Growing Lavender in the Middle of the Country (Transcript ep 315)

June 1, 2022

This transcript accompanies the audio from our conversation on a lavender farm. You can see photos and video of the farm, as well as hear audio of it on this post about the lavender farm I visited just outside St. Louis.

Mon, 5/30 12:21PM • 34:57


lavender, people, plant, farm, nice, herbs de provence, grow, gift shop, tomatoes, thought, bloom, winter, row, louis, put, cafe, dry, variety, teas, culinary


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender, Grounded by the Farm


Grounded by the Farm  00:03

Food is more than just what’s on our plate. It’s the places where it’s grown. It’s the people who grow it and so much more. Join me, Janice person, your host on grounded by the farm every other week as we talk about the foods we love. Everybody this week, I took a short drive outside of St. Louis just headed west as if I was going to Kansas City. But way way before I got to Columbia or anything, I came to long row lavender farm. And I have to tell you, it’s one of those things that I found it on Instagram, I had had some friends that said they went to a lavender farm. So then I was like, I saw this one. And I thought I have to go there. Now how I then wormed my way into Tracy’s business and able to get here on a day when they’re closed. So I actually could talk to her as a small family run business. They take the first of the week to like, gather back up steam and head into the rest of the week. They do a lot of hospitality. And right now like the lavender is trying to get all of it stuff going on. So we’ve got some incredible video, you’re gonna want to watch that on the website. But I want to welcome Tracy to the show. Tracy, thank you for having me out. This is really one of the most picturesque farms I think I’ve been to in a while. Oh,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  01:23

my goodness, thank you so much for having me. I appreciate it. And I, you know, we love it to my husband. I just love being here and want people to feel that way when they walk on the property.


Grounded by the Farm  01:34

So how did you decide to start something like this? A lavender farm is not what I think of when I think of middle America. Yes, that’s


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  01:42

so funny that you would ask because never in our wildest dreams, we think destination place lavender Cafe gift shop that was just not on our radar. We honestly bought the 15 acres back in 2007. And we just we have four kids. Yeah. And we thought we want them to be outside with us. We want them to grow vegetables and work the land and just be with us. And that was motivation. So you were city people before? Yes. You know, we had both grown up kind of in the suburbs. So you know you live in a subdivision and enjoy that life. And we were able to live out here with three acres and then the 15 acres behind us became for sale. And so we jumped on it. And then we thought now what do we do? And so we just started putting in vegetables and we had the kids come and help us. But then all the other animals would come out and help us to and how to everything. So that’s


Grounded by the Farm  02:41

really how I got city, my tomatoes have the same thing.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  02:45

I mean, they’re everywhere, honestly. But then I was reading like all of this is kind of happening at the same time. And, and my husband I had lived in California, and we’re back here in the Midwest, because that’s where our families are from. And my mother had bought me a Midwest living subscription to kind of acclimate me back. You know, yeah, garden.


Grounded by the Farm  03:07

Again, in the south.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  03:09

Midwest, living, yes, Midwest living. And so, in one of those issues, they featured lavender farms in the United States. And I was like, What in the world? I mean, you know, it’s a magazine. So it’s like page after page beauty. And, and I thought, then I read that the deer and the raccoons will not eat lavender. And I’m like, this is the plant. Yeah. So this is the plant for us. So never, never did we think oh, well, the lavender.


Grounded by the Farm  03:36

What was it that you loved lavender so much. I just want the animals to


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  03:41

eat our stuff. So I’m like, What can we do? What can we plant that they would leave alone? And that’s and that was really the motivation? And then of course, anytime we would go on vacation. Yeah, we would Google lavender farms that near us. And we would go and visit and then of course you’re you’re very inspired and motivated. And you talk to other growers. And you’re like, Oh, I think we could do this. So then we start going to farmers markets. And people love lavender. It’s it’s kind of a novelty. Yeah, it’s it’s kind of a niche market.


