Lavender Dream FarmA Vision of Purple
“Look over there, do you see those pieces of corn stalks sticking out of the snow? That is the edge of the property line, from there back to the end of this pole barn is where I plant rye grass every year because I like the way in looks when swaying in the breeze”. When he said that I instantly saw a field of purple lavender plants and thought to myself – you’ve been planting the wrong crop
It was a cold winter’s day. We were on a visit to Michigan from Colorado to see family and it was time to head back. My wife and I had predetermined that a move to southwest Michigan was likely in our future. So we were multi-tasking during our visit…we were also house shopping. We had looked at several properties and each had some peculiarity which took it out of the running. With one day left before starting our drive back to Loveland, Colorado, Debbie saw this property and fell in love with the house so she scheduled a last minute appointment to see the property.
The owner was gracious and allowed the short notice visit but said he would be there while we looked around with the realtor. My wife gives the thumbs up or thumbs down on the house – I give the thumbs up or thumbs down on the yard…in this case 10 acres of yard. As the owner was showing me the property lines, there was about a foot of snow on the ground. Instead of walking all the way over to the property line we were standing on the porch and he was pointing out where remnants of corn stalks and rye grass stems were poking out of the snow. When he started describing the rye grass all I could see was a field of lavender…clear as day…a warm summer’s day.
The interesting part of this…its the middle of winter…I’ve never had an unction to be a lavender farmer…I’ve never been a farmer…I didn’t even know if lavender would grow in southwest Michigan…but I saw lavender. When Deb and I discussed it she had the same thought…Lavender!? What would you do with lavender? Can you grow lavender here? After some research we discovered that it does indeed grow here thanks to a microclimate generated from the Great Lakes. The more we looked into it, the more the excitement grew. I had a feeling…no, that’s not the right word…a knowing. I knew this is what we were meant to do on this property. Why? That I don’t know yet. But both Deb and I had a quickening that a lavender farm was our mission.
That following spring I sat on a tractor for the first time in my life. My family and I figured out how to hook up 3-point hitch, how to disc a field, how to plow a row and with the help of family (sons, daughters, daughter-in-laws, grandkids, dogs, cats, etc…) we planted 2500 lavender plants to start phase 1 of Lavender Dream Farm.
To fulfill the vision, wherever it may lead.
Our mission is to make Lavender Dream Farm a place of refreshing – visually, aromatically, emotionally. We are currently planning on 3 phases of growth. When completed our plan includes approximately 7 acres of lavender plants, blueberries, orchards, vineyards, and complimentary herbs and plants. It will be a place where you want to come, pull up a chair, and sit a spell. We’ll make sure the lavender lemonade is cold and the scones are warm.
From corporate boardrooms to country backroads – what a ride.
After we were married, we lived in northern Alabama for many years. We both loved to travel but there was never much talk of moving. After a few close calls from F5 tornados (north Alabama is the new #1 tornado alley), I chased a job out to Loveland, Co. It is a beautiful area and we both enjoyed being so close to the mountains and spent a lot of weekends up in the Rockies. I had been in IT for decades and had moved into management. Life was good…we thought we would retire there…until the company decided to outsource their IT department and suddenly we were faced with a decision, stay in Colorado or move elsewhere. Now there’s a huge story around the events that led to us selling our home in Colorado and moving to southwest Michigan to become lavender farmers. Perhaps that will wind up in a book one day or a dedicated section on this site because there were just too many events that didn’t follow the “norm”. Here we are folks!
We’re farmers now?
Using a disc bedder to lay ground cover on a raised bed. It worked great on level ground but once we got into a gentle hill there was a problem keeping the cover laying properly…still better than by hand.
We are located half-way between the village of Marcellus, MI. and Hwy 131. We are south of Kalamazoo, MI. and north of Three Rivers, MI. From Hwy 131 head west on M-216, travel 4.5 miles toward Marcellus, MI. and the lavender farm is on your right. It’s the farm with all the lavender rows out front – can’t miss it. From Marcellus head east on M-216, travel 4.5 miles and the farm will be on your left.
Some folks have reported their GPS takes them closer to Marcellus and not to the farm. Others report their GPS guides them right to the farm. We’re not sure how to fix that but we are between Chamberlain Rd. and Creglow Rd on M-216.
Lavender Dream Farm
Lavender Dream Farm
We are a working farm so things get a little busy from time to time. But we do try our best to respond and answer any questions you may have…it just might take a little while.