If you’re a fan of the fragrant and versatile herb known as lavender, you’re in for a treat in the beautiful state of Iowa. Iowa is home to several delightful you-pick lavender farms that offer not only a scenic and aromatic experience but also an opportunity to create lasting memories. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best you-pick lavender farms in Iowa and provide tips on caring for lavender after it’s picked.
Benefits of Visiting You-Pick Lavender Farms
Before diving into our top picks, let’s take a moment to appreciate the benefits of visiting you-pick lavender farms. Lavender is renowned for its therapeutic properties, known to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and improve sleep quality. Walking through a lavender field, and inhaling its calming aroma, can have a profound effect on your well-being. You-pick farms offer a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in nature, enjoy the beauty of vibrant purple blooms, and create cherished moments.
Top You-Pick Lavender Farms in Iowa
Loess Hills Lavender Farm, Missouri Valley
Location: 2278 Loess Hills Trail, Missouri Valley, Iowa
They have weekly hours where they are open to the public and for a small fee, you can pick your own lavender! Also, stop in their lavender shop to check out their lavender-based products. The last time I stopped, they even had lavender cookies to sample!
The Lavender Farm at Sutliff
Location: 1380 White Oak Ave Northeast, Lisbon, Iowa
Featuring springtime flower picking and then lavender in the summer.
Jester Hill Farm, Madrid
Location: 12430 Northwest 128th Street, Madrid, Iowa
Minervas Meadow, State Center
Location: State Center, Iowa
Use their contact form to inquire about you-pick options for flowers and lavender.
Howells Greenhouse and Pumpkin Patch, Cumming
Location: 3145 Howell Court, Cumming, Iowa
For $10, you can pick 50 stems to take home! The lavender patch is new and limited in size, so contact them to make its available.
Pepper Harrow, Winterset
Location: Winterset, Iowa
Pepper Harrow is NOT open to the general public. It is a working farm and a family home. You must have reservations, which are available on their website for a variety of events, including you-pick flowers.
Iowa Lavender, Ames
Location: 25016 Sand Hill Trail, Ames, Iowa
They do not have general hours where they are open to the public for picking lavender, however, make a reservation and your group can have a private lavender-picking session.
Lavender Farms that sell products, but not you-pick
Lavender Life, Pleasant Hill
Location: 1687 NE 56th St, Pleasant Hill, Iowa
Their shop is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday – however, I do not see any options for picking your own lavender from the field. However, their shop is full of lavender-based products.
Always Lavender Thyme Lavender Farm, Iowa City
Tips for Visiting You-Pick Lavender Farms
To make the most of your visit to you-pick lavender farms, keep these tips in mind:
- Dress comfortably: Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing, along with sturdy footwear suitable for walking on uneven terrain.
- Bring essentials: Don’t forget sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, water bottles, and insect repellent to ensure a comfortable experience.
- Timing is key: Lavender blooms during specific months, usually from late spring to early summer. Check with the farms for the best time to visit when the lavender is in full splendor.
- Harvesting tips: When picking lavender, grasp the stems near the base and use scissors or pruning shears for a clean cut. Avoid damaging the plant by leaving a few inches of growth on each stem.
Caring for Lavender After Harvest
Once you’ve enjoyed the joy of picking your own lavender, it is important to properly care for it to ensure its longevity and preserve its fragrance. Here are some tips on how to care for lavender after harvest:
- Handle with care: Handle the lavender bundles gently to avoid bruising or breaking the delicate flowers and stems.
- Harvesting techniques: Cut lavender stems early in the morning after the dew has dried. Use clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors to make a clean cut just above the leaves or branching point.
- Drying methods: There are a few methods to dry lavender, including air drying and hanging bundles. For air drying, gather a small bunch of lavender stems, tie them together with a rubber band or string, and hang them upside down in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area. Ensure the bundles are not exposed to direct sunlight to prevent color fading. Alternatively, you can lay the lavender stems flat on a clean surface or hang them in a mesh bag for air drying.
- Storing lavender: Once the lavender is dry, remove the flowers from the stems by gently rubbing them between your fingers. Store the dried lavender in airtight containers, such as glass jars or resealable bags, in a cool, dark place. This will help retain the aroma and prevent moisture from affecting the dried flowers.
- Utilize dried lavender: Dried lavender can be used in various ways. It’s perfect for crafting homemade potpourri, sachets, or scented pillows. The fragrant buds can also be added to culinary creations like baked goods, infused syrups, or teas. Get creative and explore the many uses of dried lavender in your daily life.
By following these care instructions, you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of your harvested lavender for months to come.
Embarking on a you-pick lavender adventure in Iowa is a delightful experience for nature lovers and lavender enthusiasts alike. The state is home to enchanting lavender farms that offer not only the opportunity to immerse yourself in picturesque fields but also the chance to bring home a piece of that fragrant beauty. From workshops to festivals and organic practices, Iowa’s lavender farms have something to offer for everyone.
Remember to dress comfortably, bring your essentials, and visit during the peak bloom season for an unforgettable experience. And once you’ve picked your lavender, take care of it by properly handling, drying, and storing the flowers. This way, you can enjoy the therapeutic benefits and captivating aroma of lavender long after your visit to the farm.
So, pack your bags, head to the lavender farms of Iowa, and create memories that will stay with you as sweet as the scent of lavender. Don’t forget to share your own experiences or recommend your favorite lavender farms in the comments below. Happy lavender picking!