Grounded by the Farm  04:20

So you started planting some and that started planting more.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  04:24

We did and I’m and we were just learning, and we would have lost but it was there was so much excitement around it that we just kept going. We just kept putting plants in the ground and my very first farmers market I sold $150 worth of sachets and lavender. Wow. I know. And I was very encouraged by that. $150 and, you know, of course all six of us have to be there. It’s the hottest day of the summer. The kids are like, Oh, why? That we go and people loved it. And that winter my husband said you’re gonna have to learn How to make something that’s consumable. Yeah. Because not everyone wants dried lavender, right? Like, what are we doing? Where are you? Where are you going? Yeah, to think about growth. Yes. And so I took that winter and learned how to make lip balm and body butter and sugar scrub and how to make some things. Yeah, then I went back to the farmers market. And we just grew it from there. And, and I remember that next season, I told my husband, I said, I am not going to learn one more product until we get a logo. Because this is just looks like


Grounded by the Farm  05:31

it was the next step. And it would have a name of a company already we did.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  05:35

So the name came from, honestly, this intandem of growing all these vegetables and like trying to investigate lavender. So we had, I don’t know who we are, but we grew 190 feet of tomatoes. So I don’t know why. We just there’s only six of us. But we had tomatoes like you would not believe like boxes and boxes of tomatoes. I’d put up all this salsa, salt, I mean, pasta sauces, I mean, just a lot of tomato. So we decided we’re gonna go to the farmers market up in our neighborhood. And we’re going to sell these tomatoes, all six of us. This is what we’re doing. This is our very first farmers market before lavender is even a thing. And we are one of two vendors. So we’re like this could be a terrible day. And it was we literally had one gun store. And there one already had Yeah, that’s demurred. So we had one customer and that guy comes up at Southwest and I said, the tomatoes are free. You can just have them, please just take these tomatoes. And he looks at our son who is probably about 10 years old at the time. And he goes, where did you get all these tomatoes? And our children were just done with us at this point. They made us just pick them off. And he says one very long row. And I thought at this point, we’re trying to find a name for our lavender. And like what about long row lavender? And that’s how it came to be. That’s funny. And so.


Grounded by the Farm  07:00

So your son created that. Yes.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  07:03

Out of exasperation? Yes, yes. For one exasperation. So and he gives us a hard time now because you know, house we’ve spoken that we’ve reoriented the rows. Yes. Like what are you going to call it now? Mom short row lavender? What’s going on? You know, it’s like, what have you done?


Grounded by the Farm  07:19

It’s a branding. It’s a breathing,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  07:21

babe. Come on. So anyway, we decided to do a brand. Yeah. And that allowed me to stop buying labels at Walmart and like, move. Yeah, yeah. Move to a different level of, of product. Yeah. So and


Grounded by the Farm  07:36

experience Phenix?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  07:37

Yes, it looked more high end looks like I knew what I was doing. I was trying. So it just moved us forward.


Grounded by the Farm  07:47

So you started out doing farmers markets and stuff? And then at some point, you decided to build the gift shop or did you? That’s correct. Yeah.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  07:57

So you know, we did farmers markets for years, probably about four or five years. And people just loved it. Loved it. We expanded what we offered to folks what we were making, and we’d always wanted a barn. Yeah, just for us, personally, beautiful bar. Thank you. Thank you. I mean, the kids were gonna have a basketball goal. I mean, we had all these aspirations that are not happening. But we just wanted a barn and so we, but we knew that having people to the farm was going to be a real life change. Yeah. And a commitment. Yeah, it is. And what does that look like was young children, maybe one driver, but your youngest is still pretty young, like what does that look like as a mother to have a business that people are going to come visit you. And you have to be open and be consistent in order to maintain some momentum. And so we sat down for dinner one night, we gone out to dinner, just chat and I, and we like looked at the pros and cons and decided, are we going to do this? Are we going to commit to having people come to the farm, and we it was a risk, but we took it and we called and we knew what company we wanted to build the barn. We knew all of those pieces. And so this was 2015 and it was built over the winter of 2015. Then in 2016, actually may 27 of 2016 We opened the gift shop


Grounded by the Farm  09:26

Yeah, and have folks come so I think when when people think of lavender, two things come to mind. One is like dryer sheets that have a lavender scent, or something like that. Right? Like, you know, just there’s a scent that’s not always really related to the plant. Correct. And then the color purple. Yes. A certain shade of the color purple, right? Yes. So how far off is that from reality?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  09:52

It’s pretty far off.


