Magnolia_Hotel-50-Edit-EditNow that we have officially started our tours we have realized that some planning is needed. The Nebraska Tourism Commission has put together an interesting selection of 80 locations, broken into 10 categories of similar types of locations. It seems the idea was to give tourists a focus for the types of interests they might have; Museums grouped with museums; wineries with wineries; quilt shops with quilt shops and so on. They have done a nice job of grouping, and also of selecting locations dispersed from around the state. It didn’t take long to realize that if we focused on a particular category and then another and then another, we woMagnolia_Hotel-10uld find ourselves backtracking and going to areas more than once. Nice as that might be, to cover all 80 locations in the allotted 5 months does not allow for too many side trips, or repeat trips! As a result we chose to list all of the 80 locations, by general proximity to one another, so that we could cover multiple locations more easily in single trips. It is also important to determine hours of operation and days open or closed. This becomes even more important as we plan trips to the west, because of the long drive times to get there and back. Another challenge, that is important to us, is taking the time, where ever possible, to visit with people at the locations or to tour the location. “Running in and out” does not help us with our goal of becoming more familiar with the state. Our personal circumstances will only permit a limited number of overnights, and an even more limited number of multiple night trips. Magnolia_Hotel-2Efficiency in traveling to tour locations is our watchword. We have commented a number of times on how nice it would be to have our starting point be around Kearney; almost equal distant from either side of the state and pretty much a day trip to almost every one of the chosen locations. Oh well, we are pretty certain that everyone participating as tourists has their own challenges!

Photo Gallery for Day 3 & 4

(Day 3)
Magnolia Hotel – Downtown OmahaMagnolia_Hotel-32
Our first tour venture into Downtown Omaha was to the Omaha Magnolia Hotel. Built in 1923 as the Aquilo Court building, the Magnolia was originally a mixed use building with retail, office and apartment tenants. Over the years it went through a number of remodels and conversions, Magnolia_Hotel-11including serving as the Sheraton Omaha before becoming the Omaha Magnolia. The property is situated in old downtown Omaha within walking distance to Qwest Center, historic Old Market, the Orpheum Theatre, Omaha Children’s Museum, Holland Performing Arts Center, Joslyn Art Museum and the Century Link Center. Magnolia_Hotel-17Featuring 145 rooms and suites this beautiful hotel is a premium wedding venue, and is ideally suited for many other events. We did not spend the night here since it is in our backyard, but we toured the lobby, lounge and ground floor courtyard and found them first rate and very inviting. We will gladly recommend the Magnolia Hotel to friends who may wish to visit Omaha, and should we have the occasion to stay downtown we are looking forward to trying out the rest of the hotel.


The General Crook House Museum – Omaha Gen_Crook_Home-8
From the Magnolia Hotel we took a short drive to the area in North Omaha known as Fort Omaha. The fort is largely occupied by the Metropolitan Community College. Originally established in 1868 as Sherman Barracks, the Fort became Fort Omaha in 1878 to house the Army’s Department of the Platte. Built as a supply fort, General George Gen_Crook_Home-20Crook, established the Department of the Platte at the fort in 1878 and served as Commander of the Department. The Crook House is owned by the Douglas County Historical Society and is on the National Register of Historic Sites. The house was built in 1879, with direct input from the General. It is the oldest private residence in Omaha. General Crook was a significant figure in the Civil War and the Indian Wars of the West. Gen_Crook_Home-39In later years, while he lived in this house he was instrumental in fighting for the rights of Indians. The house is the actual home, surrounded by Victorian Gardens that reflect the times in which the General lived. The house has been restored to reflect the same time period and is as accurate as possible. The furnishings are not original to the house, but have been gathered over the years by the Historical Society. Touring the house, one is amazed at the feeling of authenticity. The restoration and decorating make you feel like the General or his wife could appear at any moment. Of historical note, Presidents Ulysses S Grant and Rutherford B Hayes both stayed as guests in the house when visiting the fort.

