We've had a lot of requests for visits to the farm and while we appreciate the interest, we are not open to the public at this time. As I have mentioned before we might open for select special events by appointment in coming seasons.
So why isn't our farm open to agrotourism like many larger farms? Part of the answer is we just moved to this property in 2017 so this is only our second season growing here. We planted from scratch in 2017. Lavender takes about 3 years to reach full maturity. While we do have a few older plants we brought from our previous home, most plants we have are only 2 years old. We were very happy to get a harvest this year. We got more than anticipated! Despite that, we don't expect a full harvest until next year.
To have a larger lavender farm you do need to be in a generally rural area to have enough acreage to plant. Some larger farms actually are very large and plant several acres of lavender. They also may have an onsite store, other gardens, and some even have event centers plus possibly their home and parking to accommodate. Think in term of large cider mills and the amount of land those require. Now, not all lavender farms are this big, but many are. Some are mid-sized and plant an acre of lavender and possibly have an onsite store in a walk-out basement or other outbuilding.
We did look at several properties that would have made all this a possibility for us, but with that also came into play the condition of the house with the land, did it have outbuildings since we needed a barn or some structure for drying lavender and amount of parking etc. Also most of these properties were truly very rural and some distance from town. Also cost came into play as it's quite expensive to buy large acreage.
We really had to define our families wants and needs and balance that with wanting to do our lavender farm. I started as a gardener because I loved flowers and also the therapeutic aspects of it. I have talked in previous posts/blogs about my struggle with anxiety/depression. Gardening and lavender in particular really soothed those conditions. So what started as a hobby and sort of thearpy morphed into a business, which I am very grateful for. However, I had to think about what can we afford in terms of land/house, what needs did it need to meet for our family and for myself as well and how much of our property did we want to have open to the public.
We settled on a property that was only 2.5 acres, but it did have the size of home we needed in the condition we needed (not a lot of renovation). It also had a very large barn with electricity and place to store products and dry our lavender. It's on the edge of town so not really truly rural. It's more semi-rural. There are some subdivisions across the street from us and on our side of the road most are homes with large lots of several acres.
Our property originally was a strip farm, which are long ribbons of land used for farming along a roadway. Our property ends at the River Raisin so we have river front where we can put in our canoe and utilize the river, which was an added bonus. However, because the width of the property is not as great as the length and we have neighbors on either side, we decided it was best not have public access at all times. We felt this met our privacy needs for our family as well.
So, today, we run our our "farmette" as a way to supply our lavender products and floral designs. I do occasionally still purchase from other larger farms when floral design orders are more than our fields can produce. We are working towards growing everything here on our land that we use in our products and designs.
Also, unlike many lavender farms, our intent was never to be a lavender-only farm. I started a wildflower meadow and a zinnia field this year. I also did a test plot with yarrow, gladiolus and dahlias. We plan to expand all of these and more in coming years. We also grow roses, peonies, and lilacs and we have wild grapes on our property. I am going to be making some jelly from these this year!
As far as visits to the farm... in future seasons we may open to the public for special events such a U-pick or some other type of event. However, much of that depends on our harvest. We have 300 lavender plants and right now no plans to expand that planting area for the lavender. I am concentrating on getting those plants mature and healthy. We just finished the field this year in terms of planting and mulching it with river rock.
We do try to make our products readily available... We have a strong online presence with our website and Etsy store. We also are starting to do a few in-person markets. You can also find our products in The Vintage Market Home 110 Sycamore Wyandotte Mi - a retail vintage and handmade store.
If we do decide to do any visits to the farm, it most likely will be by appointment. For instance if someone is looking for fresh lavender and it's in bloom, I could certainly set an appointment for an individual to come out and pick some lavender for a few bouquets. As mentioned, we may do some special event workshop or classes in the future where you would be able to see the lavender and wildflower meadows. I have worked with local residents around the Monroe for pick up and delivery of products and wedding party orders so they don't have to pay shipping. I had a client in Wyandotte, when we were residing in Riverview, that I used to deliver culinary lavender to at her house. You can always email us or use the contact form if you desire delivery or pick up options locally. Follow our events page to see upcoming markets and events.
Please bear with us as we grow and find the right footing for our business and home! We are so glad you follow our progress and I have received some nice feedback from readers!