Hillcrest Lavender Farm, LLC is a family-owned lavender farm formed by Eric and Kathy Turner in the summer of 2017. Situated on the rolling hillside outside Sherbune, the farm sits amongst the peaceful countryside with panoramic views of the nearby hills and Chenango Valley.
Our first two years were spent installing the field and trying to grow different varieties of lavender with limited success. We opened our "shop," which consisted of little more than a wooden table and seven products. With some changes and the additions of a tractor and a small shed for our shop, we grew, and even with the COVID-19 pandemic, we hosted our first years of U-pick. Determined to get the most out of our lavender, we purchased a copper still in 2020 and began producing our own lavender essential oil and hydrosol and developing our products.
Success and Setback
In 2020, we began to harvest our lavender to get dried buds or to distill for essential oil and hydrosol. We purchased two Babydoll lambs, affectionately named Beau and Peep, to help with weed control in the field, and they quickly became popular with our guests. Our U-pick received a personal record of over 2000 attendees by our 2021 season.
In 2022, the unusually warm winter caused the plants to begin to come out of dormancy by mid-spring. However, a late snowstorm in April deposited 20 inches of very wet snow, followed by several days of extreme cold. Unfortunately, this storm killed approximately 90% of our plants. This same problem occurred at many lavender farms on the East Coast of North America. And yet, we were determined to succeed.
We currently have about 1250 mature lavender plants that we allow the public to come and enjoy in the summer months, and then harvest to sell and create products for our year-round shop. This past year, we focused heavily on improving our customer experience and have added a deer fence, a parking lot, Woodpecker Way (a path through the nearby woods), and a brand-new shop. Plus, our new distillery holds a new, larger still that you can visit and see Eric distill our lavender.
With the addition of four new lambs in 2022, our flock tripled. Daryl, Daryl, Larry, and Annabelle and their distinct personalities help Beau and Peep weed our lavender and entertain our guests. We recently became a host for Harvest Hosts and allow RV's to spend a night at our farm. We also now host private and public workshops and events, offer private photography sessions, and give tours upon request.
As we have grown and changed, we have maintained a hands-on approach to our business and ensure that each customer receives a unique experience. We place our customers and guests first, offering country-style service in a family-friendly environment.