Should we just grow grapes?
Tucked away on the gentle sloping hillside in the picturesque community of McKinley Landing in Kelowna, BC you will find our beautiful, modern farm overlooking Okanagan Lake. The McKinley Lavender Farm started as an idea, and like all worthwhile ideas it took a bit of time and some very careful planning to execute.
We purchased our 2.5 acre plot of land in 2010 with nothing more than an inkling that maybe one day, one day we could say good-bye to our desk jobs. At first we struggled with what to plant in our “backyard”. A quick study of the Kelowna area and you can easily see that grapes, apples, peaches and other fruit orchards are available at every turn. So what could we do that would be different? Would be sustainable? Wouldn’t require a ton of water? More importantly, what will the darn deer stay away from? A good friend, who happens to also be a major perennial supplier in North America, suggested lavender. We researched. And researched. And we are still probably researching.
Fast forward to the spring of 2016 when we were able to plant our first acre of lavender plants. What were once our lavender babies growing safely in the greenhouses for most of 2015, were now fledgling lavender plants getting firmly (and painstakingly I might add) set in their permanent home on the hillside that we had carefully carved for them.
After a very successful summer growing season we are now giddy with anticipation as we await the 2017 harvesting season. We can’t wait to share the three varieties of lavender that we selected with each and every customer of McKinley Lavender Farm and we hope that our lavender will find a place in your lavender products.
Jennifer GrundyDirector MKL Farm
Loving the Farm Life.
What makes a good farmer?
That's a question that a good farmer will likely never think to ask.
It takes a love of the land. A passion for often hard and grueling, outdoor work in the rain, shine, wind and here in Canada- snow! It's also the knowledge and connection to the crop you are growing. It's characteristics, germination, growth, diseases. How to prune, when to fertilize and in today's day and age, with what.
Then there's the business of the business. How to market your crop, attract the right buyers and spread the word.
We knew we had the passion, we definitely had the marketing skills and while some of us are still learning to love those long and grueling farm days we have no doubt that farm life is our life.