The sunset was red, orange and yellow all mixed together into the most beautiful view one could ever imagine. Everyone tells us it was a pure Kansas sunset and we believe it but this is the end, let's start at the beginning. We are asked the question all the time: How did you get into lavender? How did you become lavender farmers? We moved back to Kathy's home town and one day we found out our neighbors were interested in selling a small parcel of land right adjacent to ours. We bought it, and then the question was, we now have this gorgeous piece of land, what do we do with it? We had it tested and it seemed appropriate for either grapes or lavender. We did some basic research (basic is the operative word) and found that deer loved grapes but hated lavender! Then we realized it takes a good five years to get a crop with grapes. but you can have a crop in one to two years with lavender! The old line we kept hearing every time we looked up grapes was “if you wanna make a little money in grapes spend a lot.” And so, after some thought, we decided to try Lavender.
Being from the New Jersey Shore, Jack knew virtually nothing about farming, and well, Kathy knew a lot more. We researched lots of types of lavender plants. Found some folks that would sell us some starter plants, and we started with some success and many failures as we worked on the farm. We built a new barn with a store; put up a hoop house(high tunnel) and as Jack says, “we don’t make the same mistake twice, we may make it seven or eight times!” It truly is a labor of love with Kathy doing the products for the store: designing, sewing, and packaging. Jack does most of the farming, with the help of a lot of terrific summer farm workers.
When we look out at the fields at night and see the beautiful purple plants, the deer walking along the edge of the field and that beautiful Kansas sunset, we feel so grateful that we made the decision to move here and to start Washington Creek Lavender. Oh yes, we continue to make many mistakes but we are still at it with the help of lots of great help!!!