Friday, December 9, 2022

Here’s where you can pick your own lavender in Williamsburg

Owner of Sweethaven Lavender farm of Williamsburg, Kerry Messer, captures a shot of her daughter, Hannah, in front of their farm's fields. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Kerry Messer)
Owner of Sweethaven Lavender farm of Williamsburg, Kerry Messer, captures a shot of her daughter, Hannah, in front of their farm’s fields. (WYDaily/Courtesy of Kerry Messer)

Sweethaven Lavender farm of Williamsburg at 2301 Jolly Pond Road will have its first-ever Lavender Festival on June 29 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The 134-acre farm, started by owner Kerry Messer and family, offers 7 acres of lavender fields, where customers can pick their own bouquet, peruse the grounds, visit the livestock, or enjoy a picnic lunch.

But why lavender?

“We wanted a country life, a country experience,” Messer said. “And we wanted to enjoy nature together as a family.”

Inspired by a visit to a lavender farm in Canada, Messer recalled how happy everyone was.

“People love a farm setting. There were smiles on everyone’s faces, Messer said. “We stopped to smell the flowers and enjoyed the bees and butterflies. I thought, I would love to be a part of (this).”

The rest is history.

Besides its attractive color and fragrance, lavender also holds a variety of healing and antibacterial properties.

“It’s calming, so it’s used in baby bath solutions, at bedtime, and in nursing homes,” Messer said. “Even dating back to the Romans, soldiers carried lavender oil as an antiseptic.”

And of course, there are its culinary uses, too. Lavender scones, cookies, ice cream.

“Lavender is a member of the mint family, so it pairs nicely with cucumber, blueberry, lemon,” Messer added. “It’s a nice counterpoint.” Sweethaven’s farm shop will feature lavender in both forms, offering their all-natural skin care products and edibles too, like lavender lemonade.

In addition to the farm’s routine offerings, the June festival will boast a variety of special attractions, including: a petting zoo, food trucks, live music, a vintage & makers market, an antique car show, and professional photographers available for portraits in the fields.

Tickets are $10 for general admission, $5 for kids ages 6-10, and children under 5 are free.

Messer’s hope for the farm’s future?

“We would really like to become something of a family tradition, where people come back to build family memories, each season,” Messer said.

For more information on Sweethaven’s Lavender Festival, or the farm’s regular operating hours, visit their website here, or visit them on Facebook.

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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