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:
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!
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.
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!!
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.