Grounded by the Farm  09:54

Yes, guys are like Danis you’ve lost your mind.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  09:59

Yeah, So it’s pretty far off. But well lavender, you know that artificial lavender fragrance that just I don’t even know what’s going on there, but it cannot touch. The real thing. I mean, even when we were out walking in the field, just running your hands through the flower and like smelling your hands and the fragrance it’s putting in the air. It’s just, it’s something that God created that cannot be replicated right, in an artificial way. And so I would encourage anyone, Google those lavender farms and see or shoot at Home Depot when you see a lavender plant for sale, just run your hands through it, just do it. It smells so good. It’s not gonna hurt the plant, it will not hurt the plant and you don’t have to grind the plant. You just your fingers are not trying to damage it. We’re just trying to smell it. So that and then the color purple. So lavender varieties, there’s just over 400 Different dried out. Yes, I mean, and we’re just scratching the surface on everything we do with lavender. There’s so much diversity with it. We’re just barely, we’re just barely scratching the surface of what can be done. But the plant can come in all shades of whites, pinks, purples, yellows, which will not grow in our zone. So don’t, don’t, don’t don’t even try it. We can’t even find it so that there’s so much variety different shades of blues and purples and Heather’s and grays just it’s just lovely. It is such a diverse plant. Yeah. I mean, if you can make a candle with something and eat it. I mean, you don’t I mean, it’s like there’s so much diversity. But the point


Grounded by the Farm  11:38

you make do you make candles?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  11:40

I? Candles? I mean, just to say you learned


Grounded by the Farm  11:43

to make bombs and stuff. Yes. weren’t far.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  11:46

There weren’t far. But honestly, there are people that who can do things better. And I just found someone who’s so much better at that, that art. And I thought, you know, what, could you make candles for me? And she does. And so yes, yes. Can you make a lavender scented candle? Yes. And so I, we learned a long time ago that we there only so many hours a day, everybody knows this. You’re only one person. And you can’t do everything well, and you were never designed to do everything well. And so we pick and choose what we do. We try to try new things and see if we can do them. But usually something has to go.


Grounded by the Farm  12:25

Yeah. So. So it’s a small business. How many people are on your team here? Like


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  12:30

oh, so there’s you and J Yes. There’s Chad and I and of course our kids will help out when we can our youngest to still work for us. They’re like, yeah, the payroll they are working for us. Sometimes they just do things because you know, we’re a family and we need help. Yeah, but we have 17 people on staff part time. Yeah. But they they make this place possible. Anytime I hire someone, I’m like, I need two things from you. I only need two things from you. I need you to be really nice to people. When they walk in, I need you to understand that they are created in God’s image. And I want you to be respectful. Yeah, even if you are, I don’t know, even even having a really bad day.


Grounded by the Farm  13:14

I in a way. And


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  13:15

I just need you to be kind to people. And then I need you to keep this place really clean. Yeah. Because no one’s going to come back if there’s a dirty bathroom, because why would they travel all this way


Grounded by the Farm  13:25

to eat someplace?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  13:26

Someplace where it’s not clean? Yeah, I’m like, so those are the two priorities. I’ll teach you everything that you need to know about lavender. And but I need those two things.


Grounded by the Farm  13:36

Going into it a little bit. We haven’t mentioned the cafe. But yes, we’re sitting actually in the cafe right now. And which is got its closed? Because I’m sure it gets pretty festive in here. Yeah, like a little bit allowing food. But so tell me how you decided to start a cafe.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  13:54

That’s so funny that you would ask that because this was we had the gift shop. It was open for three years. And it was just me standing at the gift shop, waiting for people to come in.


Grounded by the Farm  14:06

Just me. So helping the kids with the homework. Make a man that was


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  14:10

so so funny building reads while someone wrote a book, whatever. But people would come and people especially would come from St. Louis. Yeah. And they would say, you know, we’ve driven an hour and we’re really hungry. And where can we eat? And I’m thinking oh, no, I mean, I can make you 11 Or chocolate chip cookie.


Grounded by the Farm  14:27

Here you go. But they’re a vendor. Yeah, chocolate chip.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  14:31

Yes. This is another conversation. We will. I’m writing it down, okay. But they would say, you know, where can we go eat? We don’t really want to go further west. Yeah. And we don’t really want fast food. I mean, we can get fast food at home. You know, we’d like something. It’s just an experience. were even a day date. And I mean, people would ask pretty regularly, and we were at the same time running out of storage. So we had built this barn but we didn’t build basement. And so I was running out of storage. Where do I put things? Yeah, we were expanding. We were having classes here and nice. So it was like, Okay, where do you put the tables and the chairs? And yeah, when you need to change for different events. And so we thought, okay, let’s expand. So let’s put on a lien to which was going to add another 1000 square feet. Yeah, we were going to put on a bill like a 400 square foot kitchen and a cafe and we thought that’ll be plenty. This will be perfect. And of course, within one year, we’re out of space. Yeah, that’s fine. That’s another problem for another day. But that’s how the cafe came to be. Yeah.


