Time To Put The Plants To Bed For The Winter

We are so happy to have the cool crisp fall weather return after having such high temps in mid September. As much as we love the summer months on the farm, there is something soothing about laying the lavender to rest for the winter months. Those lovely mounds of green bushes, nestled in their neat rows surrounded by the white pea gravel have a way of satisfying my need for a symmetrical look. It just feels very Zen to me.

We are working on our goals for the end of this year and all of next year. I have to admit that it has been more then a little scary thinking about going into debt building the barn/shop. It is uncanny that every time I begin to panic about this, something happens in our lives that will support our decision to grow into an agritourism site. This happens time and again with regularity. I will tell you though that I had a discussion with God. In this discussion with Him I said, “God, you seriously need to hit me in the head with a brick when I begin to doubt myself about doing this farm thing.” I just kept/keep having serious doubts about this farm turning into a thriving business and He constantly gave us large signs that we need to move forward with His plan. The lesson we are learning is that when the Big Guy talks, we need to listen!

So I wrote the above two paragraphs at the end of September. Since that time our country has suffered another mass shooting tragedy. The heartbreak is palpable. It is hard to put into words how this tragedy has strengthened my resolve to open this farm up to you. One of the biggest goals has been to provide a place of peace and reflection. We want friends and neighbors to enjoy time together in a safe zone, where the kids can learn about our plants and bees.

As with any of these instances we ask ourselves why/how a person could become such a monster. What happened in their life? What happened to their brain? Just simply we ask why….

Obviously these questions will be hashed out on the news. His life will be picked to pieces in the hopes for an answer to this question so that it can be prevented in the future. I suppose you’re wondering why the lavender farmer lady is discussing such a deep subject in what should be a light hearted blog about a lavender farm. Well, that is a great question, and here is why. I want to make this farm about growing healthy minds and souls. I want to have it be a place that people know they can come to when they are stressed, worried, or unsure about life. I want it to center people within themselves so that when they leave here they feel better about themselves. I want them to leave feeling like they can achieve their goals, enjoy their families, and project peace to others.

 We had several young people out here a few weeks ago to help us wrap up a few things on the farm. It was a horribly hot weekend with temperatures in the mid 90’s. The kids ranged in age between 14-17 yrs. old. Every one of those kids worked hard along side Scott and I. But you could see each one of these kids had their own way of going about doing a job.

Some of the kids would take my directions, watching me intently and quickly absorbing what I was showing them. These kids had confidence and began working slowing at a diligent pace.

Others would be playing with the tools I had handed them, not looking at me, seeming to not be paying attention to me at all. I was used to this because I have a son with Asperger’s syndrome. These kids don’t look you in the eye when you talk to them but they typically are listening. I assumed these kids were listening, it just didn’t seem like it. Well, not so much. I asked them if they could show me what I just demonstrated. They couldn’t. So I demonstrated again. They rushed through the work in record time, leaving me concerned about the quality of the job. Lets just say that these kids had a hard time focusing on the task at hand and I had to send them back to redo the entire row a second time, re-instruct or prod them to move along.

So you would assume that the “hard workers” are the ones that we would invite back. The others we would not. Nope, you assume wrong. I want them all to come back. I was one of those lame, non-focusing, slow crappy workers!! I seriously sucked at most of my first time jobs. When I worked at Arby’s at the Crossroads mall they got so sick of me that they delegated me to the refrigeration room to mop. Little did they know that I had never used one of those floppy topped mops that you have to squeeze out all of the water. (Heck, I don’t think I had ever mopped in my life before that) They came to check on me an hour later and it looked like a flood had occurred. There was water EVERYWHERE! LOL. My hours were severely cut after that to the point that I ended up quitting. Honestly, that happened to me at several of my jobs.

I want these kids back so I can give them a chance to learn. I want them walking out of here having learned new skills, increased confidence and new friends. I also want them to learn that you need to focus, work hard and pay attention. None of this will happen if I give up on them when they don’t meet expectations the first time. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I want to tease out the strengths and highlight what they can achieve. I want them to feel like this farm is a safe place. I want to make it so that when they get their next job the boss is highly impressed that they “catch on” quickly and become an asset to the company. I want to help these kids grow into productive, honest, friendly and helpful adults. Empower them with confidence and the ability to teach others these skills. So in our small way, I am hoping that we can help these kids work through the feelings of loneliness, self-doubt and fear in a safe way.

Mattawan is an amazing community with such a wonderful base of good honest people. We want to give back and help the community grow. Thank you for taking the time to read this rather long blog.



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