[TRAVERSE CITY] Fields of lavender rank right up there with rainbows, sleeping puppies and sunshine--heavenly. So I was eager to hop out of the car and into aroma nirvana when we rolled up to Lavender Hill Farm in Boyne City, Michigan, just east of Traverse City.
Lavender Hill Farms is appropriately named--there are rolling hills of more than 30 varieties of the flowering plant, a cousin to rosemary and mint. A charming red barn is situated in the center, which the new owners plan to employ for events.
The garage of an older ranch-style home on the property currently serves as the gift shop. You can almost feel the tension oozing out of your body as you walk in and inhale the fragrance of thousands of lavender buds baked, baled and bundled--all of the varieties listed below and more.
Lavender Hill lavender is grown without sprays, pesticides or herbicides, so it's great for the honeybees that make their home there. It's also perfect for soothing tea, relaxing sachets and tasty culinary lavender buds.
Greg Carpenter, the founder of Crooked Tree Breadworks in nearby Petoskey whom we met on a hiking trail in the Upper Peninsula, uses Lavender Hills Farm lavender in his lavender cookies; in fact we chatted about lavender cookies over the campfire, and it was his recommendation that led us here. If it's the choice of a baker who *grows his own wheat for bread flour* in Michigan, well, it's good by us.
I'd recommend a visit mid-June to mid-July, when the lavender is in full, luscious bloom. Even if you don't see rainbows or sleeping puppies, it's sure to be heavenly.