SBA Administrator Visits our Farm
Today was an exciting day for our lavender farm. We hosted a visit from a White House appointed official with the SBA. As we stated in our previous blogs, we began working with the WV Small Business Development Center last year when we first started the lavender farm. They are supported by the SBA. Thus, when Michelle Christian, the SBA Regional Administrator wanted to visit some small businesses in WV, we were at the top of our business coach’s list.
In preparation for the visit, we had to go head to head with our worst enemy…WEEDS. With the rain and sun comes glorious weeds. Since we are following organic farming practices, we can’t use chemicals to kill the weeds. We must resort to the old fashion method of pulling them root by root. We are also using the weed eater to keep things trimmed between the rows. Unfortunately, this takes more time than we would like to spend.
So, after having beautiful sunny weather for almost a week, it was time for a few rain drops. The SBA folks were scheduled to visit the farm this afternoon. They arrived just in time for the rain clouds to roll in. It continued to rain until about 2 min after they left. What are the chances? But we made the best of the visit. We piled our visitors in the side by side and drove them through the fields to see the blooming lavender. Instead of them doing a U-pick, we simply picked a small bundle for them to share. We took them for a brief walk-thru of our Stone House and shared some old family stories. We had the chance to share some of our handcrafted products with them and a brief close-up of the newest baby calf. All in all…it was a great success.
We are excited to say that they were really impressed with the amount of growth and success we have had in such are short time. This is especially true considering we all have full-time jobs and the lavender farm is our second job. They expressed interest in coming back in the next year or so to see our vision come to fruition.
We promised everyone to post an update of how things went today. In summary, it may not have gone the way we planned, but it was still a great visit with some fantastic exposure for our farm and Fairmont, WV.
We are sharing the following pictures for you to enjoy; Michelle Christian and SHL owners discussing the future of the business, our plants showing a healthy harvest, the amount of weeds that can quickly grow in the field, and a well-manicured lavender field after hours and hours of weeding.
We shall post again soon to keep everyone updated.
-Stone House Lavender Crew