It all started when...
In July of 2016, I rented one of those Cruise America RV's and hit the road with my family and some close friends. Never traveling by an RV before, we learned to pack lightly, lock down our dishes, and endlessly stare out the window contemplating our dreams. We traveled throughout the state of Washington from Orcas Island to Ruby Beach and stayed at campgrounds and farms. While the lush rainforest and pacific coast line was awe-inspiring there was one place in particular that moved me like no other: Purple Haze Lavender Farm in Sequim. I've always been moved by the color purple in nature but standing in an entire field of lavender awoke me to an entirely new level.
Growing up in Toledo, Ohio there was a store my Nana took me to in the old Port Side downtown. The store was filled with only purple and pink products. I loved going there and as a little girl I often dressed from head to toe in the color purple. Even my first car was purple! (Kind of embarrassing, I know.) But there is something spiritual about the color purple. Priest wear purple during the Advent season of Christianity to mark the crowning of the year. Politicians wear purple in concession speeches symbolizing the desire for both sides of the aisle to come together (red+blue=purple). Purple is the 7th color of the rainbow, there are seven days in a week, and the number seven is thought to represent completeness and perfection (both physically and spiritually).
Life definitely felt overwhelmingly perfect standing in an entire field of purple lavender plants at their peak bloom. It was as if the heavens planted a dream deep into my soul to cultivate that type of beauty in the world while I'm still walking in it. Ever since my mother died when I was young, I've found connection to her through gardening and live everyday with a healthy appreciation for how short life can be. For years I've dreamt of how I could turn my love of gardening into a professional career--working with plants, transforming empty fields, building inspiring landscapes, and using beauty to move people. Now, as forty stares me in the face (and my gray hair ain't going away), I'm feeling a strong sense of urgency, and a much needed letting go of everything that has held me back.
Studying the fields at Purple Haze and comparing the growing conditions to Colorado, it dawned on me that this was something I could grow, sell, and do really well in the arid dry conditions of Denver. It wasn't like trying to grow vegetables that need loose rich soil, because thats hard to come by where I live. It needs rocky soil, dry air, little water, and sunny conditions. Its a woody plant and is like planting an orchard. Its agritourism at its finest, and would make use of the last decade of me learning how to produce apothecary products, and how to grow, all into one legit opportunity to cultivate something beautiful. It seemed as if a window opened right in front of my eyes.
Back at home, I overhead my husband answer a question about me to a stranger, which seemed to strengthen my self-awareness and push me to commit. They asked him what I do. His response was, "She grows--she grows flowers, she grows vegetables, she grows herbs, bees, trees, kids, and schools. If she could work in her garden all day she would." And he's right. So my journey to answer the call to farm, as well as the birth of this blog, SheGrows, begins. I hope you will join me on as I begin the occupation of full-time farming. Ready or not, here I go.
Here is a fun fact about the owner of Purple Haze Lavender Farm. He worked for the government in the sixties as a horticulturist. When he turned forty he quit his job to start the farm, and named it Purple Haze after the famous Jimmy Hendrix song. This sculpture is his self portrait.
Purple to the People,