I hope your week is going great so far. Today we wanted to share with you some important information about our lavender plants. Unfortunately, the news isn’t great. Let me explain what’s going on.
First, before you ask, we don’t bloom until June. If you were to come to the farm, you would see lots of lavender bushes, but no purple lavender. We have to wait awhile until that happens. In a good year, we will be blooming by June. That may not happen this year.
With that being said, let’s talk about the plants and how they are doing today. As you know, it’s been unusually cold this year. Between the polar vortex and late deep freezes, our plants have been hit hard.
By now, we usually start to see a lot of green on them. Thankfully, we have a handful that are starting to green up, but it’s very minimal, on a few stems, and only on a couple plants in one part of our field. Take a look at them, though. The green is very exciting.
The rest of our plants are not at all green. This is really, really late for them. One of two things might be happening here. Option 1 is that because of the cold, the plants are just taking their time coming out of dormancy until the weather warms up. Looking at the forecast for the next couple of weeks, it looks like it’s supposed to be very warm. We will see if they really come to life in the next several days with the sun and warm weather.
Option 2 is much scarier: the cold has wiped out the vast majority of our plants and we have to pull almost all of the plants we have. We’re really hoping that isn’t true, but it’s just as real a possibility as option 1 is right now. Only time will tell.
Check out what the rest of our plants currently look like; lots and lots of grey.
Now for the really bad news. Unfortunately, due to many factors, we have a big chunk of plants that really are just not thriving at all. Take a look at these pictures to see what we mean. The first two pictures show plants that are in really rough shape - the majority of plant is dead or crucial parts of the plant is dead. The third picture shows, if you look very carefully, at all of the plants we have flagged to pull out. There are a lot of them.
So, the farm is in pretty rough shape: our plants are not greening up the way we would expect, the late deep freezes may have killed most of our farm, and we already know that we are losing a lot because a good chunk of our plants are just unhealthy.
Is there any good news?
Yes! We are actually getting very excited because we are driving to Kansas this Thursday to pick up 200 plants to begin experimenting with 20 different varieties of plants to see how they grow and what we can do with them. This is a big test to see how our farm is going to expand. The varieties we are bringing home are Betty Blue, Croxton’s Wild, Folgate, Hidcote, Maillette, Melissa, Munstead, Nana Alba, Royal Velvet, Seals Seven Oaks, Alba, Dilly Dilly, Fred Boutin, Gros Bleu, Grosso, Phenomenal, Provence, Provence White, Riverina Thomas, Seal, Super, and Sussex. We have no idea what’s going to happen and we cannot wait to find out.
By the time we get to the festival it’s really anyone’s guess what our farm is going to look like. Right now we can guarantee you will see 200 new plants in 20 varieties and we will be so happy to share with you what each one is and what they do. We are so hopeful that we will have many more than that for our u-pick and photography sessions, but it’s all up the air right now.
As with everything, it seems, we continue to rebuild and reboot as we come out of the pandemic life. There is some grief and loss, but also many signs of new life and exciting things to come.
We will continue to keep you updated with all of the exciting things that will be happening on the farm. Until then, stay well!
PS: Check out our flower garden!! We can’t wait to see the blooms.
We would love to hear from you! What Earth-caring practices do you currently do? What practices would you you like to take up? How have you experienced Earth-care from Simplicity? Let us know in the comments section.
Caring for the Earth is something our whole family is passionate about. Between being active in the Boy Scouts and doing our own camping excursions up and down the east coast when we lived in Pennsylvania, the conservation mantra of "Leave No Trace" became pretty ingrained into us. We enjoy doing things that keep the land clean and untouched and cringe whenever we see evidence of people disrespecting the land.
Now that we have a lavender farm, we have learned new ways to care for the earth with our business. These are the 7 ways our lavender farm cares for the earth.
1. First, I'm sure you've heard our spiel many times by now: our products are made with all natural ingredients handcrafted right on the farm. We have said it so much that I'm sure we mutter it under our breaths when we sleep at night. This statement though is one of the biggest reasons we got into the business of a lavender farm. We think it is so important to get away from harmful chemicals that harm us and the Earth. By switching to our all natural products, we take an important step forward in caring for the Earth together.
2. Did you know our product packaging is 100% recyclable? Once you have finished using our product, simply wash out the packaging and toss it in your recycle bin. Both our aluminum and plastic bottles and sprayers are able to be recycled. This has always been an important value to us as we decided how to package our product. While we are not yet able to fully get away from plastic bottles, we are slightly comforted by the fact that our plastic can be reused in the future.
3. Have you seen our vegetable garden? If not, that's okay. We haven't really seen it much lately either. Last year our garden was totally flooded out and we weren't able to get anything from it. In 2019, though, we saw an amazing year for our garden. We grow several different kinds of vegetables and herbs that we get to use for our own meals and give to local food pantries. Our garden, like the rest of our farm, never sees chemicals on it and is always cared for by hand. We are grateful for our local farmers who feed us year round, but we also know the negative side effects to some commonly accepted farming practices. We do not like the use of chemicals or processing in our food and know that, while a shelf life is important in our current supply chain, clean and healthy food is more important. So, we have our own garden to do our part in minimizing the need for us to add demand to that system.
4. Every year we enjoy planting several flower gardens alongside our lavender. Why do we do this? Looking out over our lavender farm and also seeing our sunflower bed and flower bed in front of our house certainly brings us immense joy. That's reason number 1. Reason number 2 is equally as important. We like to provide safe flower beds for our local pollinators. Bees and butterflies as you may know are in danger of becoming extinct and desperately need protection. According to the University of Washington, bee endangerment comes from three things: disease, habitat loss, and cell phones. (Check out the article here, it's very interesting.) While there is only so much we can currently do with our resources, we hope that we can create a more suitable habitat for our local pollinators to thrive. It is one step, but one we are passionate about.
