Take 5 With a Farmer. Julie of Hereward Farms.

How/When did you get into farming?

I am a total city girl. Till I met the farm guy aka engineer. My husband’s family comes from a long line of farmer’s and we currently cash crop our 250 acres. We were busy with our own lives – yes we lived on a farm, but my husband owns an Engineering firm and I am a partner and co-owner of a marketing agency. Sure we played around on the farm, but it was not our main focus. Then 2020 hit and on a whim I thought “hey I wonder if we can grow lavender here”. I don’t know where that idea came from or what reference I can tell you inspired me, but away I went. I bought 40 plants and planted them in our backyard. This was a test. Well, at the end of the season, and many courses and lessons learned later, I was left with 20 plants a tiny little harvest. I then researched what to do with the lavender and that is how we came up with our line of spa-quality lavender-infused product line. We then planted 4,000 plants in the Spring of 2021 and had a very successful year on the farm and with our products. We have just placed an order for over 2,000 more plants for 2022 and look forward to another year of successful lavender farming.

How do you market your products? 

We first marketed to our friends and family through social media and then launched our website on November 17th, 2020 and haven’t looked back yet. We are coming up to our first year of official launch. We also do Farmer’s Markets and some other online markets to get the word out there. We have recently launched in the US so we can now ship across North America.
We also give back to our community whether it be prizes for fundraisers or sponoring events. It is very important to us to ensure we give back to the community we live in.

Who is the person who has had the biggest impact on your farming journey thus far?

I would have to say my husband and my father-in-law. I think they didn’t know what the heck I was thinking, but my husband was the one that pushed me when I doubted what the heck I was doing. He truly never stopped believing in me. My Father in Law thought I was nuts and was doubtful, but that man sat in the tractor during planting day and never stopped helping. I love watching them hanging out and doing the “farm things” and growing our family business.

What is your favourite aspect of farming? 

I absolutely love standing out in my lavender field and taking it all in. Then just me and the dogs out trimming and harvesting our little hearts out. I will continue to do this even though my husband has bought a harvester for next year, because I just love touching what we have grown and I am so uber proud of what we did.

What is something that you would like to change about your industry? 

I would love for the lavender industry to be aligned and open like other farming industries. I have watched my in-laws be part of something that the lavender farmers have not figured out. It isn’t about competition – just think if the lavender industry in Ontario, even Canada, takes off, how much more awareness, support, and business you will get. It doesn’t have to be a hidden little secret where you don’t want to share your ideas. Everyone can stay in their lane doing what they are doing, but we can hold hands while we do it.

Be sure to check out Hereward Farms page on G’day!

G'day Staff
Author: G'day Staff

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