Well, hello, everyone! I cannot believe it's been almost a year since I blogged.
We had a very successful harvest last year. As many of you know, we use all of our lavender and other flowers in our floral designs and other products. We are not open to the public for agro-tourism. To recap why - we are zoned in a residential area despite several acres of land. We are located on the outskirts of town, just west of Monroe, Mi in Frenchtown Twp. So we are conscious of zoning restrictions and being good neighbors. While we don't offer "U-pick" or trips to the "farm," we do allow local pickup of orders. I don't mind showing the flowers/lavender fields to customers who swing by to pick up orders and ask to see the fields. Of course, orders are available to ship as well for non-locals.
I was so super excited to have a write up of our business in Voyage Michigan Magazine. What a neat honor! The magazine posts on their website small business owners and creatives that inspire. My feature is under the "Daily Inspiration" Category and features the flowers, fields, and floral designs and more. Click below on the link to be taken to the article at Michigan Voyage's Website.
Michigan Voyage Daily Inspiration Meet Elaine Stackhouse
Product News: We do have limited floral designs available now. It's an odd time of year. We are right before the late spring/early summer harvest. Spring flowers such as peonies have not yet bloomed. They will be available in June. I have used the majority of last years stock. I have a few farms and wholesalers who I can get additional flowers from but most are running low as last year's harvests are used up and waiting for new harvest to begin. I am only offering limited bouquets until later in the summer. You most certainly may Pre-Order to hold your bouquets to be delivered later in the summer. In fact, because demand for dried flowers is so high, I suggest ordering now for later summer and fall weddings.
I am taking pre-orders for the Cottage Garden bouquet, which is one of our most popula
Our Website E-commerce store is back up and running to take your orders as well as our Etsy shop. I had the E-commerce store down. I am working on relisting items.
I have a new grandson! Caiden was born yesterday, May 1st. His sister, Emma is very excited. Emma has been helping me plant flowers, lavender, and veggies since she was 2 years old (now almost 7). She grew a gigantic sunflower of at least 9-10 feet from seed last summer. She also had her own vegetable garden in a raised bed. She grew some cucumbers and beans from seed as well Hopefully, her little brother will join her in "Granny's Garden" soon.
Mother's day is coming and we have lots of gift ideas such as soaps, our hand-poured candles, sachets, gift baskets and more. Please order soon to allow time to ship and arrive in time. We are getting down the wire with Mother's day next Sunday.
Vacation: Our shop will be closed Thursday May 5th until approximately May 11th. Last shipping day before Mother's day is the 5th. All other orders will go out when we return.
Hi everyone! I just realized it's been since March since I blogged. How time flies! We have hit the ground running this spring and haven't stopped sincce. I am in the thick of harvesting angustifolia, English Lavender. It's our first to bloom. Its a rain day today. There were thunderstorm all night and the lavender is wet. It's a no-no to harvest wet lavender, did you know? It can lose color and also is prone to molding.
I started harvesting over a week ago but the on and off rain have made it challenging to get the harvest in. Saturday hubby and I got three tall baskets in and hung over 150 bundles. I am hopeful to get the last of the English lavender in tomorrow and Wednesday since no rain is predicted.
We also explanded our raised beds by double. We have have four 8x4s raised beds and my husband took the task on of killing grass around them and laying mulch down and enclosing those beds with deer fencing. We have strawberries in one bed and the deer were munching on the leaves before they bore fruit this spring. We got a bumper crop of strawberries this month. I also started planting blueberries as well.
The two giant raised beds we purchased last fall are now filled and we used a hügelkultur technique. The beds are about 16 feet long and one is 2 feet wide and the other 3 feet wide. My granddaughter and I planted these. We have melons - cantaloupe and watermelon, pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, eggplant. I have been getting more into homesteading and growing our own produce. The family has been been really enjoying it.
I also moved the herb garden up close to the house and we are using an elevated raised bed for herbs. Now they are just outside the kitchen window on our patio so I can grab fresh herbs while I am cooking. We have oregano, marjoram, basil, parsley, dill, chamomile, cilantro, and rosemary.
