Whale Rock Lavender farm started with a picture in a magazine. It was a shot taken at twilight; a multi-generational family sitting around a table on an outside patio, laughing and smiling under the lights. I couldn’t get the picture out of my head and I kept showing it to my husband Jim over and over again. It wasn’t just the visual. It was the feeling that the picture portrayed - a great, big, happy-family feeling.
So Jim built a barn. But in Jim’s usual fashion, it’s more than a barn. It is a gorgeous work of art. There is storage for our kayaks, paddle boards and outdoor furniture. There is a workshop where Jim can do woodworking. And in the middle, are wooden tables and lights, ready for our own family’s twilight dinners. There was also another section that was empty and just waiting for a project ...
Which is how we got into the lavender business. I have always loved the smell of lavender and the sight of the plants as I pull into our driveway always makes me smile. There are several kinds and some lavender is better-suited to Rhode Island winters than others. We started with about 250 lavender plants a couple of years ago, testing to see which ones were hardy enough to pull through. We now have 2800 plants including several varieties of culinary and fragrant lavender. We harvest the plants as they flower and hang them in the barn upside down to dry. That’s what we did with the empty section of the barn — this is our project — and it’s a labor of love. Jim harvests the lavender by hand. We hand tie the lavender in bundles. Everything is organic. We are selling beribboned bundles to local markets and merchants and over time we are going to make lavender soap, candles and sachets.
We are excited to share Whale Rock Lavender with you!
Tara Griffin, Farmer