(Day 4)
By the time we finished touring the Crook House, it was too late to move to another location, so we decided to put our next location off until the following day. We thought we had done our planing properly and were to learn that we missed some details. Since we had business in the morning we started a bit late on Day 4, headed for Fort Calhoun to visit a wine and beer tasting venue, Too Far North, and Fort Atkinson; along with a third stop further North. Since it was a Tuesday, we didn’t check hours, assuming that they would be open on a week day. Upon arriving in Fort Calhoun we found that Too Far North was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and didn’t open until 1 pm; and Fort Atkinson was only open on weekends, until after Memorial Day, 3 weeks off. We have to come back!
It was past lunch time and we were hungry. Looking around we spotted a restaurant called The Rustic Inn. It wasn’t part of our tour, but it was conveniently available and looked interesting. The place turned out to be warm and hospitable. Service was decent and the food was good. If we were in the area again, we would try it again.

We left Fort Calhoun, full, but disappointed that we hadn’t racked up any passport stampsDicks_Western-16 yet for the day. Our next stop was Tekamah. This is one of the locations on the tour that you can’t plan to fit in with multiple stops. North of Fort Calhoun, along the Missouri River, there are no other stops in this region. Fortunately it is not so far, (40 miles), from Omaha.

Dick’s Western Store – TekamahDicks_Western-22

Tekamah, with a population of roughly 1750 people, is the county seat of Burt County. A town where everyone seems to know everyone else, they were particularly friendly to out of town visitors. Our destination was Dick’s Western Store. Dick’s is a store front retailer on Main Street with an old fashioned, boot shaped sign hanging above the front awning. When we entered the door we found ourselves in a hallway that took us past the local barbershop and into a store that was absolutely bursting with color. The shop is Dicks_Western-2filled from floor to ceiling with a unique and interesting collection of Western Jewelry and Accessories; clothing and an impressive array of western boots of all colors, sizes and styles displayed on shelves throughout the store. In the back was a stairway up to a mezzanine level with an interesting selection of Western tack and saddles. Dicks_Western-12The varied selection of saddles included pieces for sale, and selections form the owner’s own collection, their for admiring. We spent some time with the owners talking about the store, the town and they quizzed us a bit about where we were from and our experiences with the Passport program. They concluded our visit by recommending that we visit the Burt County Museum, located in the E.C. Houston Home, Dicks_Western-4just a couple of blocks down Main Street. We had some time left in the day and decided to give it a try. We met some very helpful and pleasant volunteers and had a very enjoyable tour of the house. The property included a couple of other buildings available for tour, but we just ran out of time. We just might go back one of these days to see the rest of the museum.

We are starting to learn that some of the scheduled stops may not be available when we want; nor take as much time as we thought; but then we are discovering places, not on the passport, that clamor for our attention. We will most certainly have to keep a list of things to visit again, perhaps at a slower pace. Dicks_Western-8

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80 Destinations; spread statewide,Country_Traditions-2 and 5 months to visit them all! Success means a comprehensive view of the state, along with a shot at some great prizes. Doesn’t seem like much of a task until you do the math. Four destinations per week, PLUS all of the other things that are occupying our lives! It is especially daunting when you realize that Nebraska is 260 miles, North to South, a 4-5 hour drive, and over 450 miles East to West, or 7-9 hours behind the wheel. BUSY SUMMER. To successfully meet this challenge will require some careful planning. It will also require a few overnight trips. However it turns out, we are looking forward to meeting new people and to seeing the variety of locations offered on the Nebraska Passport.