I am missing the wildflowers this year. After three years, it was times to reseed the field. We had our tractor man, Mitch, come out and re-till the field. After planting the seeds, we now have little seedlings all over the field, but it won't get going good until next year. I started planting part of pollinator fields with perennials. I planted quite a bit of yarrow last fall and harvested it. I got into contact with a lady locally through a wildflower/butterfly page on Facebook who brought me out some milkweed and butterfly weed. I really appreciated it! I also planted some Salvia/Sage.
Enjoy the slide show of the going-ons this spring! English lavender is up on our store front on website and our Etsy page. We have some already dried and ready to go while others on the racks in the process of drying and still move in the fields.
Still trying to break from Facebook. Found I need to jump back on there occasionally to respond and check business page messages. I have kept up on Instagram because it's only my business page. I can link that content to my Facebook business page with a simple log in and log out.
My horticultural therapy course work is going well. We are working on a group activity project throughout the semester. I am also working on individual activities and projects. My hope is when I am done with schooling to start converting Lavender Rose Farms into a therapeutic horticultural therapy center. I will post more about that as we work towards that goal.
Floral time! It's spring and the orders are coming in for weddings and floral designs. Reminder: Please try to order at least 12 weeks in advance of your dates. The more time I have before your date, the better! I am getting booked up and taking bookings into the fall 2021. I can still do some spring/summer weddings tbough, but get your orders in.
Easter/Mother's Day is coming up too! This is another big one. Reminder: If you want our lavender gift baskets they are on sale now 10% off. They will keep as all products are safety sealed and the basket is shrink wrapped. Why not order early and beat the rush? I am happy to also ship directly to your loved one with a pretty lavender gift card included! I can take the order now and delay shipping until closer to the date if you prefer.
The fields are still fairly dormant, but the lavender look great this year! It seems all the new Royal Velvet plants survived the winter. We had a warm week recently. Hubby and I did some spring clean up by raking old leaves and other chores. We also did a pre-emergent herbicide for weeds early this year to hopefully get a leg up on it. Lots to do out there as always. We have two HUGE raised beds to fill this year and I am still determining what to put them and placement. I also have a smaller herb raised bed for my kitchen herb that I will be placing closer to the house. I love the bed and can't wait to fill it with herbs.
That's the current news for nnow. I have included a few photos from our customers and of the lavender fields.
These pretty Butterfly Goat's milk Soap Bars - Lavender Scented - will start appearing in our gift baskets! They are also available for individual purchase. Please see our Website store and our Etsy Shop for pricing.
Valentine's Day is only a couple of weeks away. We have a lot of products and floral designs that will make a perfect gift. Order soon to allow for shipping!
In the theme of Valentine's Day, I would like to share some wonderful photos shared by our customers. I just love receiving these photos! They mean so much to me. I do use pictures sent in on the listings and on the website Gallery page with customer permission. They bring me so much joy. Keep them coming!!
I started a horticulture therapist certificate program through the University of Florida (distance learning). It is going well. I am learning a lot! Otherwise, I am taking and filling orders. Everything outdoors is covered in a winter snow here. This is a great time for planning for me the coming spring and summer. I still take walks to the lavender fields and love seeing the mounds covered in snow.
The wildflower field was actually mowed down this year. The perennials needs to be reseeded once every 3 years as the flowers start to wane after this amount of time. I will be reseeding with a mix of native perennials wildflowers and annual wildflowers this spring. I also have two huge raised beds we purchased last fall. I am still working out what I am going to plant in them. We have everbearing strawberries cozy under their straw bedding in one raised bed. I am hopeful for a big crop of berries this year. I also tested over winter larkspur seed. They need cold stratification so we planted the bed in fall. I am hopeful we will have some larkspur in spring.
