In The Spotlight: Deep Creek Lavender Farm
Last Updated on Jun 6, 2016 at 3:04pm | Agribusiness
"In The Spotlight" is a regular feature of The Lake-Front magazine and is being reprinted here in its entirety with permission. This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue.
Imagine a large field undulating with shades of purple, blue and white with a pastoral mountain view. The heavenly scent of lavender surrounds you as you meander around the farm or shop in a converted barn filled with products culled from this very land. This is Deep Creek Lavender Farm
, one of Garrett County’s newest and most unique experiences. Owned by Scott and Anne Davidson, this picturesque farm sits just minutes from Deep Creek Lake.
At Deep Creek Lavender Farm, guests have the opportunity to “learn about and celebrate all that lavender has to offer.” According to Anne there are over 700 varieties of English lavender ranging in color from purple to dark blue, pink and white. You’ll find about 15 of them at Deep Creek Lavender Farm. Not only does lavender have a wonderful scent, it has many medicinal qualities as well. Used extensively in aromatherapy, its scent not only can relieve stress, but also can improve sleep. It also tastes great! It can be used as a condiment in salads and dressings as well as teas and sweet products.
“Dried lavender can be used in many ways,” explains Anne. It can be made into sachets or for potpourri or just displayed in a vase. A few drops of lavender oil can make for a relaxing bath but is also great applied to minor wounds, burns or bruises and can even alleviate sunburn pain.” Known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory qualities, lavender oil can also be used on insect and bee stings.
Originally from the Baltimore area, Scott and Anne camped in this region for years with their family, finally purchasing a lot in 2004. They built their home in 2007 and knowing they eventually wanted to retire here, began to research businesses that would allow them to utilize their beautiful land and appeal to vacationers to our area. They also needed to find a crop that could be fairly self-sufficient while they split their time between two homes. After a lot of research, Anne started to learn about lavender. She visited several lavender farms and planted a few plants on their property, all of which died. “I very quickly learned what not to do,” she smiles. The second year, she planted more only to lose them. Finally, by year three, Anne planted 100 plants and 99 of them survived. She knew she was on her way. Since then the Davidsons have planted about 600 - 800 plants a year. Currently there are 1200 plants with another 800 expected to be planted this year. Lavender are perennials and with proper care will come back year after year. The plants typically bloom from mid-June through July.
Deep Creek Lavender Farm officially opened in 2014 and is open every Saturday, Sunday and Monday from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Guests can come and tour the lavender fields, enjoy a lavender shortbread cookie or share a lavender chocolate bar while sitting on the porch of a barn that was built specifically for the business and houses a store filled with wonderful products. You’ll find candles, lotions, body products, books on lavender and even books on cooking with lavender. And of course, you’ll find some delicious culinary products here as well including lavender teas and jams. “We’re always adding new products to the shop,” says Anne.
Because Anne and Scott want their guests to really celebrate all that lavender has to offer, they offer different classes and workshops every Saturday and Sunday during the season.
Visitors to Deep Creek Lavender Farm can learn about growing and propagating lavender, enjoy a candle making demonstration, a wreath making class and more. Young ones will enjoy the Deep Creek Adventure weekends slated for June 24 – 26 and August 13 & 14. This fun event features a reading of the new children’s book “Lila the Ladybug” which Anne co-wrote with Cindy Freland, and the opportunity to make a Lila the Ladybug to take home with you. There will also be a book signing available.
On June 11 & 12, Anne will be hosting a Sustainability weekend from 11 AM to 3 PM where guests can learn about cooking in solar ovens, growing shitake mushrooms, Bokashi composting as well as raising chicken and bees. Pick your own lavender begins June 25th, weather permitting.
Guests can make a day of it and pre-order a lavender themed boxed lunch from the newly opened Harvest Moon Market in Accident with your choice of lavender chicken salad on Naan flatbread, a local greens salad with grilled chicken and lavender vinaigrette, or grilled vegetables in lavender infused olive oil all topped off with a lavender butter cream cupcake. These delicious lunches are $17 each and must be pre-ordered no later than the day before arrival (Call 240-608-8282).
If you’re looking for something more personalized, Anne is happy to create an event custom designed for your group. She has hosted girls’ weekend events, tea parties, even lavender themed birthday parties. Groups can also take a tour of the field and learn even more about growing and using lavender.
Shoppers of all ages will enjoy the gift shop, where they’ll find all manner of lavender products from hand and body lotions made with essential oils to wonderfully fragrant bath soaps. Anne offers dried buds you can use to make your own sachet and potpourri or those already made. You’ll also find tea bags and hand painted Lavender tea sets. Not sure what to get? Check out a gift pack with samples of all your favorites perfect for a gift to a loved one or to yourself.
Those who enjoy lavender for aromatherapy will find wonderful lavender sachets, necks and eye wraps. According to Anne, Lavender retains its scent for years and crushing the buds will release it to freshen sachets and wraps. Lavender typically blooms from early June through mid-July, but a trip anytime during the summer is a must, if only to take in the beauty of the fields.
Deep Creek Lavender Farm is located on 625 Doerr Road (just off Rt. 219) between McHenry and Accident. They will be an official stop on the Barn Quilt tour this summer when a new quilt piece is displayed on their barn. For more information on events or to order products online, visit their website at www.deepcreeklavenderfarm.com