The majority of our summer was spent weeding and attending craft shows, fairs, and farmers' markets. We have met a ton of great people and made some really good business connections. We learned so much this summer. We are finding our niche and settling in nicely.
What I found out at that first sale, and at every sale since then, is that people are awesome. They are kind and supportive even if they aren't buying anything. People love hearing our story and Jerry sure loves telling it! They are genuinely curious and interested in hearing more. They want to be able to visit the farm. I think later this summer when the plants are blooming and we have an open house, we will have more visitors than we even imagined.
At this point in preparations we were struggling. The weather had NOT been cooperating. It rained almost every day for a week at the time we were supposed to be getting the manure and lime spread, so we were already about a week behind. After going down the first row with the shaper, we ended up with a small pile, but nothing like the 12" mound we were envisioning at all. The pile was much wider and squared off at the top, and also not packed down at all. It turned out that the rototiller we used did not dig down far enough to bring up enough loose dirt to completely fill the bed shaper. The plates are not height adjustable, so we had to work with the 12" that we had.
The first week of May 2018 it was finally time to get our field ready for planting. After the soil analysis we had done back in the fall, we knew we were going to need to add lime and horse manure to our soil to make it friendly for the lavender. We decided that even if it took more time and/or money, we were going to do everything we possibly could upfront to get these plants to survive. We had given ourselves 2 years to make this work, but if our first plants didn't make...
According to the US Lavender Grower's Association, there are over 45 different species of lavender with over 450 varieties. To decide which would be the best variety for us, we needed to do a lot of research on which types would grow best in our climate, produce the most essential oil (for use in products we'd be making), be good for culinary use, and of course look and smell amazing both fresh and dried. That's not too much to ask of one flower, is it?