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At Lavenlair, waiting on the bloom and what's next
Hometown Column

At Lavenlair, waiting on the bloom and what's next


FORT ANN — Lavender blooms in the third week of June.

Lavenlair Farm has 30 different varieties that will be ready for the picking this summer.

“We have learned so much about lavender. It’s kind of the Swiss Army knife of herbs,” said Diane Allen, who owns the farm with her husband, David. “It can be used as a food; it can be used as a fragrance. The Latin root of it is ‘lavar,’ which is ‘to wash.’ There are studies that show its antibacterial qualities.”

But the business owners are already making alternative plans in case New York is still on pause on June 17, the day the farm plans to open.

“We’re very worried. I don’t know what we’re going to do, to tell you the truth,” Allen said.

The lavender farm is usually open from mid-June until Labor Day, and sometimes into September if an Indian summer yields a second bloom.

Allen considers herself healthy, but she donated a kidney to a stranger six years ago, so a virus that causes organ failure could be catastrophic for her. They have decided not to sell their goods at farmers markets.

“Why would we put our health at risk?” Allen said.

Like other agri-tourism businesses, Lavenlair is considering making visits “by appointment only” this summer, she said.

In the meantime, the farm’s lavender products are all available on their website at Online business has been so good in the off-season that the Allens just donated $1,200 to the Cornerstone Bible Church Food Pantry in Fort Ann.

They decided to donate $1,200 because the number 12 has a significant place in their lives. The couple will celebrate their 12th wedding anniversary on Dec. 12. They were married on Dec. 12, 2008, with 12 guests in attendance. Two of them were their twin sons, who were both 12 years old.

The farm has also applied for grants to help purchase a webcam to help the farm be available this summer virtually.

“If you’re feeling stressed, listen to the birdsong and just watch the breeze flow through a couple thousand lavender plants,” Allen said.

The lavender farmers are trying not to stress until their June 17 opening date gets closer. Dave Allen also works from home as an information technology consultant.

“The crystal ball’s a little cloudy,” Allen said. “We’re kind of postponing the decision for maybe another month to see where things stand then.”

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