Updated: Sep 4, 2019
2018 was a growth year for Tantivy Farm, for those not sure what a "Tantivy" is, it was the name of my (Brian) parents candy store and cafe in the little town of Dulverton on the edge of Exmoor in south western England. According to Wikipedia it also means "At a gallop" so it seemed pretty clear to us, with our connection to horses to name it Tantivy. We didn't realize that we would get so many different pronunciations and spellings but as the farm becomes better known, it will inevitably sort itself out.
We opened the gates to our little piece of Heaven and our brand new Gift Shop with a Rockbridge County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting in May, then had a steady stream of visitors throughout the summer, and again leading up to Christmas. We have now closed until May of this year to give us time to make improvements to the grounds and build the porches on the shop that have been put on hold since last Spring.
Some of the highlights of our first year were several Garden Clubs having their meetings, an Antique Car Club, a Nature Journal Club and numerous people just wanting to pick a few lavender stems for the experience of it.
However the major highlight of the year was when a 100+ year old visitor from Buena Vista came by who had never seen a Lavender Farm before.
We were thrilled to have so many visitors after procrastinating for a year on whether to open the farm or not. Many people traveling on I-81 just happened on us as a rest stop and shared their stories of visits to other Lavender Fields all over the world.
Penny had a good time teaching workshops including lavender wand and wreath making as well as a few Christmas wreath making classes, when she wasn't making products for the Farmers Markets and the Gift Shop. Also we were lucky enough to have Tamera, The Left Handed Artist teach at some Sip and Paint Parties.
We opened up our Fairy Trail in October and were excited to have about 60 children come by and enjoy the trail, the story telling, wand making, wishing tree, rock painting, fairy dust necklaces and fairy house building as well as a visit from a terrific magician.
We also went to the Staunton Saturday Farmers Market every week from April to October, then to the Lexington Wednesday Market for the winter. We set up our stand and sold our products at several festivals in the region and had two stores selling our merchandise.
On a more personal note, we also had our third grand daughter delivered in March to proud parents Andrew and Bridget in Seattle. We have visited them twice but it is tough to be so far away from our dear Adelia (and her parents!). Carrington, our eldest grand daughter started kindergarten in Charlottesville where Sarah, her mum, teaches, and Clara, who is now almost three going on twelve, divided her time between pre school and helping her dad, Trevor, with his hay business and on their farm when he wasn't busy being a sheriff in Nelson County.
Major plans for 2019 as we are expanding our fields to take in a fourth area which will contain some new varieties and we are opening a couple of walking trails and with good weather we shall be finishing the porches on the Gift Shop to enable our new found friends to sit back and relax in the lovely lavender scent and surrounding vistas.