On Dreaming Big Dreams
I am happy to announce that Little Lavender Farm Products are now available at Red Ridge Farms in Dayton Oregon! And what a wonderful circle we have circumnavigated to get to this point.
Exactly two years ago, on July 20, 2016, Mark and I began our "Great Oregon Lavender Adventure" to visit and learn from the lavender farmers in the area as we were building Little Lavender Farm in San Diego. Our first stop just happened to be Red Ridge Farms, where we stayed for 3 days in the beautiful guest apartment above their gift shop. That first day, as we pulled into the driveway at Red Ridge, (again, exactly two years ago) I remember looking around at the grounds, with the vineyards in the distance, the lavender field surrounded by beautiful trees and flowers, their knot garden, olive groves, the wisteria vine draping over a giant arbor, and the expansive view of the valley below -- and thinking that this was the closest thing to heaven I’d ever seen.
We had no idea at the time, not even an inkling, that just a few short months later, we would be relocating to Oregon. We had no idea as we explored the Willamette Valley, that this would soon become our playground. We had no idea as we drove through the town of Dundee that our future friends and neighbors were waiting for us. I couldn’t even imagine a life where Red Ridge Farms would be the place we would take our visitors, that this place would be such a special and constant part of our lives. That seemed just too much to ask for -- too big a dream. But when the opportunity to make this a reality presented itself, we said a prayer (or 20), took a chance and jumped right in.
So today, when I drove the 7 minutes from my house to Red Ridge, walked into the gift shop, said hello to the owner, Penny Durant, and saw my products displayed for sale in their gift shop, my heart was so full of gratitude for this community, the wonderful people that live here, and the support and encouragement we have received from from so many as we continue on our little lavender adventure.
Today I can say that sometimes dreams do come true. So don't ever be afraid to dream big, You just never know what might happen.
Farm shopping is just as fun as you would imagine. Every new place holds its history and its promise, both for what it is and what we could make it. Each one has it charms and its challenges. One farm might have the perfect sloping, open, south-facing land with a view, but is out of our price-range, or is in the wrong location, or just doesn’t feel right. Another might have a beautiful house, but the land is too steep or not sloped at all or too wooded. And I knew going into this that we might be shopping for a while.
But I knew we had found our place when we saw the giant wooden barn and my husband walked toward it as if in a trance, and then continued back behind it. I knew we had found our place when I saw him walking around the land and looking up at the sky as if to say, “OK I’m here” -- completely ignoring all of us gathered to discuss this latest possibility. After a while, Mark walked over and said “I love it” -- and I knew he did and that this would be our place. The barn was beautiful, the land was sloped (though a few trees would need to be cut down to open it up a little), there was a (bonus) 1 acre vineyard that grows pinot noir, it had its own forest -- it was on 30 acres of Oregon heaven. It has a detached garage for space to create an artist’s studio or little apartment. It has a small shed next to the garage that could be converted into the Little Lavender Shop. I could see where I would put the chickens and the greenhouse and the herb garden and perhaps a few goats. I could see where visitors would park when they came to pick lavender. The house was a log home. I never would have chosen a log home, but it’s beautiful and we could make it our own. There was so much promise here.
The present owner is an engineer (as is Mark) and as we talked with his daughter about the history of the farm and the stories that go along with it, we both felt an incredible sense of responsibility. We wanted to be the new caretakers of this land and love it as much as her dad has. Later that day, my sweet husband wrote the owner and his daughter a letter promising to do as much.
We have put in our offer and it has been accepted. And now we wait. And we dream. Little Lavender Farm part 2 has begun.
Hello! My name is Pam Reynolds Baker and I am a mom/wife, writer, and lavender farmer who lives in Dundee Oregon .