5. Finally in our gardens, I want to reiterate the fact that we do not and never will use chemicals on our plants. We do not use pesticide or herbicide. We let the weeds and grass grow naturally around the plant. Whether we let them grow fully or do some healthy weeding around the plants is a conversation for another day. We keep our plants healthy naturally and by hand. We also harvest by hand which means we continue to reduce our carbon footprint by not using heavy machinery to do our work.
6. Caring for Earth means more than plants and dirt; you are part of the earth, too! Caring for people is our business and we can't claim we care for the Earth if we don't also care for the people who are part of it. We make our products to help people get away from the chemicals and drugs that prevail in our medical system. While we greatly appreciate the science and miracles our doctors and nurses are able to perform, we also know that not everyone needs chemicals to help with day to day things. We will never claim that our lavender is a one-stop, cure-all miracle. We know that life changing medicines are necessary. But, we also know that adding in some all-natural options like our products make for a well rounded experience that compliments the work of our doctors and nurses. And sometimes, we know that a sniff of our inhaler might remove the need for an extra dose of pain meds. Whenever that happens, that's a huge win in our books.
7. Finally, we believe community is a huge part of environmental care. We believe in sharing resources that make life better for everyone. We believe in bringing people together (when safe and not in the middle of a global pandemic) to foster a new way of living. By embracing community, we can gain all kinds of new perspectives of how to live an all natural, healthy, clean, and environmentally friendly life. Nature shows us every day just how important community is. Biodiversity is necessary for our planet to thrive and diversity in our own community is important for us to thrive. We think these go hand in hand.
If there is anything I want you to hear from this blog today, it is that, while not always perfect, we try to take as many steps we can to care for the Earth. These are not huge steps and by ourselves, they might not even make a huge difference. But, if the whole Simplicity Community decides to do better and take a little step here and there towards caring for the Earth, we will be able to make massive changes. We cannot ever do it by ourselves, but we can always do a lot when we do it together.
Happy Earth Day!
Get out and enjoy the great outdoors our beautiful planet home has to offer.
Products Today's Post Goes Well With:
Raise your hand if you've heard this now dreaded cliché: 2020 was a really tough year.
Well, it was for us, too. 2020 was our third year with the lavender farm. After an amazing 2019, we knew that 2020 was going to be our big expansion year; we were going to explode!! Of course, that didn't exactly happen as we watched event after event cancel and opportunity after opportunity disappear. Like everyone else, we wondered, "what does the future have in store now?"
It was touch and go for awhile, but we are so glad that we have been able to stick around, something that would not have been possible without YOU! We love our Simplicity Community and your continued support and well-wishes have kept us going and going and going. The future is looking bright again and we can't wait for the many things that are coming up this year.
But, with all of that being said, we have certainly felt the similar struggle of many small businesses in the US. We feel like we have to start from scratch again; we need to completely reboot.
This is proving to be a blessing and curse. Rebooting is exhausting work and things aren't exactly back to the perfect (or maybe not-so-perfect) normal it was before. However, because we get to reboot, it means that we get to do some pretty exciting things like rebranding and restarting a blog!
We are so excited to announce the long thought about Wild Nomads and Purple Dane lines.
As fellow travelers and outdoor lovers, being Wild Nomads is an exciting lifestyle we have long tried to live into. There is nothing better to us than meeting new people and seeing new sights as we travel the wide open roads of our beautiful country. Our Wild Nomads Outdoor Line is aimed at making that goal a little more achievable for everyone. And if you've tried our products, you know how well they work!! If you look closely at our new labels, you'll see a few different pictures. Each of these pictures represent places we've been and places we're from. Check them out here:
Our Purple Dane Pet Line is near and dear to our hearts because it features prominently our much loved farm Dane, Coleman. Many of you were following along with us as we shared his health scare a few months ago. He is thriving right now and simply cannot wait to see you all again on of the farm. Our pet products are great because they are all natural and much safer for our furry friends than other products on the market. We use our products almost daily on both of our family's Great Danes. Sometimes we don't know who enjoys them more.
If you haven't yet, you can check out our new products and lines on our Store page. Or you can see some of our favorites right here:
You might remember when we first started, we tried our hand at blogging. It was a resounding success!! (Just kidding) We were just getting started with the business and blogging was not really high on our priority list compared to learning how to run our own business.
This year, as part of our rebooting and rebranding, the one thing our family feels most passionate about is engaging with you about this crazy lifestyle we have found and really enjoy. At the end of the day, we really are in the business of community that is supported by the sales of our products (which have been crafted to continue to foster a healthy community). Everything we do we do out of our love for each of you. Blogging is just one way we will get to engage with you more often. In this blog, we will be sharing updates from the farm, information about our products, healthy lifestyle tips, and lots and lots of lavender.
We have several exciting articles in the works for you already, but we do really want to hear from you. What kinds of things do you want to know? What questions do you have? It can really be about anything: our farm, our products, what the heck a skoolie is and why we are building two of them (foreshadowing??). Let us know what you want us to talk about by submitting your suggestion below.
So, be sure to check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts starting tomorrow!!
We would love it if you shared our posts on social media. That will really help us continue to welcome more and more people to this great community.
Thanks for reading and we'll see you soon!!