With its refreshing smell and vibrant flowers, lavender is among the most easily recognizable plants. It’s also one of the most versatile herbs you can grow because it has medicinal, aesthetic, and culinary purposes.
Aaron and Laura McReynolds moved to Wisconsin in 2014 and purchased land in Baraboo to begin their lavender farm in 2015. Now, New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm is doing well and provides visitors with relaxation and delicious products. Aaron and Laura share more about how they started their business and how they got to where they are today.
When moving to Wisconsin seven years ago from Kansas, Laura was inspired by a picture she saw of a lavender field. She liked the way it was comforting and wanted to make that a reality and provide others with that same feeling. Thus, New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm was born.
“We were looking for a space that we could grow lavender that also was easy for people to get access to so this location had the right soil and is just a very easy 6 minutes to the Wisconsin Dells,” said Laura.
When Aaron and Laura first bought the land there were older farm buildings deteriorating that they tore down and started fresh with their first building, the farm store. As they began to expand so did their landscaping projects and now they have over 16,000 lavender plants.
While growth is great, the McReynolds are also facing inflation and high labor costs.
“We can successfully grow a lavender plant regardless of what things cost but when we’re taking our lavender and turning it into products it gets tough as prices rise,” explains Aaron. “The cost of making our products has skyrocketed over the last year in terms of bottles, caps, labels, and ingredients for all of our cooking items.”
The McReynolds started with a handful of products when they first opened and now have over 200 products. They continue to add products each year, sometimes even getting these ideas from their customers.
When people think of lavender many think of the aroma it provides and how it is great to use in body products, lotions, or soaps. However, lavender also adds a good flavor to your food. The McReynolds use their lavender in both ways and make their food fresh each day.
“We harvest the lavender, dry it, and then are able to use it for our products all on site,” says Aaron. “It is truly from our fields to the kitchen as we utilize a commercial kitchen to showcase the ways people can utilize lavender in their meals.”
The McReynolds make their pie filling, syrup, and lavender ice cream from scratch each morning. They recognize that growing lavender is very labor-intensive but there are a lot of healing properties to it. Lavender has been known to help people with skin issues, anxiety, insomnia, and provides aromatherapy purposes and great flavor for your favorite meals.
To learn more about New Life Lavender and Cherry Farm and plan your visit, go to their website at https://www.newlifelavender.com/.