Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
One of the interesting things about living in Washington County in upstate New York is that I am always discovering the unexpected. This is dairy farm and cornfield country, and the rhythm of life here is set by hardworking farmers who never seem to rest. But, you are also likely to sit next to a stranger at a community dinner and discover, as I did, that this new neighbor had played first trumpet for the New York City Ballet, and was full of the most fascinating stories and esoteric knowledge.
So, it is perhaps no surprise that there is also a lavender farm about forty minutes away from where we are. A lavender farm! The story behind Lavenlair Farm is best told by the good people who created this lovely place, but we had the pleasure of visiting it last Sunday, and were absolutely enchanted.
These lavender farmers were once from our neck of New Jersey, which is not as unusual a thing as you might expect, and is also perhaps why the true natives here roll their eyes when they first meet us and learn that, yes, we, too, are from New Jersey. Their stone farmhouse overlooks the Adirondack Mountains on one side and Vermont’s Green Mountains on the other, a thoroughly American scene…but for the lavender field in between, which felt like Provence, especially on this sunny and hot day when the scent of lavender enveloped us.
Off to one side was a lavender meditation maze, which we took our time wending our way around, breathing in lavender and listening to the humming of a thousand bees.
On the way to the maze, I had to spend time with a one room school house flanked by the most gorgeous stands of sunflowers I have ever seen.
The proprietors are full of the enthusiasm, sense of mission, and love for the countryside. Family farming is hard enough these days, but especially so for the small niche farmer, and they have all sorts of endeavors designed to sustain and grow their enterprise: from lavender based products such as honey, oils, sachets, to sunset jazz dinners. They’ve also teamed up with Cornell University to experiment with hybrid varieties of lavender that can better thrive the North Country winters. People like Diane and David fill me with such admiration.
It was hard not to be greedy while picking a bouquet of lavender to take home. I took my cue from a toddler in an enormous blue sunhat, who was content to run around admiring the blooms with just two springs of lavender clutched in his little fist.