(Day 1)
Country Traditions -FremontCountry_Traditions-15
The opening day of the Passport Tours was May 1. We had other activities scheduled for that day and were pleased to discover that there was a destination located in our home base of Fremont, NE. We chose Country Traditions to be the first stop on our adventure, and were really pleased when we arrived that afternoon to find that we were their first Passport Tourist! Country Traditions is a 12,000 sq.ft. Quilt shop, occupying a vintage buildingCountry_Traditions-12Country_Traditions-6 in Historic Downtown Fremont. Combining the old with the new the store features the original wood floors; old brick walls, partial tin ceilings and exposed, rough-sawn wood beams in the 14 foot high ceilings. This is off set with a selection of over 7,000 bolts of cloth; notions and accessories for quilt making; home decor and gift items; high quality sewing machines and quilting classes. They also present an exceptional web sites, with an online store. Upon walking into the shop one is struck by an overwhelming wave of COLOR. The more than 7,000 bolts of materials and accessories are organized neatly, seemingly by hues, giving a flowing sense of color throughout the shop. The staff is friendly and helpful. This was truly an enjoyable visit and a great place for us to start on our Nebraska Passport Adventure.

(Day 2)
River House Soda Fountain and Cafe -Plattsmouth
River_House_Cafe-35Once started, we were eager to get going. After finishing some previously scheduled plans in the morning, we set out for Plattsmouth on May 2. Located at the mouth of the Platte river, where it joins the Missouri River, Plattsmouth is the county seat of Cass County and is as pretty a historic downtown as one could ask for. We arrived at the River House Cafe after the lunch hour was over and found that we had the dining room to ourselves. This picturesque building River_House_Cafe-5was built in 1901 and served as a bar for over 100 years. The current building owners first operated as an antique store while they remodeled into the current business which is an eclectic combination of cafe, soda fountain and antique/collectables store. The wood floors and tin ceiling tiles are original to the building. The bar,  back bar, soda fountain, tables andRiver_House_Cafe-14 chairs are all instrumental to setting a fun, warm and inviting atmosphere. …and food…Their web site says that they “…are here to provide friendly, caring service to our customers…and to serve delicious food, in a pleasant atmosphere…” They meet this goal in exemplary fashion. We will certainly find a reason to go back.

Higgins Hardware – Plattsmouth

After completing lunch and a nice visit with the River House Cafe owner we went across Main Street, and down a couple of doors to our next stop. Higgins Hardware has been owned and operated by the same couple for 36 years. It has been a hardware store for longer than that. This is an actual, continuously operating neighbor retail store. Higgins_Hardware-11 Higgins_Hardware-5Original wood floors; tin ceiling tiles; wood display cases; this is a working store with some modern hardware; some old hardware items; some of the owner’s personal collectables, and some antiques – all mixed together/but, not all for sale. Obviously this is not a “big box” home improvement store. This is a classic neighborhood hardware store that features those small, immediate need items like a washer,Higgins_Hardware-8 bolt or screw; washing machine hose, or a small hand held appliance like an iron; plumbing or electrical parts. Need something “right now” this is the place to go before venturing out to a box store. Like similar stores of times past, it is also a communication hub. Familiar customers drop in to exchange information with the owners; to drop off or pick up fliers for local events; or to just ask after one another’s health. While not a high volume store, Higgins Hardware is an integral part of the community and a fun place to visit.

It’s All About Bees – Ralston
All_About_Bees-1 We left Plattsmouth with one stop to make on the way home. It’s All About Bees is located in Ralston, part of the south Omaha metropolitan area. This is a small, family owned business built around Dad’s honey business. Mom and daughter produce and market honey based products including 
jam & jelly, salsa & sauces and body care products. The retail shop featured on the tour includes a wide variety of their self produced items plus a large collection of bee oriented gift and decorator items. The business also includes operating stalls at the Omaha Farmers Markets, as well as other retailers selling their products. See their website for a complete list of businesses and locations where products from It’s All About Bees can be found. We finished our first full Tour Day with the purchase of some delicious honey products.

Now that the first tour day is completed we are excited to get going full speed to visit the full slate on the Passport Tour.

