In a Thanksgiving Frame of Mind….

Dried Lavender CenterpieceThe 2013 Season’s second harvest has been completed and our lavender plants have fallen asleep for their long Winter’s nap, blanketed beneath a quilt of brightly colored Oak and Maple leaves bordering our gardens.  An un-summery chill in the air serves as a reminder that the Holidays will soon be upon us!

A burst of autumn energy has replaced our summer rhythm as we prepare for the Christmas season.  We are busy every day making products for Knox’s Once Upon A Christmas Show, barely two weeks from now. (November 22-24).

Once Upon a Christmas

Once Upon A Christmas is a weekend that engages the entire Community as many guests come to explore the bounty of our harvest, as well as the recent efforts of thirty local artisans.  This is a 23 year-old tradition in Knox, PA that presents a festive opportunity to catch up with old friends and get into the holiday spirit.

I want to pause, though, and reflect upon what we have accomplished this year, acknowledging the many hands and hearts who have helped us.  It is the season of Thanksgiving and my heart is very grateful.

This was the year we invested in a redesign of our 17 year-old website lavendergreen.com.  A team of four professionals coordinated the site’s redesign which, among many benefits, is now completely mobile friendly.  This initiative began very early in 2013, culminating in its launch on October 1st!  The project required nine months to be delivered — and not without the stress that accompanies innovation.  Much of this technology is new to LavenderGreen, if not the world.  Inevitably, learning curves seemed to emerge at every corner.

With a special thanks to Stasi, many new photographs now grace the site.  Debbie masterfully revised my old narrative copy and product descriptions.  Our transition to a far more easily managed platform occurred under David’s skilled guidance, while John tirelessly reworked our SEO.  Partnering the new website is our Facebook page which Stasi creatively manages.  Within the past week she has integrated Twitter and Pinterest.  Oh, my!

Such a learning curve in such a compressed time!  I realized, once again, that it is natural for us to overestimate what can be accomplished in the short-term and underestimate what is possible in the long term.  I am gratified by our new website and hope it makes a big improvement in the experience that lavender lovers have when visiting us on-line.  As a work-in-progress we are continuously improving that experience thanks to the thoughtful feedback of our fans.

Human beings plan and the “gods” laugh, though.  At the same time that this project was in full swing the rain fell relentlessly throughout the Summer thwarting the lavender harvest!  Our Lavender Green team, comprised of a dozen local high school girls, was routinely rained out of the garden too early in the morning by drenching downpours.

Here's our crew that helps pick our organic lavender.

Thank you, Kelly and the team, for not losing heart, creatively managing yourselves and cutting in between the showers!  Thanks to your parents, too, for chauffeuring you back-and-forth to the Lavender Green farm throughout the season.

Looking at Lavender in the rain

Seven tours were hosted this summer involving local and regional garden clubs, as well as lavender lovers who came armed with umbrellas and rain gear, undaunted!  Thank you for your support.

Paralleling this activity our sewers, Barbara and Tara, and our aromatherapist, Gina, faithfully stayed the course in product development.  I am grateful to you all, especially for your patience in making allowances for the toll imposed by our technological reboot.

Family Photo

My family stepped up their help, as well, unselfishly lending their strength, skills and talents.  Nancy, Martha, Madison and Braden assisted in framing the tone of the new website.  Others weighed in with their advice and experience, lifting my spirits in the process.  Lynn convinced me that we do have something of interest to TWEET!  Lydia and Jim donated their last ticket enabling me to attend a class at Penn State targeting the ways and means of social media.  Twenty-three family members stood at the ready to help and advise because LavenderGreen farm means so much to them, too.  My husband, Chris, worked until dusk every day taming the expansive lawns, meadows and gardens.  Braden lent a hand, refining our perennial gardens on a ruthlessly meager budget.  Kathleen and Paul visited at just the right moment to shop and garden.  Many saw it for the “do or die” proposition it is, as are all family farms these days.

 

I have tears in my eyes as I reflect on the help I have received this summer.  I am sorry for any moments of panic or impatience.  Please know I am sincerely grateful.  My fantasy is to prepare and share a Thanksgiving feast with you all and, short of that, I will wish you a wonderful Thanksgiving season!

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