Grounded by the Farm  15:38

Well, it’s a small cafe but you have lots of outdoor seating for the good time of year which Missouri typically has a large season. Yes. Spring, summer and fall where people because you have some that shaded Yes,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  15:52

we do. We have some on the north side of the buildings kind of night get a nice breeze. We’ve got patio seating down by our pond that’s got a canopy. So it is nice. And so the cafe was a game changer honestly, for us, because you offer people food and they will linger. And they have come they will come to Yes, they will come and then I when they hear


Grounded by the Farm  16:16

you have a chocolate chip, I made a lavender.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  16:22

It’s so good. It’s so good. Because lavender is an herb from the mint family. So when you pair it with chocolate, that’s that essence that you’re gonna taste. So if you’re into lavender, or if you’re into MIT, then you’re like,


Grounded by the Farm  16:36

imagine that they’re in the same family because I’ve cussed meant so many times in my backyard as well. You should have somebody planted it in a raised bed before I bought the house and I did not know. Yes. Well, you’ll just have to. I mean, I’ve had to nuke the backyard. But lavender, I wouldn’t have had the same, right. Like feeling about


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  16:58

  1. I mean, it’ll you know, it doesn’t Oh, but it doesn’t have that same row and it doesn’t have the longevity that met Mentos like I will outlast you. It’s terrible.


Grounded by the Farm  17:07

It in the cockroaches. Yes. But so, but lavender grows in bunches. Whereas men will just scatter every Yes.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  17:16

Yes. So lavender is actually a shrub. So it’s going to have once it it has becomes an adult plant, which takes about two or three years, it’s going to have a woody base, then send up its its leaves from and then it’s going to have its flowers come


Grounded by the Farm  17:36

from those. Yeah, it’s so different to me than lent me the mentors. And so I’m still trying to process that. But so tell me, what are the different kinds of things so chocolate is an easy one and sound? Yes. I thought immediately when I was feeling it and smelling it outside, I thought of focaccia bread, like with Mary’s absolutely like that. Right. So is it? Is it part of that same herb family that you think of like herbs for valse?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  18:08

That’s exactly right. It pairs very well. In fact, lavender is part of the herbs and that that I think there’s like five different herbs and herbs de provence. So very good. And pastas, marinade marinates. Pizza sauces, we actually put it on our salad. So we do a garden salad here and we’ll do a sprinkle of herbs de provence, it’s just it’s almost like a salt substitutes is a little bit of a fresh herbal flavor


Grounded by the Farm  18:35

that people tend to equate like a sweetness, I think with lavender. I don’t know why.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  18:41

Yeah, and it really can’t be done for both. I mean, you can do like the savory dishes, because it’s a great replacement for rosemary. Yeah, so if you’re gonna do like a rosemary chicken, you could do a live lemon. So you could do like a


Grounded by the Farm  18:53

lavender like chicken. Molly was supposed to come with me. Yes. She said she loves lavender pork chops.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  19:00

Oh, sent the recipe, please.


Grounded by the Farm  19:03

Well, she wanted me to gather all of your recipes.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  19:06

That’s fine. That’s fine. Oh, I got some I definitely have some was this is where Pinterest is your friend. You just kind of Google and see what someone has done. Yeah. And but yes, it’ll definitely pair well in a savory dish. Yeah. And then like our ham sandwich. So we have a we serve it on a Milton bread, which I’m sure has sugar in it because it’s kind of sweet. Yeah. And then the salt from the ham and the Swiss cheese. Then we do lettuce and tomato with herbs de provence. And again, it just gives that little punch of herbs. Yeah, and that savory sweet sandwich. Wow. So it’s really good.