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Cozad Memorial Day Photos

Veteran's Memorial Park Entrance

Veteran’s Memorial Park Entrance


On Monday we had the opportunity to join in the Memorial Day celebration in Cozad, Nebraska. Largely a farming town of roughly 4,000 people, Cozad is in the center of Nebraska, adjacent to I-80; State Hwy 30 and the Union Pacific rail line. Gloria’s family is from Cozad and she lived there for a while as a child. Her father passed away this past fall and this trip was to give us the opportunity to view his recently placed headstone. We were also celebrating his inclusion in the town’s Veteran’s Memorial Park. Cozad has dedicated the park at the center of town to the memory and honoring of those residents who have served in the military and have subsequently passed away. Walkways run from each corner of the park diagonally, intersecting in the center of the park. Cozad_Memorial_Day-36At the center are stone monuments on which the names of departed veterans are engraved. Reading through the list, one is awed by the number of veterans who have called Cozad home. Running down both sides of the four walkways, and surrounding the park around its ouCozad_Memorial_Day-24tside perimeter are United States flags; one flag, each with a name, for each honored veteran. A small town with a big sense of duty. We arrived on Sunday and after checking into the hotel, we went out to the cemetery. Upon our arrival we were struck by the beauty and condition of the place. The lawns were bright green and mowed to perfection. No weeds, no trash and everything in its place. In evidence were a large number of United States flags, placed on the graves of veterans. A preview of things to come the next day. Of course there were also unending fresh bouquets of flowers on the graves of both veterans and non-veterans alike; evidence that many families had been there before us. We were there to view the newly placed headstone, but also to place flowers on the graves of other family members. There really is a large number of family relatives resting in this cemetery. Although it was late in the day, we marveled that there were still a large number of other families visiting departed loved ones and placing flowers.

Monday morning we drove into the town center early. We were treated to an imposing array of flags, backed by dramatic, billowing white clouds moving through an intense blue sky. There was a slight breeze and the temperature was perfect for an outdoor event. The event fielded a particularly large crowd considering the size of the town. People mostly brought their own chairs and set them up in a casual but orderly manner. The program started on time and ran like clockwork.Cozad_Memorial_Day-50 A prayer both opened and closed the proceedings. The program included patriotic music; the singing of the Star Spangled Banner; the assembled reciting the Pledge of Allegiance (with “…under God…”); two new Eagle Scouts talking about the accomplishment of their Eagle Scout projects; Honoring of the various military services and recognition of veterans and currently serving military members. The focal point of the program was the naming and recognition of this year’s additions to the monument, and their added flags. Their families were also recognized. Cozad_Memorial_Day-11The American Legion provided an honor guard and a gun salute. Taps was played as well. It was a moving program that said that Cozad is proud of its heritage and those who have served to defend it. To cap off this program, things were adjourned so that the audience could relocate a few blocks to the entrance to the downtown to dedicate three new flag poles that had recently been installed as part of one of the Eagle Scout projects.

The trip to Cozad was an experience. A small farming town celebrated Memorial Day by honoring those who have defended our way of life; but they also celebrated their sense of community; putting on an emotional program by and about their community. They said this is who we are and we are proud of our own. This is a feeling and message lacking in bigger cities. Many of our big cities could take some lessons from Cozad, Nebraska.


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Winter Sunset

Winter Sunset

It’s been COLD here!! The winter months this year have exhibited record breaking lows. The cold, when combined with the necessary activities of “settling in”, has resulted in our being somewhat “house bound” and unable to explore our new home state.



Winter Sunrise

Winter Sunrise

As Spring approached, we came across an interesting program put on by the Nebraska Tourism Commission.

The Nebraska Passport Program is a collaboration between 80 tourist destinations and the Tourism Commission. Under the program, Tourists (that’s us!) receive a passport package identifying the 80 destinations. The tourists then travel to the destinations and receive a stamp in their passport book at each location visited. The 80 destinations are divided into 10 separate categories; each consisting of 8 similar kinds of destinations. Categories include State parks and Historical Places; restaurants; retailers; wineries and breweries and hotels of various types. The destinations are spread pretty evenly throughout the entire state. Follow their link for more details. At the end of the season the tourists submit their stamped tour prize sheets to the commission for prizes.

We have decided that to gain a better preview of the state we will attempt to visit all 80 destinations! This will require a schedule of at least 4 destinations per week, from May 1 to September 30. About half are within a reasonable day’s round-trip drive from home. Of the remaining 40 or so, 20 are within a hard one-day drive and the remainder require some overnight travel. (See the map of destinations) If we succeed in visiting all 80 destinations, we will have visited most corners of the state, and perhaps have identified some areas where we would like to spend more time.

Spring Has Arrived!

Spring Has Arrived!

We will have also qualified for entry into the grand prize drawing. Our plan includes entering comments and photos of our destinations in this blog, with links to Facebook. If you are Nebraska travelers, we would encourage you to visit some of the destinations discussed as an expression of support for our local venues.  So follow on in the coming weeks as we visit our Nebraska destinations.  Maybe we can help you with your next vacation.

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The physical Lamm Farm sold and closed in late December, 2013. Dave and Gloria packed up and moved on Dec 23 and headed for Nebraska. After traveling on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day they arrived in Parker, CO to spend some time with Scott, Melissa Megan and Keira, ( who had moved to Colorado the previous February). After a wonderful 5 day reunion, we continued the trip to Fremont, Nebraska, arriving in the evening of December 30. We were at our new home. We moved in with Gloria’s Mom and are living with her for the time being. Did I say that with our arrival came the intense cold of Winter?

Fair Winds Blow

Fair Winds Blow

While all of this was going on, Dennis and Amy were creating drama of their own! Dennis quit his job on December 13, so that he could start his own business. Within 2 weeks he and Amy flew to Montana so that she could interview for a new job at Glacier National Park. On Jan 10 she announced that she had accepted the new position and that they would be moving within 2 weeks. They packed in a rush; put the house on the market; and departed California, for Kalispell, Montana on Jan 25. They arrived at their new home on Jan 28. Little did Dennis know that when he planned, a hectic month earlier, to open a new business it would be in Montana instead of Roseville, CA. Shortly after arriving in Montana they got word that their house was sold. The ties to California fall away rapidly.

It is hard to imagine that, in less than a year, all of the principle participants of The Lamm Farm would leave the farm and the state and settle in new, somewhat scattered, homes. The other thing that is amazing is how “easily” and how quickly the changes occurred. We all believe that the changes were meant to happen for some reason and that we are being directed in some manner. There are still loose ends, and the adventures are still coming so stay tuned for more.

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REVISIONS—Our blog entries have been limited over the past year. Farm work and family circumstances have combined to eat up “free” time and the blog has suffered. It is time to get caught up and to discuss what some folks already know. When we started The Lamm Farm venture we visualized a physical focal point for the family. A place for the development of shared memories; a place for rallying to in time of need; a place to hold in common for the future. At the same time we always knew that things change and our visions can be reshaped. The time is coming for us to leave the farm and move on to new adventures.


CHANGES – In the past year (or so) Dave’s Mom and Gloria’s Dad have passed away, reshaping family responsibilities and needs. In addition, their off farm employment activities have diminished as a result of the economy. Scott, Melissa and the girls relocated to Denver in response to work opportunities; and Amy and Dennis are increasingly occupied with their respective work activities, making time for the farm a precious and diminishing commodity. We shared the opportunity to work closely together and to accomplish a number of our farm projects as a team. We have collectively developed some good memories that we will hold, so one goal accomplished. However, it is no longer practical to hold on to the physical farm. As such, plans change. The Lamm Farm is for sale.


MIGRATION – Curiously we find ourselves participating in a migration reminiscent of times past; except in the opposite direction. Scott, Melissa and their family left California to relocate to Denver, and given the mobile nature of corporate living, could move again. Dave and Gloria have found that the signs point to leaving California to be closer to Gloria’s mother, in Nebraska. They met there originally and are looking forward to returning to a Mid-Western lifestyle. Go Big Red! Amy and Dennis are anchoring the family’s roots in California, for now, but the nature of their work allows them to speculate on a relocation of their own in the future.


THE FARM CONTINUES – While the farm in Lincoln, CA is being sold, the spirit of the Lamm Farm will continue. We will find opportunities to gather and to create new memories. We will share stories of our new adventures with one another, and with our friends. We expect to continue The Lamm Farm in spirit, in photos and on the blog. The subject matter won’t be much about Lavender, but our new lives will provide new material.


FARM FOR SALE – Our philosophy and plans having been addressed, it is time for a little business. The Farm is current listed for sale. We have a purchase contract pending (back up offers considered.). If all goes well, we expect to close escrow on Christmas Eve. In the interim we are selling lots of “farm stuff” and things that are not practical to move to Nebraska. We don’t plan to hold an actual sale day , but if you are local and interested in looking around, let us know.


We would like to thank everyone who supported the lavender venture and those who showed support for the farm in general. We will miss all of that activity, but we are looking forward to what comes next. Stay tuned to the blog for more.

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Backyard Eat & Greet with Grange

We’re thrilled to be included in a special fundraising event this Saturday, July 13th to benefit Sacramento Farmers & Chefs.  The project is a documentary photo project highlighting the people responsible for the bountiful food culture of the Sacramento Valley. Our lavender will be featured in a lavender lemonade made by Pastry Chef Jodie Chavious of Grange Restaurant & Bar in downtown Sacramento.

Join us for a backyard Eat & Greet in Land Park featuring seasonal eats from Grange, produce from Azolla Farm, Meat from Flying Mule Farm, wines from Sean Minor Wines, beer from Ruhstaller and, of course, lavender from The Lamm Farm!

Bluegrass music from local band “Big Empty” will play from 6-9pm.

Tickets are $40 and can be purchased HERE.

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Jr. Livestock Auction

Yesterday I sat beside my daughter in the bleachers at the Gold Country Fair, Jr. Livestock Auction. The Jr. Livestock Auction is the culmination of the project year for youth largely associated with 4-H and FFA. Their projects consisted of selecting and raising animals for meat production; training for the show ring; grooming and marketing their animals. The sale is the final step in the process. Buyers at the Auction include parents, families and friends; but even more are small businesses from the community (and a few larger businesses). Buyers represented yesterday included small contractors from many trades; shop owners; truckers; tire stores; agriculture enterprises and much more. It was a real cross section of the community. Even more importantly many of these buyers purchased multiple animals and for many this was not their first year as a buyer. In several instances it was their second or third DECADE. That is community support! You begin to realize how remarkable this community support is when you are told at the beginning of the sale that the commercial market price for a lamb (for example) is $.85 per lb; and then you watch lamb after lamb sell for prices in excess of $2.50 per lb, with some going for $7.50 per lb! (Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champions were substantially higher!)

These prices represent the community’s desire to support its hard working youth, but it is also a reflection of the sellers’ marketing efforts. Every year the young project members approach businesses and ask for their support. They explain the projects; how the auction works; and where needed they help to match up multiple buyers who may not have a enough money to purchase an entire animal (steers weigh 1200 lbs!). Project Leaders and High School Agricultural Instructors work with the members on all of this as well.

My father was a small building contractor when I was growing up. He couldn’t afford to purchase many animals at the auction; but he was able to work with his business contacts to put together a pool that let him purchase a number of animals each year. Some times I benefited, but many times I had arranged for my own buyers, and Dad was able to use the money for others. When my children were showing livestock, I was able to follow my Dad’s lead and use business contacts to collect a number of buyers each year to purchase multiple animals, not always from my own children.

Returning to my daughter, Amy, sitting with her yesterday was a pleasure. Amy is an adult now and had returned to the Auction Ring as a BUYER. Yesterday I had the privilege of watching her bid at her first livestock auction. Amy had suggested to her employer, Grange Restaurant, in Sacramento, that they support a young person at the auction. Since they hadn’t tried it before they authorized her to buy one lamb for the restaurant; and asked her to bid. Amy contacted one of the high school Agricultural Instructors to identify a deserving student who might need a supportive buyer. The Ag Instructor had been in both 4-H and FFA with Amy when they were members, and in traditional fashion she recommended a student who had worked hard and was presenting a quality animal, but due to personal circumstances needed a supportive buyer. Perfect match for Amy and the Grange Restaurant. Amy was able to successfully purchase the desired lamb for $4.50 per lb. A nice return for the FFA student and within Amy’s budget.

We are proud of the community members who year after year support this activity. They are building a spirit of community, and are participating in educating our youth in hard work, community involvement and the importance of agriculture in our lives. Not everyone needs to work in an agricultural field to recognize and contribute to the importance of agriculture in our lives. In our family we have three generations who have been able to contribute to this process, and we are proud of that effort.

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Cut Your Own Lavender at our Open House

After a year and a half of moving dirt, planting, nearly constant weeding, demolition and construction, it feels like we’re finally able to stand out in the field, look around and see the fruits of our labor.  The lavender is blooming and it looks (and smells) heavenly.  We still have tons of work to do, but we’d like to take this opportunity to pause and invite you to join us for an Open House on Sunday, June 10th.

We’ll share our lavender lemonade and baked goods (and the recipes) and have our lavender hard lotion bars available for purchase, along with fresh and dried bouquets of Folgate, Grosso and Hidcote.  If you prefer, you can walk through the fragrant rows and cut your own bouquet, while watching the happy honeybees hard at work making lavender honey.

Feel free to bring a picnic lunch. Seating is limited so you might want to bring your own blanket or folding chair.

Here are all of the important details:

Cut Your Own Lavender at The Lamm Farm

Sunday, June 10th

10am – 2pm

2700 Gage Lane, Lincoln

Please RSVP on our Facebook page


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Makin’ Lavender Babies

A few months ago, I did quite a bit of research in preparation for our first try at lavender propagation.  Since then, we’ve been working on other projects (okay, mostly just endless weeding and mowing) and waiting for enough new growth on the plants to take cuttings.  Two weekends ago, I decided that we’d better get focused on the project so last weekend, I showed up with all of my supplies to find that one of the varieties was already in BLOOM!

So, I interrupt this story about propagation to tell you – WE HAVE OUR FIRST BLOOMS OF THE SEASON!  The Folgate to be specific – and it’s casting a nice purple haze over the front field.

Folgate in Bloom

That being said, I wasn’t counting on blooms yet so I had to do a little more hunting around in the plants to find decent chunks of growth without long bloom stalks on them already.  I think I would have been in trouble if I’d waited another week.  So, mental note for next year – pay attention to the new growth in early April!

Bright green new growth next to the silvery gray leaves from last year.

I collected my cuttings – 72 Grosso and 72 Folgate – into plastic bags so they kept a bit of moisture as I worked, and then went to the makeshift workbench I’d assembled in the shade of an oak tree.  After looking at our options, I opted for these Jiffy pot seed starting kits – they’re the same size as the heat mats I already have and two of them fit side by side under one long grow light.  Each one is $5 – and I bought the soil-less mix for $5 to fill them.  If we start doing this in any kind of volume in the future, we’ll have to explore other options, but all of my supplies for nearly 150 potential new plants cost less than $30 – not bad.

Grosso Cuttings

All the supplies ready to go

Once I had my cuttings, I performed a bit of plant surgery, carefully removing the lower set of leaves, dipping it into rooting hormone and placing it into little holes I’d poked in the soil. By the time I’d finished the two flats, the little cuttings were starting to wilt so I quickly put their lids on and took them home to their heat mats and grow lights in my garage.

Cuttings ready to become new plants

Three days later, they are looking very happy and, fingers crossed, they should take root in 4-6 weeks.  By the way – I decided to pick up a a reference book, The American Horticultural Society’s Plant Propagation.  I highly recommend it – from every kind of propagation to grafting and seed starting, along with an index of plants with specific information for each, it will be a great guide to have on hand for many years.

Home Sweet Home for the next month or so

Three Days Later - Looking Good!

So, wish us luck! And, let us know if you’d like to buy any lavender – we’re about to have plenty!


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