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Learn from expert growers and business leaders in the industry and access a wealth of resources for your business. Recaps of each recording are presented below to help you prioritize your viewing schedule. Access includes ”Discover Lavender”, which includes segments on the joys of lavender in cooking,cocktails/mocktails, crafts, and more.

Presenting Conference Sponsors
Greener Life Club / Derek Hodges - www.greenerlifeclub.com
Positively Aromatic / Sandra Shuff - www.PA-Wholesale.com
Wayward Winds Lavender / Marilyn Kosel - www.waywardwindslavender.com
Barn2Door / James Maiocco - www.barn2door.com
On The Edge Events / Kera Wasserbach - www.ontheedgeevents.com

Grow Your Business with Email
Charlotte Smith, 3Cow Marketing
www.3CowMarketing.com
Charlotte explains the concept of relationship selling: "Help them, don't sell them, and trust will follow." She holds a firm belief that the home base to your business is a website and email-marketing. Social media can enhance your business, but a website and email campaigns are your foundation. Included in the seminar are key facts such as:

  • Despite rumors to the contrary, everyone does have an email address!
  • Only 5% OF FB/IG followers ever see your posts; emails will reach your customers.
  • Define your "dream customer" and focus your marketing on the dream customer.
  • Ideas to grow your list of email subscribers.
  • Consistent email communications are critical, and foster trust with your customers.

Distill your Lavender for Hydrosol & Essential Oil
Sandra Shuff -- PA-Wholesale
www.PA- Wholesale.com
This distillation session focuses on distilling for hydrosols versus essential oils, and explains the difference between copper stills vs stainless steel. Sandra discusses key points on distillation: terminology, techniques, costs, ROI, and timing, plus answers the following key questions:

  • What does it cost to create a distillery, equipment, supplies, and botanicals?
  • How much time is required for distillation?
  • How much lavender essential oil and hydrosol do you get and what does it sell for?
  • Where can you purchase stills and where can you get hands-on training?
  • Options to outsource distillation.

How to Start a Lavender Farm -- Parts 1 and 2
Nicole and Dan Callan, Norwood Lavender
www.norwoodlavenderfarm.com
In this two-part series covering six topics, Nicole and Dan explore how to choose your lavender, major aspects of planting, the vision of what your farm will look like, and choosing products or types of events for your lavender farm. Information includes different types of businesses to consider: wholesale, retail, events, and agritourism. Lastly, they talk about money, sales, and marketing your business for success in the industry. Included in their presentation are helpful hints such as:

  • Issues like farm drainage, signage, teaching customers how to "U-pick" (need a field "teacher").
  • Classes to offer to increase farm traffic: yoga, crafting, painting.
  • Top Google-searched lavender products in the US: lavender oil, dried lavender, lavender tea, lavender spray (pillow spray, linen spray, room spray), lavender syrup, lavender lemonade.
  • Size of a bundle is the "AOK" symbol made with thumb and first finger.
  • Expect roughly six bouquets per plant.
  • You are officially a "lavender farm" when you have 100 plants.

2021 Market Trends Every Farmer Should Know
James Maiocco, Barn2Door Marketing
www.barn2door.com
Key concepts covered by James include discussion on:

  • Online is the new norm. Every farm should be online.
  • Subscription sales equate to seasonality, availability, and cash flow.
  • Delivery is the expectation, and restaurants set the stage for home delivery. Buyers expect to pay for convenience.
  • Bundles are big. Encourage people to buy more. Bundles for 1, 2 and 4-person households. Be creative!
  • Farm brands go mainstream: invest in your brand and distinguish yourself from "big name” brands.

Targeted Growing for the Success of Your Lavender Farm
Joseph Downs, Lavender Man
www.thelavenderboutique.net
Discover how "targeted growing" is vital to the success of your lavender business.
Topics discussed: best varieties to grow for landscaping, fresh & dried bundles, culinary and
essential oil. Joseph explains many key points for a grower, including:

  • How the right lavenders are critical to your success.
  • How to extend "bloom time".
  • Use septic drain fields to your farm's advantage.
  • Options for fresh and dry bundles (and options to consider).