Grounded by the Farm  19:44

I’m impressed. I’m Ira again. I gotta come on here. This is like it’s all a big ploy. That’s awesome. That is awesome. So I’m looking and I see all the coffees and hot choc gluts, and teas and all of those things. Well, maybe not coffee, but tea pairs really well with it. Yes,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  20:09

yeah. So we have a line of teas from my gal, a local gal blooming with joy Tea Company. And she blends these teas for us, you can only get them here online from us. And so she uses lavender in the tea blends. And so I think we have seven different varieties that she blends for us. And they all have lavender in them. And then our coffee actually is from cole these roasting company in St. Louis. Yes. And so they do I love them because they provide all of our training, they they do like best practices with us and help us make sure that our water is filtered properly so that people are getting a really good cup of coffee, then what we would do is take that coffee and make like a lavender bloom latte which is lavender simple syrup and vanilla, simple syrup. And then of course your your cream from your milk or oat milk or almond milk. So then we tweak things. So like right now we’re doing a lavender while we’re doing a cold brew with lavender foam on top. So really fun drinks that will do in the summer. And in the fall, we’ll do you know your traditional pumpkin and such but so not everything is lavender here. So if you come and you’re like I’m actually allergic, never fear, we have regular things. But also, you can


Grounded by the Farm  21:30

you know, the herbs left off if you just wanted a ham and cheese sandwich.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  21:34

You absolutely can do that. And yeah, I mean, there’s PB and J if you really want that, there’s totally fine. So we’ve got it all.


Grounded by the Farm  21:42

I love it. So what’s the sort of long term view like you’re, you’re doing different foods and stuff you and I taught? Some of it is things that you grow here are different things. And some of it is lavender that you purchase in because food is hard.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  21:59

Yes, yes, food is hard. And I mean, we’ve been really blessed with a lot of people coming out. I’ve been very blessed to see the amount of folks coming out. So our small farm cannot handle the amount of lavender that is needed to make we make our own lavender simple syrup, we make our own fresh squeezed lemonade. Yeah. So in order to provide for folks, we do have to purchase lab culinary lavender in order to make all of the food


Grounded by the Farm  22:31

and make that happen a lavender you explain to me because I did not know much about it on the front end is a little bit different, because you really need that consistency


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  22:40

you do. So that’s really what we’re looking to do. Yes, I can pick my lavender, dry it, clean it, sift it and put it in our baked goods and our lavender, simple syrups we for sure can do that. But only for about a month. Because we’ve got so many folks coming out which we’re really thankful for. But what I’m wanting is a consistency of flavor. And so I don’t have a consistency of growth on the farm. So some varieties grow better than others and that some varieties are babies right now. And I’m not going to get a huge Bloom from them. And so instead of stopping production, then that’s why we buy in so that there’s consistency across the board with flavor consistency with our simple syrup with our mixes with the herbs de provence, anything that we are allowing people to ingest. We want that same flavor.


Grounded by the Farm  23:32

Yeah, exactly. And that that to me, it sounds it sounds so normal, it makes so much sense. And yet, they get to really get to know lavender by coming here. So not all the lavender is grown here but you get to know it you get to see different varieties. Yes, most of us don’t have much of that around this right like maybe seen lavender. Maybe we want to grow lavender. What would we need to know?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  24:00

Oh, that’s a great question. So what you need to know is that lavender is a lot like you This is why I tell people unlike so if you don’t like to have your feet wet consistently There you go. That’s how lavender feels. It does not want to have its roots wet. I love it. So a well drained soil. It’s key.


Grounded by the Farm  24:20

And if you’re gonna put it in a pot make sure you got some rocks at the bottom. Yeah, water get


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  24:25

off drain hole. Yeah, please. A drain hole would be great. Yeah, you know it wants to be watered. But it doesn’t want to be over watered. So to be able to get the water onto its roots and then let it drain is the best situation so we will will burn up the soil that we’re going to put the lavender in just to give the lab and the room



we say row up in the car. Do you okay bro, what


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  24:50

up thank you just throw that thing up and give it some room. And so that’s key. You know the first few weeks Maybe plant would like some rain, but like some watering, so if you’re planting it in a drier season, I would make sure that you’re watering it pretty consistently. But I would say after a month, it’s nice and established. And you just, yeah, don’t overwater. It doesn’t love that it wants a dry, arid situation. So if you’re, you know, you know, for the home gardener, I’d stick my finger in the soil. Yeah, see if it’s dry. Yeah. And if it’s dry water it if it’s not leave