I will be taking a Facebook break on February 17th. I am giving up Facebook for Lent. I will not be updating our business Facebook page. I will still post on Instagram occasionally. I only have a business page there and don't spend a lot of time on Instagram. I usually just post when I want to share new pictures, a new product, or new reviews. Unfortunately, Facebook does not allow only a business pages without an attached personal account. Since I want a break from my personal Facebook, it means a break from the business Facebook too. I can share content from Instagram over to Facebook and will continue to do so. I will still be checking messages through our website's contact page. I have done some messaging through Facebook, but honestly it's not my main mode of contact with clients. You may also reach me through our Etsy shop (messaging) or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I believe our phone number is out there on some sites here and there but I prefer no cold calling as my business and personal phone are the same at the moment.
I hope you enjoy the pictures - there are some real stunners in there. Happy Valentine's day.
I hope everyone had a great New Year! We spend the week between Christmas and New Year at our cabin in Northern Michigan. We were so thrilled to have a bit of time to just to unwind and relax. The Christmas season was super busy, which is a good thing. I have included a slideshow of photos in the winter wonderland that is Up North Michigan and of our cabin. Our cabin was built around 1867. The heat is by propane and wood burning stove. We love it. It's rustic little two bedroom cabin on about an acre completely surrounded by Huron National Forest. We aren't far from Mio Pond and the Au Sable river. I get to do one of my most enjoyed hobbies, which is nature photography.
Speaking of another interest of mine, which is helping people who have disabilities or other struggles such as addiction or mental health issues. For those who don't know, I am the mother of wonderful 22-year-old son who was diagnosed with high functioning autism (PDD NOS) when he was about 4 years of age. We have done all kinds of different therapy over the years such as music therapy, Playtime/Floortime therapy, occupational therapy, art therapy, speech therapy, social therapy... and more therapy! . My son has now graduated from high school and is holding a job full-time and we are very proud of his accomplishments.
So when I heard about something called horticulture therapy, I thought what a great way to marry two things I love to do - horticulture and helping people with disabilities and other conditions.
What is horticulture therapy?
Horticultural therapy is defined by the American Horticultural Therapy Association as the engagement of a person in gardening and plant-based activities, facilitated by a trained therapist, to achieve specific therapeutic treatment goals. Wikipedia
So let's dig a little deeper. Horticulture therapy is a professional practice that uses plants and gardening to improve mental and physical health. Who does a horticulture therapist help? A horticulture therapist works with any group that can benefit from interaction with plants, including veterans, children, the elderly and those dealing with addiction and mental health problems.
I began to explore career training a bit but I hadn't had any luck finding a program in my area. Distance learning was available at select few universities and most had waitlists. I applied in in summer 2020 for that fall, but the class was full. However, I am happy to announce I have officially been accepted to the University of Florida Distance learning Horticulture Therapy Program beginning next week. I am very excited to learn this discipline.
When my certification is finished, I will begin adding horticulture therapy classes to my business at Lavender Rose Farms, LLC. Exactly how that will look is to be determined. I may offer some therapy on site on my property since I do have pretty expansive raised beds, the lavender field, and a wildflower meadow. I may also contract out to other organizations such nursing homes, non-profts, or other organization to teach some classes. I may do or a combination of both types.
Does this mean I am leaving lavender farming, floral design, and my Etsy and e-commerce shop? No, not at this time. In the next 5-10 years I will probably start to wind down the farm as my husband I would like to retire and hopefully that would be up at our cabin We want to simplify life. We love Northern Michigan - yes even the winters.
The therapy certificate is something I can still do after my lavender farming time is done.
I am very excited about this new direction for me and Lavender Rose Farms. LLC!
It's been crazy busy for the past month and I have not been able to jump on and blog recently. Just wanted to touch base and wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
A few business items to take care of: The Etsy shop is currently closed (on and off) . What's happening? Well we are working behind the scenes filling all your Christmas and other orders. With the COVID pandemic, we have seen a huge uptick in online ordering and it's necessary for me to shut down to new orders on Etsy to keep up. Our e-commerce store is still open though on this website.
SHIPPING NEWS! I am shipping DAILY. Quite literally, I have postal pickups and couriers dropping off packages daily as well!
