The following article from Minivan Adventures
A Visit to Lavender Hill Farm
August 7, 2018 | By: April Berry
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Add a visit to Lavender Hill Farm to your Michigan Summer Bucket List. Take the tour, wander its labyrinth, snag some great pictures, play on the rope swing, and treat yourself to a lavender soda while you are there. This is a “Pure Michigan” adventure you won’t want to miss.
During our most recent Up North Michigan vacation, we visited Lavender Hill Farm. What a beautiful setting and an interesting experience! We can’t recommend this place enough.
Arriving at Lavender Hill Farm
Lavender Hill Farm is located at 7354 Horton Bay Rd N in Boyne City, Michigan.
Immediately upon our arrival at the farm, we were completely awed by our surroundings. The fields are lovely with their varied shades of lavender sprawled up and down the hillsides. A centrally-located large red barn completes the rural-chic feel of the location.
There are two parking lots at Lavender Hill Farm – one small set of parking spaces along a circle drive near the gift shop and a larger lot with additional parking spaces about 100 feet further up the road.
I am so glad that the small parking area near the gift shop was full. If we hadn’t parked in the additional parking lot, we might have missed the wonderful long-distance view of the lavender fields, and THAT would have been a real shame. Besides, it was a very short walk from the additional lot. (Well worth it for that view!)
Guided Farm Tour
Upon arrival, you will want to wander over to the gift shop to sign up for a golf cart tour. At the time of our visit, the Lavender Hill Farm golf cart tour cost only $4 per person, and it was money well spent. The young knowledgeable guides work on the farm and obviously enjoy what they do.
Each golf cart holds up to 5 passengers. Since there were 7 of us in our own group, we were paired up with another small group. Two golf carts promptly pulled up, and off we went.
As the two young men drove us through the fields and various farm structures, they talked about the history of the farm itself, the various processes used at the farm, fun facts about the plants, the many uses of lavender, and other interesting information.
Here are a few interesting facts I learned during our tour.
- It all started with bees. The former owners kept bees and heard that lavender is a great food source for bees. They experimented with growing a few lavender plants. It worked out well so they expanded to more fields. Soon, others began to show interest in the lavender plants and even more lavender fields were added to the farm.
- The bees working in the lavender fields are friendly and docile. They typically don’t sting even if you grab them as you are picking the lavender. (My 6yo is very scared of bees but hearing this seemed to put her at ease for the remainder of our visit there.)
- There are more than 20 varieties of lavender on the farm, and some varieties have white blooms. If you spy a sprig of white blooms on an otherwise purple plant, that is caused by cross-pollination by the bees. Our guide pointed out an example of this in the labyrinth.
- If you crush a few blooms on a lavender stalk, your fingers will smell divinely like lavender.
- Lavender plants grow well in full sun with very little water. Thus, the sandy hills of Northern Michigan are ideal for growing lavender. When it rains, water is quickly drained through the sandy soil and the rest simply rolls downhill.
- Lavender deters animals like deer and rabbits. (Hmmm. Maybe I should plant some near my garden at home.)
- The large red barn on the property is used for summer concerts, corporate events, weddings and receptions. It features a couple of slanted support beams (which was common barn architecture when it was originally built nearly 100 years ago).
RELATED: Check out this Michigan Farmer Barn Spotlight about Lavender Hill Farm.
Minivan Adventures wrote so much more wonderful things about our Farm. Please keep reading on the link: