2020 - Volume #44, Issue #1, Page #06[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Lavender Crop Turned Wisconsin Farm Purple
New Life Lavender is located in rural Baraboo, not far from the Wisconsin Dells, a popular tourist destination. Laura McReynolds says their proximity to the Dells has certainly helped the business, along with lots of media coverage.
“Many people who come up to the Dells just once a year now make sure to stop in here, too,” Laura says. “That’s the biggest joy, developing those friendships.”
New Life Lavender is open seasonally, from early June to late September, Tuesday to Saturday. It’s also open for special farm tours and special events during the offseason.
“We started the business because we had a change in our lives and were looking for something that would involve our whole family.” They’d sold a pharmacy business in Kansas, moved to Wisconsin in 2014, and often drove past the 40-acre abandoned farm site. Laura grew up on a hobby farm in Wisconsin and Aron spent his youth on a large wheat and cattle ranch in Kansas, so they decided that purchasing the 40-acre tract might be a good investment. They did extensive cleaning and remodeling, then built a farm store in early 2016.
To get ideas they traveled to several lavender farms in the Midwest and spent some time in Door County on Lake Michigan. Door County is known for its cherry orchards, which gave the couple another idea.
In the spring of 2016 they planted 600 cherry trees, 4,000 lavender plants, and built a farm store. A year later they opened the business and it’s been growing ever since.
“We wanted a place for people to visit and just relax for a while,” Laura says, noting that lavender has a wonderful aroma. “People take a deep breath, decompress from their electronic devices, and connect with family and friends, face-to-face.”
One half of the store consists of a gift shop with cherry and lavender products, such as essential oils. The other half of the store has an open area for guests to relax. A café serves a delicious lavender cherry pie that Aron makes, and a popular lavender ice cream, among other items.
“I think that’s what people enjoy the most, the good food and the beauty of the store and just seeing our whole family working together,” the McReynold’s say.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm, E10766 County Rd. W, Baraboo, Wis. 53913 (ph 608 477-4023; www.newlifelavender.com).
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