A couple months ago, I was driving in Imlay City when I saw a large sign advertising a lavender farm where once there had been, well, I don’t know. I never noticed that spot before.
I absolutely love the fragrance of lavender and often use the essential oil, so I knew I had to visit the farm. It opened on June 16 — my birthday! — and I finally had the opportunity recently to stop by and check it out. Of course, it was nearly 100 degrees on the day I visited, but it was pleasant regardless.
Upon passing by, the farm doesn’t look like much. After all, lavender is a rather short plant, and from a distance, the purple buds are grayish. However, the rows of rounded plants offer a symmetry that is pleasing to the eye once you take a moment to notice, and the scent! Oh, it came on the hot breeze, sweet and inviting, and I knew I had to take a walk and climb the hill, despite the heat.
First, though, I stopped to chat with owner Trish Dennis, under the small tent near the parking area. That’s where visitors check in, pay for their visit, and if they plan to pick some lavender, get their scissors and a rubber band with which to cut and bundle their flowers.
Trish told me she and her husband, Greg, who owns Midwest Commercial Construction, purchased the land and wanted to do “something agricultural.” They researched cranberries and herbs and other options before settling on lavender. They started planting in 2015, and are up to 14,000 plants of 10 different varieties of lavender.
The first week was great, and they’ve already hosted events at the farm, with plenty more to come as the season progresses. In the first couple weeks, they had visitors from all over, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and even France — people who hadn’t yet visited the famous lavender fields in their home country!
“The word’s getting out and people are interested,” said Trish. “It’s really nice.”
After chatting with Trish, I headed out into the fields. I stopped to admire the official monarch waystation in the middle of the farm.
The farm is also peppered with beehives, and the bees were very busy making the lavender honey that is for sale in the gift shop.
I got a little too close. I knew so, because a couple flying bees bounced off my face as they flew to and from the hive. I didn’t get stung, though, so I carried on and made my way up the hill.
Staff members were driving about in golf carts, and offered me a ride, but I declined. I’d later learn that new sandals don’t mix with walking up hills.
I made it to the top, and was treated with gorgeous views of the fields stretching out before me. I took the opportunity to remove my shoes and sit in the grass while I savored the scenery.
The lavender smelled phenomenal, and ironically, that’s the name of the variety I was enjoying. A red-winged blackbird told me all about it.
After a while, I made my way down to the lower fields, where there were places to rest scattered here and there throughout the fields. Visitors are welcome to bring a book or a picnic and enjoy the sweet peace while they are at Indigo.
After my walk, I was thrilled to partake in the cool lavender-honey lemonade that was waiting in the shade. I was parched, and the drink was sweet. The recipe is available in the gift shop, or on Indigo’s Facebook page.
After my lemonade, I made a quick stop in the gift shop, where everything smells wonderful. The entire ceiling — and everywhere else — is lined with lavender.
Indigo is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $5 and a large you-pick bundle is $15, though the cost of admission is included in your first bundle.
Indigo Lavender Farms is located at 613 N. Cedar Street (M-53, not far north of old M-21) in Imlay City. Visit the Facebook page for details about upcoming events, recipes and more.
Lavender is an herb that is known to reduce stress, and I can agree that a stroll through the fields at Indigo is a nice way to find a few moments of peace.