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Sleepy Bees Lavender Farm

Starting Our Product Line and Website

Holly McCabe

Starting Our Product Line and Website

With the plants growing nicely and our 3 hives of bees doing well, it was time to move on to web design and product development.  We were about to find out how many things we hadn't even thought of yet!   Besides creating products from scratch and designing a new website, we needed to design a logo, create labels, figure out what kind of packaging would look great and be affordable, create spreadsheets for batch logs, inventory and costs, come up with test recipes, taking beautiful pictures, checking FDA guidelines for cosmetic products, and working with social media. I'm sure there...


The Bees Are Here!

The Bees Are Here!
We got our bees all settled in their new hive, and even though it drove us crazy not to peek in every day, we left them alone for about a week once the queen was introduced.  The queen has to be kept in her small cage for a few days until the other bees get used to her pheromones and accept her, otherwise you take the chance of the bees not liking the queen and killing her.

Time to Plant the Lavender!!!

Holly McCabe

Time to Plant the Lavender!!!

After months and months of reading and researching and preparing the plants finally arrived.  I'm a little embarrassed about how excited I got about this.  I'm sure the FedEx lady thought I was crazy when I came out to take pictures of the truck and pallet!                   We got the plants unloaded and unwrapped the pallet, and got all our little shovels, yardsticks and gloves ready for the next day.    Planting, Day 1:                   There it is!  Our very first plant, in the ground.  The first day it...


The Bed Shaper and the Mounds

The Bed Shaper and the Mounds
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. 

Prepping Fields (a nice way to say Spreading Poop)

Prepping Fields (a nice way to say Spreading Poop)

           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...