In 2018 we decided to a test new area and new techniques, as well as reduce costs by building a greenhouse to start our own plants.
On-Farm Trial: Perhaps our biggest struggle, we have discovered has been time management. It has at times been challenging to manage weeds in our fields because of such constraints. In order to address possible solutions to this, we implemented a trial to evaluate several management practices spring 2018 with the financial assistance of the Farmer-Rancher grant program administered by the USDA-NCR SARE program.
In the trial, four varieties (Grosso, Phenomenal, Croxton’s Wild, and Munstead) were planted in three ‘management’ systems:
The following charts and graphs display data collecting during 2018:
Fall of 2018 looked great. Winter temperatures greatly fluxuated and spring brought so much rain we had flooding in the field. Result was extreme plant loss.
So while we could not continue the experiment as originally planned we still gathered some valuable information.
Possible ideas for further study:
We added this bundle of joy to our family in early January and he has been keeping us busy! We are planning to expand our farm with new plants this Spring as well as explore new markets. Our greenhouse continues to develop. With warmer weather, we are getting excited to spend more time outside and see how the lavender has survived the winter.
Prairie Harvest in Newton, KS and On the Wildside in Manhattan, KS are now carrying FHLF products! These are two unique Kansas stores definitely worth visiting!
Find them at:
Prairie Harvest Market & Deli
601 N. Main, Newton, Kansas 67114
On the Wildside
1128 Moro St, Manhattan, KS 66502
We have been busy expanding and perfecting our product line! With experimentation and research we've discovered the best recipes for ROOM & BODY MIST and LAVENDER LOTION to share with our customers.
Our newest batch of FIRE STICKS is made with only lavender stems. All parts of the lavender plant hold oil but the oil content increases as it gets closer to the buds. What this means is more lavender aroma and flavor!
We plan to have smaller travel sizes of the lotion available soon and before the year is done we will have gift boxes available for sale!
Let us know what you think of our products -- we love hearing from our customers and any feedback is welcome!
In June, we had the honor of participating in Launch A Business Program through K-State college of business. The program is designed to help start up businesses get the tools they need to succeed. It certainly has helped us jumpstart the business side of our farm! With the program we were able to take classes and workshops from university professors and experienced business men, we met with mentors, we had a student team that helped do business research for us, and countless networking opportunities. Here is a Link with details of the Launch a Business Program at K-State and a description of all the other amazing entrepreneurs that were accepted into the program: http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/2017-05/labclass51717.html
The program ended with a Launch Party showcasing the eleven diverse businesses that participated in the program. The event was open to the public. Each business had a table display (our's is pictured below), gave their pitch to attendees, and answered any questions guest might have. Prizes were awarded to each business at the end of the evening. We hope to use the money we were awarded toward buying plants and funding our greenhouse project.
The LAB program has been helpful in educating us about business terminologies, strategies, and methods from finances to business planning. We had an amazing student to work with named Elizabeth Gibisch. She helped us explore the market potential in the Manhattan area as well as analyze financial data for us. The research Elizabeth did for us was one of the most beneficial parts of the LAB program and showed us the tools and methods for how we can move forward. Getting advice from the mentors provided insight into the wide world of business.
What an amazing opportunity it was to be accepting into such a generous program! We feel so lucky and grateful to have been a part of it! It has truly given us the focus and inspiration we needed to move our business forward.