First, let me say I apologize for the shipping carrier delays! I feel your pain. As sellers, it frustrates us as well. Here it is in a nutshell from my Etsy Homepage Announcement discussing recent issues.
Last updated on Dec 16, 2020
We will be back online again soon. We are working behind the scenes filling and packing your orders. We are working on all Christmas/Holiday orders and they should be shipped by the end of this week. You will receive a tracking number shortly!
Shipping Updates: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, all items in the post are currently being delayed. All items will arrive, albeit a little later than usual. USPS has stated the only class of mail guaranteed to arrive in the stated time is USPS Priority Express. You may request a shipping upgrade or select it from the listing for new orders. FedEx and UPS are also experiencing shipping delays. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Honestly, my dear friends and customers, there isn't much, if anything, I can do on this end. I am at the mercy of the shipping carriers as much as you are!
Refunds? I do understand the frustration of having a package delayed but as long as we meet our processing time, we honestly cannot be responsible for carrier delays which are totally beyond our control. I cannot provide a refund for a package that is not lost but still in transit. I have added this to our shop policies on our Etsy Shop.
I know people are anxious for their items to arrive. I believe your gift intendeds will be understanding of the delays. As I said, most people are aware of the shipping issue that we have faced all year with COVID.
Please follow the tracking number I have sent you and you can at least see where in the process the package is. I am getting a message via USPS that the package is NOT LOST, but will be arriving late when I search tracking.
I did do a search for a customer and the postal service from New York (where the package was going) called me within just a few hours and explained the package is NOT lost they are just behind and there is nothing they can do either. All carriers are simply overwhelmed.
For those so inclined, please pray for our postal workers. Yes, I know it's hard, but I have had a lot of interaction with my postal carriers in person and with those on the phone. They are working so hard. This is not a normal Christmas season. I hope we can all show each other a bit of grace at this difficult time. Let's not shoot the messenger - the seller or the postal carrier wearily at your door delivering.
SPRING BRIDES: Before you know it we will start getting orders for bridal bouquets and wedding parties for spring and summer wedding. Again, folks, ordering early is key!!!! Not only does it give me time to get flowers and produce your made to order floral designs, but it also allows for glitches like above mentioned shipping delays. I try to send out wedding orders 3 weeks before event to avoid any issues. But last minute orders means I cannot accommodate for possible shipping delays. So if possible try to order early. This goes for Mother's Day as well, which is another very busy time.
Well I am headed back to work - feeling like one of Santa's little hardworking elves this year! I know it's been a rough one on all of us. I do hope we all have a wonderful holiday and it's certainly gotten me thinking more about what the season is really about - Christ's birth. Merry Christmas - Stay happy, healthy, and safe. Many prayers to any of you or your family or friends who have been touched by COVID and illness this year.
Its no secret, I love fall! It's my favorite time of the year. As a lifelong Michigander, I have always loved the change of season. Yes, even winter, although around late February to March it can get a bit old! I am a cold weather person. I have been told I thrive in the cold weather.
We have purchased an old log cabin built in 1876 in Northern Michigan. It's just under 900 square feet. We just LOVE it. The previous owners were such nice people and left us most of the furnishings. Of course, I have started to do my some of my own decorating and adding my own personal touch. I have found some great finds in antique stores around the area. We also would like to fix things up a bit to make it possible for full time living, such as adding a washer/dryer (which is lacks currently) and new metal roof and new flooring. The cabin is heated by propane and a wood stove and it gets toasty in there once it gets going! The cabin is surrounded by National Forest for miles! It's beautiful all the time, but I love the fall and winter up there best!
LABOR DAY SALE: Look out for it Labor Day weekend. We will have 15% off everything in our shop when you spend $35.00. Currently, we have 10% off select items. Both our e-commerce store on this website and our Etsy shop carry these sales!
NEW PRODUCTS: In the spirit of fall, I have introduced some scented putka pods (mini pumpkins). I am smelling them right now in my home. The scent of cinnamon is filling the air. My college aged son even took a bowl up to his bedroom!
