"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your hands." 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12
Long Row Lavender has grown tremendously since its humble beginning. What was once an empty field; has grown to encompass a post and beam barn, gift shop, café, coffee shop, venue space, as well as seasonal flowers to be enjoyed by visitors. This family owned and operated farm took years of hard work, determination, patience, and God’s blessing to become what it is today. Here is the story of Long Row Lavender.
The dream to create a destination place began in 2016; but the true start of Long Row was almost a decade prior to the barn’s groundbreaking. Tracy and Chad purchased the 15 acre plot of land back in 2007 with no thought of running a business. Instead they were looking to be good stewards of the land and encourage their children to spend time outside. Their ultimate goal and desire being to live by 1 Thessalonians 4:11 & 12 “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your hands.” It was this goal that motivated the first sown seeds for produce, including but not limited to “long rows'' of tomatoes and okra. Whatever excess produce they were able to harvest, their family would bring to the local farmers market.
In those early years of growing, it became increasingly difficult to protect their crops from the local fauna; specifically, deer! As if on cue, Tracy was given a Midwest Living magazine subscription from her mother and one of the issues featured lavender farms across the United States. Each of these farms were beautiful and highlighted the versatility of the herb and its benefits. The biggest advantage being, lavender was deer resistant! Shortly following, plans to plant the herb began to be in motion.
In 2009, Tracy and Chad broke ground and planted their very first rows of lavender. By summer, they were yielding a lovely harvest of blooms. Inspired by the lavender’s versatility and benefits, Tracy began to make lavender inspired bath and body products to sell at market. Long Row Lavender, the farm, had begun. Tracy, Chad, and their children found a rhythm; planting, making, and selling all things lavender at Lake St. Louis Farmers’ and Artisans Market. A market that served them and their small business well for a number of years.
After years of markets, the couple began to formulate a vision for a destination place on their property. The goal? To have a quiet corner in Wright City, Missouri where the community could find respite; a place for everyone to enjoy their lavender blooms. In 2015, they began working on what is now the gambrel style post and beam barn. After many months of work, with lots of help from family, Long Row Lavender opened its doors to the public on May 27, 2016.
Those first few years were a slow start but eventually the gift shop expanded to include workshops, a café, coffee shop, and venue space! Now, walking trails surround the property, a hoop house grows our café’s vegetables, and multiple (deer resistant!) flowers are grown seasonally; our biggest crop of course, being lavender. Instead of going to markets, we are now able to host them, a true delight! Long Row hosts three seasonal markets on our grounds as well as various seasonal events throughout the year. In 2021, we were able to return to the Lake St. Louis Farmers’ and Artisans market, where it all began all of those years ago. It has been many years of balancing both joy and struggle in order to watch this dream grow. But both Tracy and Chad would tell you that God has provided for their family and business every step of the way. Growth is still happening, thanks to loyal customers, our beloved regulars, and visitors from all over the country. We will still look to grow for the benefit of our community in the years to come. If you have visited Long Row Lavender or have supported us in any way over the years, please feel our heartfelt thanks! It is because of your support we’ve had the privilege of growing Long Row!