Greener Life Essentials
Derek Hodges, Greener Life
www.greenerlifeclub.com
Derek explains the concepts of Greener Life Essentials, and their cooperation with Essential Depot.
Greener Life Essentials is dedicated to producing products and services that promote greener living. They strive to provide shoppers reliable information about the health, social, animal welfare and environmental attributes of a product at the point of purchase. Further, they promote good manufacturing and/or re-packaging practices in the production and/or packaging of the products they sell.

Labels 101
Allison Vought, Alimar Labs
www.alimarlabs.com
Allison presents an amazing amount of labeling information, all of which is absolutely essential
to any business that is considering labeling anything!

  • Overview of labeling requirements.
  • Summary of regulatory requirements (FDA, FTC, EPA).
  • Basic cosmetic labeling guidelines for placement/labels for inner and outer containers.
  • Labeling regulations for cosmetics.
  • FDA terminology.
  • Private label requirements

Allison recommends this reference book: "Simple Labeling and Regulations" by Debbie May, and can
be purchased on Amazon.

How to Build an Effective Website
Charlotte Smith, 3Cow Marketing
www.3CowMarketing.com
Charlotte's opening questions get right to the heart of the matter: Do you have a website? Does
it drive enough sales to make your farm profitable? Or do you have "website shame?" Your website is the foundation of your business, coupled with email marketing. These two key elements support social media, not the other way around.
Charlotte details the "must haves" for each necessary part of your website's five pages:

  1. Home: your first impression, use professional photos. Make it clear what you sell. It's about your customers, not you.
  2. About Us: relate to your customers … how you will help them. (Initially, customers don't care about you!)
  3. Blog: use this to show more ways to use your products. Great for off-season communications to share other ideas.
  4. Products: keep to one page if possible. Keep it simple. Think: customer's struggle; your product as their solution.
  5. Contact Us: contact info, FAQs, buying process.

Just a few of her other great suggestions:

  • Don't use free platforms. They minimize your Google searches.
  • Build your website in the beginning, before you have product, so it's ready to go when your business is.
  • DIY or hire a website designer? You can do it yourself.
  • No flashy popups. Don't link to other websites. No excessive links to social media.
  • Put an email sign-up on every page at the top (offer an informational freebie for signing up).

Producing Value Added Products
Marilyn Kosel, Wayward Winds Lavender
www.waywardwindslavender.com
Offering value-added products can be a valuable part of your business strategy. Learn what it takes to make products yourself, as well as other options for extending your product line. Marilyn discusses private label, ready-to-label, and bulk lavender products. Also covered: cost determination, facilities and equipment, pricing your products to make a profit, and identifying your customers.

Amazing perks: Marilyn offers her eight-page handbook on the wholesale private-labeling process, plus handouts identifying most sellable products in lavender-based culinary products, premium teas, cosmetics, and home products. Watch this before you expand your product line!

Lavender Primer - History, Gardening Basics, Varieties and Joys
Joanne Voelker, Mt. Airy Lavender
www.MtAiryLavender.com
Joanne’s workshop introduces you to all things lavender including: the history of lavender, distilling lavender for essential oil, uses & benefits of lavender, types of lavender, how to select a varietal, how to grow and care for lavender, and using lavender in cooking. She speaks from experience as a lavender grower and distiller (she has 2000 plants), and along the way, she shares thoughts on how to make your farm more profitable as well as lessons learned, e.g., she has replanted some sections of her farm 3 times already.

Beautifully illustrated, her session includes many excellent exhibits on varieties, uses, recipes, menus, and more.

GC Analysis of Essential Oils
Kevin Dunn, Hampden-Sydney Collage
www.essentialdepot.com
This session outlines the procedure Kevin uses to determine which compounds are present in a given sample of an essential oil. This analysis allows the quality of an oil to be judged, and any adulteration to be flagged.

