wash sand (still in that process) that will compact and make a good walkway (or we could have done gravel, dirt, hay, wood chips, etc.)
Now we just baby it, clip any blossoming stems so the growth can stay focused to the plant for now, and hopefully watch it grow!
HOW CAN YOU MAKE MONEY ON LAVENDER?
There are many ways to turn lavender into money!
- dried buds
- dried bundles
- fresh stems
- essential oil
- propagation (selling plants)
- tourist attractions
- beauty and soap products
- therapeutic products (I make these already and sell them!)
- culinary and food
And possibly many many more, especially if you get creative!
What exactly we will do with our lavender . . . that is a part of the story that we will have to wait to see how the Lord leads us. Growing it is the first task at hand!
I apologize for sharing such a personal post today. But I wanted to record our beginnings and use it to hopefully inspire you to keep dreaming.
What hope lights you up? What are you willing to sacrifice to chase your dreams? For us, we’ve had to throw comfort right out the window!
It has been my experience that your dreams don’t always turn out exactly as you imagine, but they are always worth reaching for. God always has something greater in store for us than we can imagine, if we can trust Him.
Thanks for joining me on this journey, my friend. I truly hope one day I’ll be able to share with you our field of lavender dreams!
READ MORE ABOUT THE BEGINNINGS OF OUR GARDEN HERE.