Step out of the bustle of the workday world into the serenity of fields of lavender and breathe in the heady scent of relaxation
Lavenlair Farm is an ever growing work in progress. Our thought has long been "Make a living, making a life." We decided to live our dream, searched for the perfect place and found a stone farm house from 1820. We added all the green updates to give it a 21st Century zero carbon footprint; geothermal heat, solar hot water, well water, solar electricity, all sourced locally. In 2013 we hand built the "Laverinth" a 100ft diameter, lavender planted, Petit-Chartres meditative labyrinth. In 2014 we added 1600 lavender plants and in 2015, 2400 more. In 2016 & 2017 we partnered with Cornell University Extension to host studies of lavender and mint varieties hardy to the North Country. We now have 32 different varieties of lavender 14 varieties of mint on the farm. Located in the rolling hills of the Champlain Valley of NY, our views stretch from the Green Mountains of Vermont to the Adirondacks all with one turn of your head.
David & Diane Allen | Owners, Lavenlair Farm
As with many couples who meet in mid-life, David and Diane's lives meshed very quickly, for there was little time to waste. A joint sense of destined purpose was felt by both, the specifics of which were not clear but the feeling was that they were to work together, making a living while making a life worth living.
Within a year of meeting, they married on 12/12 at 12:12pm with 12 guests, two of whom (Diane's twin sons Allan and Stephen) were 12 years old. A reverse post-modern Brady Bunch of sorts, David's two daughters, Natalie and Caitlin (21 and 18 at the time) completed their new family of six. When the boys graduated high school six years later and were off to college, David and Diane graduated from suburban New Jersey to rural upstate New York and their farming adventure began.
Many folks have asked, "Why lavender?" The truth is, it all started with a dumpster dive at the local plant nursery. Diane can't bear to see any living plant discarded and the nursery had thrown out an old, misshapen lavender plant. David valiantly retrieved it from the dumpster and they took it back to the farm with the other plants they had purchased. The deer managed to feast on all the purchased plants but ignored the rescued lavender plant, which in turn "planted" the idea of lavender farming. The idea gradually took shape that they could work together, stewarding their land into a relaxing, pastoral retreat for urban and suburban folks who need to relax, recharge and reconnect with each other and with nature. They installed a 100 foot diameter meditative labyrinth planted in lavender as well as a field of nearly 5000 lavender plants representing 32 different varieties of lavender.
A true labor of love!