Grounded by the Farm  25:28

it alone and don’t over water, or there’s a lot of water sitting up on the top of them now.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  25:32

Because once it has root rot, it’s done. Yeah. And it just not very forgiving. And that area. Yeah, and it’ll just yield, it’ll just succumb. But full sun, six to eight hours of sun per day. And then, otherwise, it’s a pretty easy plant, it wants a sandy loamy soil and you pretty much can’t buy that at the store, you got to create it. Yeah. And we do that by soil testing and once a pH level of about seven. And so wherever you’re on the spectrum, you might want to add organic matter or lime to get your pH, right. And then


Grounded by the Farm  26:11

same kind of people that grow hydrangeas would be really good at this.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  26:15

Yes, that’s right. That’s right. And just just that watering is key. Roots beings set and water. And if you just think about it, if it’s a hot, humid day, your lavender is gonna look like it’s unhappy. And that’s how you feel. So I always think lavender acts like us.


Grounded by the Farm  26:36

Why? Look? Do you like the winter? Yeah, so yeah, lavender doesn’t like winter much either.





Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  26:44

It’s like kind of a fair weather plan. Like what does like 7080 degree


Grounded by the Farm  26:48

day likes the perfect. Yes, that’s


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  26:51

right. So, yes, so we do cover our lavender over the winter, we’ll do like a frost blanket over the top with hoops because you don’t want you know, like sitting on it. You don’t want it sitting on it. Because if it snows or ice, it’s gonna break the plant. And then of course, you got a whole new set of problems when, when that happens. So we’ll hoop it up and then put, put the frost blanket over.


Grounded by the Farm  27:13

Yeah, yeah. And I noticed we saw some of the newer plants out there, you have like a plastic mulching yes down. Is that to limit how much water is on it in the spring? Or what is that


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  27:24

about? That is actually just a weed barrier. Okay, that’s all it is. It’s just to help as you’re to go out. Yes. Just helps us because then once we actually put the weed barrier, we burn up or we roll up, we roll up our rows. And then we will burn for the torch a little hole. Yeah, and then put the plant and then once that plant gets larger than the whole, the weeding is just not an issue, because it’s just crowded everything out of the sunlight. So yeah. All right, how we do it.


Grounded by the Farm  27:56

So we talked a little bit about there are a lot of different varieties. I didn’t ask you when we’re talking about if you’re gonna plan at home, which ones would you recommend? Yeah, that’s part of the world.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  28:06

So in this part of the world, I would definitely recommend phenomenal. It is a hybrid. And so it has been, you know, made to withstand the humidity and to help it last through the winter. Yeah, it’s gonna have really nice long, probably 18 to 20 inch long stem so they’re really great for bundles. It can be used as culinary. So if you wanted to let the if you wanted to harvest it, let the beds dry and D bedded on off of the plant. You could use it for culinary when you’re hungry


Grounded by the Farm  28:37

for culinary. Do you only take the parts that are the flower or do you take the stems?


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  28:42

You just take the flower? Okay. And now once they’re dry, it’s really easy to get them off. Yeah.


Grounded by the Farm  28:47

Yeah. Like everything else, right? You dry flowers? Like come on. Really? Yes.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  28:51

Yes. Yes. very fragile. Yes.


Grounded by the Farm  28:55

way faster than you want to


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  28:58

write much more delicate than you think. Nominal is


Grounded by the Farm  29:00

a really good, yes. If you wanted something different. What else are you guys planting


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  29:06

here? So we plant hidcote blue, which is an English lavender, and that’s going to get about 12 to 18 inches long. That’s really kind of its signature shorter stem that the hidcote Blue has a really beautiful head on it. That’s a deep, deep, deep purple. So


Grounded by the Farm  29:23

that is like pretty people think of in books and things like Yeah,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  29:27

right. Yes. We also grow Provence, which typically does very well in this area. We’ve not had a whole lot of luck with it. But please don’t take our word for it. I mean, because sometimes it’s just human error, but it’s short rows, maybe we are short rows. I mean, maybe it’ll go better or telling you so but yes, I’m hoping that’s been a really good decision to reorient those rows but Provence is a really nice variety more of a heather gray. Bloom really great for sachets, really fragrant and then the other variety that we grow is called months stead and that’s a really pretty English lavender as well. You could


