We're going to be honest with you. The rain has got us super down. It just won't stop!! Take a look at this.
If you can see it, the Farm is the little blue dot in the middle of the pictures. The top picture shows that we've received around 10 inches of rain in the last 30 days. Which, as the bottom picture shows, is about 200% of our normal precipitation.
It is so wet! The field is mud. The rows are mud. The grass grows right before our eyes. So do the weeds. And we can't get out there to do the spring maintenance that needs to be done. The excitement about our plants that we had over the past few weeks is quickly diminishing and the fate of our plants is increasingly unknown.
I wish I had some good news for you today. Unfortunately, this is the life of a farmer. We have heard from many of our local farmer friends that they are going through the same thing. And with no end in sight, I fear it's going to be a rough year for the farming community. Let's hope and pray that the weather patterns change ASAP.
But, all of this cloudiness does occasionally give us something amazing. Every now and then, we get a break from the rain and the sun pops out just in time for some of the most amazing sunsets on the farm.
Being as wide open as we are means that we get some pretty incredibly views of the sky. From sunrise to moonset, the views are always incredible - storms, stars, sunsets, sunrises, rainbows, you name it...we see it.
Today, I wanted to take a break from all the rainy gloom and show you the nicer side of living on this farm. Let's take a break together, take a breath or two, and enjoy some of the many sunsets of Simplicity Lavender Farm.
Pretty amazing, isn't it. Which one is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
Enjoy your day and stay well!
Today's Post Goes Great With:
How's your garden doing? If it's anything like ours, it's more weeds than anything else. And there's not a whole lot we can do about it. Thanks rain!!
As I write this evening, the rain continues to fall. It's a nice soft rain, which is a nice departure from the typical downpours and deluges we usually get. But, enough is enough. We want sun! And so do the lavender.
This week is all about spring maintenance on the farm. Between the raindrops, Rick has been cutting the hayfield...I mean yard...and trimming all of the weeds between every plant. While he does that, Kathy and Brian have been trimming back the plants and trying to pull the weeds out from inside. This weekend's weather is looking spectacular and our goal is to try to get some sunlight down into the crown of the plant.
Today, we want show you what we're doing with the plants to get ready for bloom season. Scroll through the gallery to see what we've been up to.
Apparently the ticks are back and with a vengeance. It looks like it's going to be a bad tick year. Last night, we pulled several ticks off of Rick when he got done in the yard. Time to pull out that bug spray and use it heavily! Make sure you protect yourself (and your fur babies!) from the ticks and stay safe outdoors.
That's it for today! Stay well and see you soon!
Today's Post goes well with:
We are incredibly concerned about the mental health crisis in this country. We see it everyday; people have trouble functioning because of the oppressive nature of mental health issues which are only getting worse. We need to do better in getting people help and helping people know that it is okay to talk about it. We need to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health.
I get it. It's not fun to talk about those days that getting out of bed seems like an impossibility. Or those times when a panic attack comes out of thin air over seemingly nothing. It can be scary and lonely to feel that way or experience those things.
Not too long ago, I went to therapy because I was feeling this way, too. I couldn't get out of bed, I couldn't get moving, and, when I finally did, I always felt like everything was just grey and heavy. It was such a weird feeling. And the panic attacks came more and more frequently. It was awful. I started therapy to help process what was going on in my head. The loneliness of the pandemic meant that I could not process anything and I didn't want to be a burden on my friends (which of course was not a thing at all!). I knew that if I didn't seek help, something bad would have happened. I am so thankful for the support of my family, friends, and colleagues to feel comfortable enough to seek help. We know that not everyone has that same support system and that really makes us very sad.
We are not mental health experts by any stretch of the imagination, but we have experienced it first hand. We have experienced anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and even to the point of Kathy being diagnosed with Functional Neurological Disorder (FND). Less than stellar mental health has unfortunately rooted itself in our family and we have had to work quite hard to overcome it. I think we can say that have been winning more battles than we're losing, but the war continues to rage (and I use that metaphor very deliberately). We as a family know how easy it is to fall back down that path.
So, today we want to say a few really important things and I really want you to slowly and intentionally read what we are about to say:
We love you!
You deserve health and happiness!
You are not a burden!
Seek help if you need it and do not be afraid!
Like I said, we are not mental health experts. But, we make our aromatherapy products because they change lives. The lavender inhaler has been the only thing that gets me out of a panic attack, even prevents it when I feel it coming on. Lavender essential oil, in its many forms, has helped me destress and create an environment that allows for a healthier mental status.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Let's work together to reduce the stigma and make sure that people can get the help they need. Reach out to your friends and check in on them. If you need help, please contact your local support network or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for resources.
