By Cassandra Lybrink
Tucked into the rolling hills of Boyne City, Lavender Hill Farm is home to 27 varieties of lavender, a beautifully restored barn and acres upon acres of breathtaking scenery. “It was once part of a much, much bigger farm,” said Rita Robbins, who owns the farm along with husband-and-wife team Bill and Erin Mansfield. “They were auctioning off different parts of the land and there were 33 acres where the barn was located that nobody wanted.”
In 2003, longtime resident Linda Longworth decided to make the purchase and plant the lavender. But initially, the crop wasn’t meant for humans.
“Linda was a beekeeper,” Robbins said. “She planted the lavender because it’s a superfood for bees. But pretty soon, people wanted to buy the lavender as much as they wanted to buy the honey.”
In 2016, Longworth sold the farm to its current owners.
“Bill and I worked together in our day jobs,” Robbins said. “He called me up and asked me if I wanted to buy a lavender farm. My husband thought I was crazy, but both Bill and I have been successful entrepreneurs in the past.”
Lavender Hill Farm is located just minutes from Boyne City, Petoskey, Bay Harbor and Charlevoix. Seasonal events include tours, yoga, crafts, photography and other classes. Visitors can pick their own lavender, watch oil being distilled or simply walk through the fields.
The farm’s restored barn can be rented for weddings, showers and other celebrations. It’s also used as a live music venue, featuring talent from across the country. “We think it’s just the most beautiful spot up north that you’ve ever seen,” Robbins said. “We wanted to make a place for the community to come together, and this has taken off beyond our wildest dreams.”
During current conditions, many points of interest are closed. Contact Lavender Hill Farm to confirm hours and availability.