Grounded by the Farm  30:03

talk about lavender all day.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  30:04

I really could. I’m like, if I kept coming up with Yeah, if you kept coming up with questions, I’ll have an answer, I’m sure. No, I love it. I’ll tell you one thing. People are all time asking how to prune it, how to take care of it. And so it is very important to prune for the health of your plant. So we will cut it back. So we’ll take the blooms, okay. And then we’re gonna cut it back about two more inches, okay, off of the grain. And you’re what you’re going to be left with is a little ball. Okay? And that’s what you want. Because now over the winter, it’s going to send that energy down to its roots to be nice and tight. So if you have an ice storm, it’s not as


Grounded by the Farm  30:46

likely to speed it tall ones. Yeah, like that to get damaged. Yeah, so because if you


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  30:51

don’t do that, especially year one, year two, when they’re little, your plant is going to become leggy. And it’ll still bloom, but it’s going to give you like 10 blooms, as opposed to 100 blooms. So it’s just going to be different


Grounded by the Farm  31:05

summing it back. Like in the fall after it,


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  31:09

yes, you can trim in the spring, but I think trimming in the fall is beneficial because then you’re just ready in the right time. It does. And then once they’re large, like you saw some large plants out there three feet diameter, that’s more like a, like a boxwood. You’re just going to take a hedge trimmer and kinda kinda



remember, you’re not using


Grounded by the Farm  31:29

scissors now you’re not.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  31:32

You’re fully committed at this point. So


Grounded by the Farm  31:34

get the DeWalt tools. Yes, yeah. I love it. I love it. That’s so funny. Well, thank you so much. You guys are here open Wednesdays through


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  31:44

Saturday when 10 for 10 to four. And then we offer lunch 11 to two, but you can come anytime and get coffee and dessert that is always available.


Grounded by the Farm  31:53

coffees and desserts are always on my list to me. Yes. But really nice for us summer, kind of. Yeah, nice and easy kind of moment to take away. And then in today’s world, so many more of us have flexibility to not just come on the weekends, right? So those Wednesdays, Thursdays Fridays, when I see kids are getting out of school and stuff like that so easy to take a short drive not so long that people get really impatient in the car. If you’re from St. Louis Yes, maybe a little further from Kansas City. But it could be worth the drive.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  32:27

It’s worth the drive. I would say I would say that. We joke but I do take it a little bit serious that when people get off of the airplane, at the St. Louis airport, I’m always like, I want them to say I’m gonna go to the zoo. And I’m gonna go to the lavender farm. And that’s where I want them to come. I want them to come see us.


Grounded by the Farm  32:47

Well, before they get here in person, they should check out your Instagram, because you guys are big on Insta. You also have a Facebook page is there somewhere else that website websites where they can also shop for things. So if they’re planning their trip to St. Louis, and they want to get a little sneak peek, they could order a few things off the way.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  33:05

Absolutely. And there’s a frequently asked questions on our website that just helps you navigate what to expect when you get


Grounded by the Farm  33:11

here. Yeah. Great. And it’s long grow



It’s so easy. So easy. So lavender on everything.


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  33:19

This is like getting that logo, remember. Yeah,


Grounded by the Farm  33:22

you got the branding, we


Tracy Smith Long Row Lavender  33:23

got the brand name, we did it.


Grounded by the Farm  33:24

Tracy, thank you so much for having us. I hope if as you listen to this, if friends came in mind that you think would really like these kinds of chocolate chips, and all those different things that pair with lavender, hit share and send them this episode and tell them maybe you guys should plan a trip to come out. If you’re not from the area know Southwest Airlines will get you into that airport that she’s telling you about. All right, you can see the zoo, which is amazing. You can also see the arch if you wanted some history, ball games or something. But also come out and make sure you see the lavender at Longborough lavender. Before we let you go I wanted to remind you or have video on the website grounded by the and putting some of that out on social media. So hope you guys are interested in sharing one tip if you’re in the middle of the country, we recorded this at the end of May I am rushing it through to get it to you ASAP. Because now is good time when you should come out. It’s going to go on for a while. But this early June set is when you start seeing the blooms on lavender. So our video has a lot of green. You’re gonna start seeing that purple. I’m gonna be back out there and know you’ll enjoy it too. Thanks, Tracy. I appreciate your being with us. Thank you for having me.

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