The scents I have available are cinnamon stick, autumn apple orchard, and orange spice. The color of the pods are burgundy and orange mixed. Each package come 4 cups to a bag and are tied with a decorative ribbon. Use them for Harvest/Halloween decor or parties or just place them in a bowl like I have and smell the wonderful scent in your home. They also make a great gift!
NEW CANDLES: I will have the same scents as listed for the putka pods - that is autumn apple orchard, cinnamon stick, and orange spice. I will be listing these very soon! Coming soon also are Peppermint candles and Peppermint soap! Look for those as winter approaches.
IN THE GARDEN: Lots and lots of tomatoes and peppers. Perfect for making salsa and so that's what I have done. I usually make fresh salsa and it's eaten up pretty quickly. It's so much better than store bought using fresh from the vine tomatoes. I also would really like to do some canning of jellies and jams. Love blackberry jam!! I have also make lavender blackberry and lavender strawberry. I just have not found the time to do it yet this summer!. Because of food laws, I cannot sell my jellies and jams online. However, if and when I get them ready, I probably will place an announcement online and use Facebook Marketplace as well. Face-to-face sales are required. So local peeps can come out to the farm or we can arrange to meet. Will post soon!
I have a raised bed growing Ever-bearing strawberries this year. Next, season I am hopeful for a bumper crop of strawberries. I hope to add a blackberry and raspberry patch next year as well. I love berrries!
FLORAL DESIGN: As I am finishing up the floral design orders I took before I decided to take a break from wedding party design, I have not gotten to rest my hands as much as I should. Still I am wearing braces to sleep in and the flare up is getting better. Hoping to have a return to a full line of floral design in the new year. A few bouquets are listed. They are mostly lavender bundles or mixed with a few simple flowers.
We still have our line of home decor floral designs up - bud bases, mason jar vases, farmhouse grater arrangement, milk jug/church arrangements, wreath etc. Our Sunflower and Lavender Grater Arrangement is NEW for fall!
That's it for now. THINK FALL!! Sorry summer lovers! I am just tickled that it's almost time for my favorite time of the year with a cool down (hopeful) soon.
Want to see some photos of the outside of our cabin? Check out our Gallery below. All photos are copyrighted Lavender Rose Farms, LLC. There is also some photos of our new scented putka pods, our sunflower and lavender farmhouse grater!
I have carpal tunnel syndrome. I have spoken to my doctor, and I am having a bad flare since I did our lavender harvest and bundling this year. I am in wrist splints and on steroids to calm it down. However, I most likely will be having a consultation with a hand/wrist specialist and possible surgery if not controlled by other treatment. I do, however, need to rest my rest my wrists for the immediate future. So I am scaling back on floral designs.
For now, I have taken down our wedding bouquets except simple lavender and lavender and baby's breath bouquets - as those sell out I will also be removing those listings. Our more detailed wedding bouquets are no longer listed on our store website or Etsy. I will be finishing any orders for weddings I have already taken. So be assured if I have taken an order already, I will complete it.
My hope is to reintroduce the floral design after the holidays at the latest for spring weddings 2021, as I hope to have resolution to the wrist issue (surgery or not) by then.
Our shop will still provide lavender products, natural gifts and some new offerings as well. I will be expanding our floral/botanical candles with some new autum themed scents!
I can make bulk candles, lotions, and other products and have them last for quite awhile so it's easier to stock up and not be constantly remaking products weekly. Floral designs are bit more difficult. I have left up our container type arrangements (bud vases, mason jars, grater arrangements etc). Having the container is easier on my wrists to do designs. Also, usually these orders are for 1 or 2 at time while wedding parties are often much larger and more work (and more strain on my wrists).
I will revisit the floral bouquets again for next spring pending on my outcome with Carpal tunnel.
New Product - Lavender hand salve. Gardener's Salve. Lavender Balm!!
This Lavender Salve is made using Michigan grown, cut, and hand dried lavender at our lavender farm and then combined with Organic Lavender Essential Oil and Pure, Raw Beeswax, coconut oil, and jojoba oil. This salve is sweetly fragrant and smells like fresh cut Lavender.