Together, we can save lives and make life better for everyone if we just learn to talk about mental health issues and how they impact all of us.
Stay well and see you soon!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
We can all help prevent suicide. The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones, and best practices for professionals.
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As a lavender farm, we are obviously obsessed with this little flower. We all know how amazing lavender is for your bath and aromatherapy. But, did you know that lavender is an amazing companion to all sorts of outdoor adventures? Let's explain.
1. Bug Repellant
Raise your hand if you have tried our bug spray. If you haven't, what are you waiting for? It smells great and it really works. Bugs hate lavender...like really hate it. Add in our mix of peppermint and lemongrass essential oils and it's a super repellant. There are other "all natural" bug sprays on the market that really aren't all natural - they use chemically-synthesized products - or are just plain gross. Many of them probably use fragrance oils which have no effect; they just smell "nice." When buying an all natural bug spray, do your homework and make sure you are buying real products that have an effect.
2. Bug Bites
In the event you decided not to use an all natural, lavender based bug spray, you can still use lavender to help you out with the bugs. Lavender's soothing property helps to remove the bite and sting from a bug bite or bee sting. You should never apply essential oil directly onto your skin. That's why we dilute lavender oil, and add in some lemongrass oil, with coconut oil in our bite soother roll on. This roll on gives you all the benefits of the essential oil without the side effects of, you know, having your skin burned off from high concentrated oil.
3. Lip Care
If you're anything like me, you probably forget to take care of your lips while out and about. No matter how many times Mom tells me, I seem to always forget. After a day on the water or hiking, my lips are always burnt, chapped, or both. Lavender essential oil is a great healer and works hard to soothe those burnt, chapped lips. We combine ours with frankincense, the king healer, and peppermint, for a nice cooling feeling, for superb lip care.
4. Sore Muscles
There is no better feeling than that tired, kind of sore feeling after a long day of biking or hiking. It's a feeling that says, "I've worked hard and loved every second of it." As great as that feels, it doesn't feel that great by the time we're ready for bed. Lavender essential oil can be used to soothe and relax tired, sore muscles. We like to use our body balm on our sore muscles at the end of the day. By the next morning, we're ready to get back out there again.
5. Sleep Well Before and After
Sleep is the most part of our day anymore. We too often don't get enough of it. And a sleepless body can't perform nearly as well as a rest-filled one. Getting a good night's sleep will make all the difference between a great outdoor adventure and one that is much more complain-y, if you know what I mean. Be sure to get the best rest you can by using lavender at night. While lavender won't directly put you to sleep (I know, everyone says it), it will help calm your mind from the busyness of the day to make sure you fall deep into that glorious REM sleep. Spray some lavender on your pillow or sheets with a good linen spray made of pure lavender essential oil, not fragrance oil. The essential oil will actually do stuff, while the fragrance oil will just smell fragrance-y.
6. For Your Fur Babies
Do you take your pups out with you? I know after a day out, my puppy usually comes home smelling like the leaves, mud, and who knows what else he happened to roll around in. Maybe your dog likes to jump in the river or the lake for a good swim. We love having our dogs with us, but don't always love the smell that comes with it. Spray some lavender on them or wash them off with an all natural lavender soap. The lavender will have all of the same effects on their bodies as it will yours: it will calm them down, help to calm their tired muscles, make them smell great, and give them a great deep sleep for all the fun to come the next day. Remember, though, lavender is for dogs only...keep it far away from other animals.
Did you know that lavender does all of these great things? It's not just for bath time anymore. It really is the perfect outdoor adventurer's companion. If you're anything like us, you really can't live without it. Let us know in the comments how you like to use lavender when you're out in the great outdoors or what you are going to do differently now that you know all of these great facts.
With spring and summer right around the corner, be sure to stock up on your favorite lavender products now. Check out our outdoor products mentioned in this blog post:
A significant part of our 2021 Reboot Plan was getting our products in all sorts of different stores across the country. Obviously, this was not going to be an overnight agenda, but one that we were passionately pursuing.
If you've been following us over the past several months, you might be aware that Brian (son of the family, lived in Minnesota, author of this blog post, will no longer speak in third person) quit my career in the Church to come join the family business. One of my jobs with the family is to be our wholesale representative; I am going to be our guy in between our product manufacturing on the farm and buyers in stores across the country.
