A month ago we planted the lavender. In all honesty, the Planting Party feels like it was a year ago. June was a whirlwind of emotions, events & a creative process that I've never felt before. I spent a lot of this past weekend working, but when I wasn't, I was crying into a glass a wine about our amazing brides & the nice things they write about us on The Knot and how they 'get it' and on and on and okay I'll stop now.
Last week, Mother Nature, that silly beast that teaches me so many lessons, unloaded on us. It rained nearly an inch on Wednesday and then nearly ANOTHER inch at the farm on Friday. We had lots of cloudy skies and the bay fogged in for a full 48 hours.
It. Was. Glorious. Count on Mother Nature to give you what you need when you ACTUALLY need it, not when you want it.
A lot of people have asked about the plants. I even see some regular commuters on our road slow down sometimes to peek at the field. Needless to say, the first month of being responsible for 3,000 plants has been a roller coaster of emotions, see below....
Day 1: Once the plants were in the ground and I was drinking champagne I was pretty much set on falling asleep while standing up. But, the plants desperately needed water, and LOTS of it. We still had about 20 people at the farm, so we all wrangled hoses and gave everyone a good soaking. The plants were so tiny! So cute!
Day 2: I rolled over at 6am and asked Matt, "what if they all died last night?" They didn't. In fact, this might work!
Day 3: We spend a lot of time just looking at the field this first week. I also google "has anyone ever killed a thousand lavender plants in one day" just to see whats out there....
Day 7: We quickly realize that some of these plants are not happy. The shock from the move (3 days on a UPS truck from Washington) & some bad planting is showing its face. Matt and I have a small meltdown because 'WHAT IF THEY ALL DIE TONIGHT!?"
Day 10: We are back from a weekend long wedding. We've gotten a nice system down with watering by this point. Matt replants about 100 of the babes. They aren't in the ground deep enough to make it over the winter. I drink wine and check my phone in the shade next to the field. "I'm doing branding work and building an empire" is sometimes a line I use in moments like this.
Day 14: The 3,000 plants are divided into 3 section. Violet Intrigue, Hidcote & Phenomenal. Around the 2 week mark we can't believe our eyes but the Phenomenal can be harvested. It's not a perfect harvest, nor is the stem length anything worth writing home about, but it needs to be cut. We walk out there to see what is happening and we say to each other "so what do we do now?"
Day 15: Matt: "what the hell are we gonna do with all this lavender?"
Day 17ish: The Hidcote was the smallest when it arrived. Barely 2 inches. They should have been considered 'plugs' instead of 'plants' but all of the sudden we realize that its actually growing. Not much, but I no longer have dreams about walking out to the field and the entire Hidcote section is a big black sinkhole. (dramatic much?)
Day 20ish: We open the Flower Shed with some of the blooms we are growing around the farm & we hang 50ish bundles to dry in the shed, selling them for just $2 each. The low price is because stem length is short and its the first cut, so it isn't the much primo prime lavender, that happens year 3.
Day 21ish: I laugh because, people are OBESSED with lavender, I'm not the only one! Some woman buys like 10 bundles and makes her mom take a photo of her holding them all outside the shed. I see a little boy listening to his dad about what lavender is and then he rubs a bundle on his arm like its a snake oil elixir, you go little boy, thats what I do. This is all worth it.
Day 25: Matt is gone on a work trip and holy shit we need rain. I've mastered about 4 different accents while watering alone, I even invented a British character named Margaret. I've also brainstormed a dozen or so recipes that involve lavender and been sprayed in the face by sprinklers countless times. One night Taylor helps me and because she is an Angel the watering goes in half the time. We give everything a good soaking like usual but we both chat about how basically the field just needs a day long deluge. Because honestly, NOTHING compares to steady rain. No missed spots. No break.
Day 26: It rains an inch at the farm within 3 hours. I'm so happy I could cry. Later that day it rains nearly another entire inch. Holy smokes.
Day29: I haven't walked out to the field in a few days, contrary to popular belief, I do not spend every waking minute staring at the lavender and willing it to grow. I do spend a lot of time in the cutting garden doing that, but I'm more confident with the lavender. I decide to walk out there and see whats up and I actually YELP. Holy smokes. With the rain and a couple of cloudy days the plants have absolutely taken off, its incredible. We harvest some Violet Intrigue. The Hidcote looks amazing and I cry tears of joy.
I really do invite any of you to stop by the farm and see the field. When we are home our door is always open. Especially you crazies who spent an entire Saturday planting it all, you seriously will not believe the change.
Peace, Love & Lavender.
oh PS: We are looking for people who can SEW, make soap, make body products, etc to be on our team this winter to help prepare product for the shop. It's not a crazy high paying gig but you will be reimbursed for your crafting time this winter & all materials are provided, plus you get to work at home with no bra on and while wearing yoga pants. Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested!