Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 32

photo courtesy Chad and Tracy Smith

A delightful and relaxing destination in Wright City
by Heather Berry | hberry@ruralmissouri.coop

Desiring the farm to become more than a seasonal stop for visitors, the
couple added a 2,000-square-foot post-and-beam barn to the property in 2016.
f you visit Tracy Smith's lavender garden in early spring, you might wonder The building was greatly inspired by HGTV host Joanna Gaine's Magnolia Market style, with white shiplap walls and an open, airy feel. This space became
about her ability to grow plants.
"People will come here in April, look around at the lavender plants, then home to the lavender products Tracy now sells from the farm. And this winter,
ask, 'Is it dead?,' and I always say, 'We certainly hope not!,' " quips Tracy, Long Row Lavender Farm expanded again, adding another 1,000 square feet to
the barn, offering meeting/classroom space as well as room for a small cafe.
owner of Long Row Lavender Farm south of Wright City.
"We now serve sandwiches, quiches, a variety of coffees and delicious desTracy, her husband, Chad, and their four children - Jessica, Colin, Dylan
serts, all made in-house," Tracy adds, noting they had 500 people stop in for
and Ella - are the majority of the labor force on their 15-acre farm.
The Missouri natives moved back from the state of California in 2004 after opening day in May.
The name of the farm came from a conversation at the farmers market.
Chad served in the Navy on a Marine Corps base. The couple built a home in
"A gentleman asked our son, Colin, where all the tomatoes came from,"
the country near their family in Warren County and began civilian life, with
recalls Tracy. "Colin was a little fed up with it all and replied, 'One very long
Chad serving their community as a doctor while Tracy was a
row,' and that's how the name Long Row Lavender Farm came about."
stay-at-home mom.
Over the past 10 years, the family has added plants annually and are
She also wanted the family to enjoy home-grown vegetables,
up to 3,000 lavender hills of the evergreen. New this year are hundreds
so Tracy planted a garden full of tomatoes and more, thinking
of peonies and sunflowers added to further enhance visits.
they would sell any extras at the local farmers market.
Lavender isn't native to Missouri, but the Smiths have found
"We had nearly 200 feet of tomato plants, so imagine how many
several varieties that grow well, including Edelweiss, Grosso, Phetomatoes we ended up picking all at once. And you can only make Wright City
nomenal, Royal Velvet and Provence.
so much salsa and spaghetti sauce!" says Tracy, who is a member of
"I don't want anyone to think growing lavender in Missouri
Cuivre River Electric Cooperative.
is easy because it isn't," says Tracy. "But talking with others
Not long after, Tracy read an article about lavender farming and
who've been in the business longer than we have is one of the
she wondered what it might be like to add the fragrant perennial to the
best ways we've learned. Most everyone is happy to share what
garden. By Memorial Day of 2009, she and her husband had planted a row of
lavender plants to diversify Tracy's offerings at the local market. By Labor Day, has and hasn't worked for them, and we're happy to do the same."
Plants begin blooming in late May, reaching full bloom in June. Tracy says
the plot was full of the fragrant plants, so they added 250 more to the garden.
"All six of us would sit under a tent at the market trying to sell tomatoes and plants usually offer at least two cuttings through September. Once harvested,
lavender," says Tracy, adding the fact nobody bought tomatoes because cus- stems of lavender are tied and hung in the barn's loft and later used in sachets,
tomers grew their own. "But we made $150 from the sale of lavender sachets bundles or spice blends.
"Lavender likes well-drained soil and a good six to eight hours of sun," Tracy
the first day, and over time that amount grew to nearly $1,000 of lavender
says. Many people simply choose to plant lavender in pots so they can control
being sold at the market. That's when I knew we were on to something good."
Family vacations were planned around locations of lavender farms across the amount of water and sunlight it receives.
"We want our place to be a destination where they can stop for a meal, shop,
the United States so the Smiths could see how they worked. The couple also
then sit on the porch or walk through our gardens and just relax," Tracy says.
joined the U. S. Lavender Growers Association to network with other growers.
"As we got more and more lavender growing, my husband would say, 'You
Long Row Lavender Farm is located at 26549 South Stracks Church Road in
know people aren't going to only buy dried lavender the rest of your life ...
Wright City. The cafe and shop are open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m.
you're going to have to offer something else.' "
Tracy began researching how to make high-quality products such as lip to 4 p.m. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram and at www.longrowlavender.
balm, body butter, scrubs and lotions from lavender. She also learned about com for upcoming events. Call 636-699-0690 or email info@longrowlavender.com
for more information.
blending lavender into spices for cooking.

I

Above: The Smith family began Long Row Lavender Farm in 2009 in Wright
City. Below: The farm is currently home to 3,000 lavender plants comprised
of five main varieties. Customers may buy plants in the springtime and
numerous lavender-based products are sold year-round in the gift shop.

32

RURAL MISSOURI | JULY 2019


http://www.longrowlavender.com http://www.longrowlavender.com

Rural Missouri - July 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - July 2019

Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover1
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover2
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Contents
Rural Missouri - July 2019 - 4
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Rural Missouri - July 2019 - Cover3
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