It has been a slow go until a few weeks ago. Much to our glee and surprise we were invited to sit down with two VPs of a major (more that 250 stores) retail chain to pitch our products and get them in their stores. Our initial excitement overtook us, of course. What an opportunity!
But, as we began to settle down, we noticed that something did not feel quite right. As we began to research and read about all of these tiny startups that quickly blew up into $10 million companies, we began to ask ourselves, "Is this the life we want to create for ourselves?" And after more than a few family/staff meetings, we came to a resounding, "No!"
Simplicity Lavender Farm got its name because we wanted to create a simple life for us and for you. We have all done the "corporate" world and, frankly, it hurt us - as a family, as individuals, as humans. It's not something that we could ever find joy or wholeness in. Getting a glimpse of a future with large chains and perhaps millions of dollars in our pockets, we quickly remembered that the reason we got into this business was to create important relationships with real people, not to get rich quick or leave behind the people that always get left behind in the retail world. So, we cancelled that meeting and turned down every other large retailer that was looking at us.
We decided to share this information with you today because we are incredibly excited about the path we have decided to go down. Instead of large retail chains, we want to support small, family owned businesses like us. We want to build relationships and a community with real people who are working to support themselves and their communities honestly and with joy. And, we want our people who buy our products to know that we are committed to making people's lives better.
So, today we are announcing a very important new mantra from Simplicity:
We are so excited to continue to make all sorts of new friends as we continue to expand our community by attending events and putting our products in small, super fun shops. As we do expand, we are keeping a list of our partners on a new page on our website. You can check out this page by going to About Us -> Our Partners, or by clicking the image below.
This new page will track where you can find our products, who we are doing business with, and the awesome places who are hosting us at their events. Check it out and follow along!
Today, we wanted to recommit ourselves to the simple truth that this business is about caring for people, not corporations. We almost went down that path and were quickly reawakened to why we never wanted to go there in the first place. We will never betray the people who got us here and only want to make more friends like that (it's much more fun that way, anyway).
See you soon and stay well!
Hi friends! It has been an interesting week since we posted last. Let's get you up to speed with everything that has been happening on the farm since our last post.
First, we have to talk about the rain! Like many of you who are probably reading this, we got a lot of rain last Wednesday. While we don't have a rain gauge out right now, we believe we got about 4 inches of rain in around an hour or less (that was according to radar estimates at the time). What that translated to was about 8-12 inches of flash flooding on the farm. It came fast and furious. We saw water pooling and flowing in places we have never seen since we've lived here. Thankfully, it went out as fast as it came and as far as we can tell, there has been no damage to our property or our plants. We're sending all of our prayers and positive thoughts to our neighbors in Roaring River State Park as they recover and clean up from the devastating flooding that hit them. And we hope that each of you are safe and sound, too.
Second, we had a very busy weekend. On Thursday, we drove up to Winfield, Kansas to pick up our 200 new plants in 20 different varieties. Take a look at these pictures of our new plants. For more information about plants be sure to check out last Tuesday's blog post.
If all that wasn't enough (which we think it was probably more than enough) we had a record breaking sales weekend at the Bentonville Farmers' Market. If you were there, you no doubt noticed how amazing the crowd was. We were so happy to be able to see so many of you out and about on what was easily the nicest day we have had so far this Spring. We love going to the Farmers' Market and were so overwhelmed with the turnout. Let's keep that energy and support going!! #shopsmall #shoplocal (#amiright?)
We also made a new partner this weekend which always brings us so much joy. On Thursday, we got to hang out at Mavis Wine Co. in Rogers. Mavis is a relatively new wine bottling company. We were thrilled to be one of their first vendors to setup at their Ladies' Night Event with Ozark Axe House. Be sure to check them out. Visit Mavis Wine Co's website here and Ozark Axe House's website here.
We will be back at Mavis on Sunday for their Mother's Day event as well as other super cool Mother's Day events around NWA. Check out our "Tour Schedule" for Mother's Day Weekend.
Finally, today is a very special day. If you didn't see this morning's posts, today is Simplicity owners Kathy and Rick's 30th Wedding Anniversary. Wow! Simplicity Lavender Farm is a family business (from our family to yours) and whatever we do, we always do it together. Here's to another 30 years together!
See you soon!
Until then, stay well!
We are so excited to share with you lots of updates and information about us, our farm, and our products. We are just starting out, so please give us some time to settle into our posting routine. Check back often for new posts.