This is a great salve for year round use. Uplifting and soothing in the dark winter months and helps to heal dry, cracked winter skin. Wonderful for gardener, farmers or anyone working with their hands who suffers from dry, cracked skin.
Can also be used as migraine/headache relief or relaxation purposes by simply dabbing on your temples.
There are a few changes to our shop and our web page. I am no longer doing consultation for lavender growi. There has not been a high demand plus there are some free resources, which I myself have used. I might just post a separate blog about that topic coming up soon.
Our floral designs are seeing major changes. I have removed all but our most popular bouquets. For those designs, I am ONLY offering bridal sizes for the more elaborate bouquets. One some of the bouquets I am still offering medium and large size. I am a one-person operation for the floral designs. The larger wedding parties are becoming a bit much for me to handle alone additionally the designs are very time intensive. I will no longer to do any custom designs either. The bouquets that I have listed is what I will provide in the size listed A simple change out of flower color or ribbon is fine. Extensive customization is no longer available
I have removed our Save-the-Date page due to the fact I do not intend to do large wedding parties any longer.
I also have been seeing an increase in the flare of my carpal tunnel syndrome. I was a medical transcriptionist for 18 plus years and now with the fine work of wedding parties I am seeing a lot of increase of symptoms and pain.
I have decided to take the shop more in a direction of home decor type of floral dried arrangements and increasing our line of natural gifts, candles and other items. I have been inspired by time at our cabin to start increasing our primitive and rustic designs.
Also as another notice or reminder. We are a non-traditional lavender farm. We do not have public hours. I get a lot of inquiries about that. There are multiple reasons for this. One is we are still working on our fields still. We had some losses of plants the winter before last and just replanted this season. Another is we have neighbors as we in a semi-rural area right on the outskirt of Monroe. We technically are in Frenchtown, but use a Monroe address/postal code. We decided we do not want the liability of public visits, but we are open doing some events that are scheduled for specific weekends including garden tours, selling of our products on sight, and plant sales. These would begin hopefully next season (summer 2021). I will post updates.
Thank you~ Hope everyone is having a great summer so far! Here are some pictures of some of our home decor type arrangements and some of our new products.
The last of the French lavender harvest is in and boy did we get a bumper crop this year. The plants are at maturity and really produced! I have hundreds of lavender bundles available and they are up and listed on our shop currently!
You may purchase online for nationwide shipping or we are doing LOCAL PICKUP at our farm in Monroe Mi of both English and French bundles and other products. Place an order from our eCommerce store and select PICKUP option. If ordering via Etsy please message me so I can create a listing minus shipping OR simply send me am message here via our contact page, Facebook page, or email@example.com and you can pay cash when you pickup, which is the easiet option!
We also can invoice via Venmo or Paypal.
I am at our cabin in Northern Michigan right now, but will be back on Monday the 27th for pickup and shipping options.
We also have English Lavender Bundles - please see previous blog on the English lavender harvest and pictures.
I have included a gallery below of some harvest pictures!
PUBLIC FARM HOURS UPDATES: We do not have public hours currently. However, if you contact me, I can arrange a pick up time for all our products. Pickup is by appointment only. We are working on possible garden tours next season. Since I am a one-woman operation keeping up with orders, the fields, and other business aspects is more than a full-time job. My hubby works a regular full-time job and helps with heavier lifting for the outside work, as do my sons when they are off work. So, therefore, it has taken a bit longer than planned to have any kind of public visitation to our place. We have decided garden tours with our property set up will be the best avenue rather than regular business hours onsite. We are on just the outskirts of Monroe in Frenchtown Township. We are closer to town than many people think. We live near Munson Park and are about 5-7 minutes drive to Downtown Monroe! We really have the best of both worlds having a little farm right on the outskirts of town. Also, it makes it really it easy for local people to do a pick up of products and save the shipping. We look forward to some scheduled tours to come visit the fields, see the wildflower gardens, and purchase products. We hope to have a PLANT sale next summer. We have several different varieties of both French and English Lavender. Join our newsletter for updates on the Contact US page.