It started with a dream
Our families have always been close. We had this dream of starting our own business, not really knowing what that would look like, when the thought of farming came to mind on a walk home.
Heading back to our home in downtown Columbia from our community garden plot, our two-year-old daughter urged me to cross the street in order to get a closer look at a neighbor’s row of lavender. It lured her in by hitting almost all of her senses. The buzz of the bees that swarmed its blooms could be heard while still across the street. The large three-foot dome of beautiful purple spikes drew her to touch it and release its sweet scent. I stopped to observe the plant row with her and the question came to me… is it possible to farm this in our climate? I had seen images of a lavender field in all its glory before, but I had never heard of a lavender farm in the U.S., let alone the Midwest. I went home and mentioned the idea to my husband, Ryan, and he answered simply with, “Well, let’s look into it.” I introduced the lavender farm idea to my sister and her husband, and they gave a similar response.
Lavender in Missouri?
Apparently, there are hundreds of lavender farms across the country but in Missouri, we only found two, and they were in opposite corners of our state. I thought that purple fields of lavender were only reserved for France, but after lots of research, we were excited by the possibilities a lavender farm had in our central Missouri town. Well, things moved fast from there and within a few months we had found a property and built our dream team. We found ourselves moving to a small river town outside of Columbia called Rocheport.
Rocheport here we come
Rocheport is French for “Rocky Port” and boasts the third largest winery in Missouri, Les Bourgeois. It was voted the Best Tiny Town in Missouri due to its Katy Trail access, award-winning restaurants, quaint B & Bs and beautiful views of the Missouri River. Ending up in this little town with so much French history and with Les Bourgeois across the street really makes us feel like God has a plan for us here. We truly feel like we couldn’t have picked a better place to start our lavender farm and raise our families.
In the spring of 2018, we planted 5 different varieties of lavender totaling about 2,000 plugs. We see the farm as a place to bring the family. Whether it’s a planned trip or a “see the sign and stop in” sort of deal. We hope to help educate the surrounding communities as we grow our farming knowledge and work to be good stewards of our land. We offer “pick your own lavender bundles” every weekend in June, as well as, private tours to schools and groups of 10 or more. We sell our lavender products at the Columbia Farmer’s Market (April-October) as well as our own storefront on the property(open during our u-pick season in June). We call ourselves The Lookout Farm. When you come by for a visit you will understand why.