Kevin explains this technical process, illustrated with documents of actual testing analyses. Kevin's lab at Hampden-Sydney College provides non-certified technical analyses, by ingredient. His ongoing research continues to uncover fascinating details of the behavior of fats, oils, soaps, and synthetic detergents.

Why Should Lavender Farms Care about Honeybees?
Ted Maciejewski, Univ. of Montana, Golden Prairie Honey Farm
www.thesavefarm.org
Honeybees love lavender, but most lavender farmers do not love honeybees, but they should! Ted Maciejewski is a certified master beekeeper and explains why honeybees are vital to lavender farms and what lavender farmers need to do to promote a healthy, cohesive “friendship” between lavender farmers and honeybees. In addition to amazingly detailed step-by-step instructions, Ted includes a gazillion helpful hints, like how many pounds you can expect per hive, and how this translates to the cost and profit per hive. Don't miss the discussion on swarms.

Watch this session to learn how to stop fighting the honeybees and start profiting from what they can do for your lavender instead! And remember, this is a non-profit to help veterans!

Latest News of Phytophthora
Dr. Steve Jeffers, Clemson University
[email protected]
Dr. Jeffers reviewed what we know about Phytophthora root and crown rot; an ongoing disease problem in the lavender industry. He discussed current and recent research projects on the potential for bio-fungicides to manage this disease and sampling lavender plugs for the pathogens. He also highlighted research findings and tells growers how they can help move projects forward. His co-worker Linus Schmitz joins him.
Interesting findings include:

  • Which species are most affected by Phytophthora, including information on climates (warmer or cooler).
  • Most contaminated plants come from nurseries, so it is imperative to buy plants from a respected nursery.
  • New growers and nursery plants are most affected (see bullet above).
  • Test lavender plants in small areas before you plant an entire field.
  • Sanitation practices are critical ("think Covid").

HELP! Dr. Jeffers needs samples from several states to enhance his studies. It appears he needs samples from several Midwest states. View his presentation and toward the end, see the map detailing the states he lacks samples from.

Utilizing the USDA's Value-Added Product Grant (VAPG)
Allison Horseman and Mary May, Woodstock Lavender Farm
www.woodstocklavender.com
Allison and Mary present many of the basic fact sheets critical to review prior to preparing a product grant. And equally important, they share many of their hard-earned suggestions to make the process more manage- able, i.e.:

  • Keep it simple and only use two categories of expenses: 1) processing (mfg) and 2) sales & marketing
  • If you request under $50,000, it’s a much simpler application.
  • What is and is not "grant eligible".
  • You must produce at least 51% of the raw agricultural product for your project.
  • 25% of the project's cost must be in your bank account, to prove you had the money.

Making Easy Cocktails and Mocktails
Courtney & Mike Obland, Sorva Syrups
https://sorvasyrups.com
Come learn the many uses of lavender in drinks with easy recipes for home-sipping; including mocktails, cocktails, teas, coffees, and sodas. As they explain, the popularity of botanical herbal flavors (like lavender) are growing exponentially every year. Their website will provide more recipes and tips.
Some key points:

  • A little lavender goes a long way. Don't overdo it.
  • Lavender will complement other flavors.
  • Top drink recipes: Lavender Lemon Drop, Lavender Margarita, Lavender Champagne (use dry champagne!).
  • Any drink recipe: 1:1:2, which means 1 part sweet, 1 part sour, and 2 parts alcohol.

Visit this seminar to learn their theories and recipes of herbs in cocktails.

Dried Lavender Wreath-Making & Bouquet Workshop
Serena Pelletier, Serene Lavender Farm
www.serenelavenderfarm.com
Learn how to create a decorative wreath using dried lavender, herbs, and other natural seasonal materials.

Serena provides step-by-step instructions on basic wreath-making techniques, using a 12" wire wreath form and other readily available crafting supplies. She explains selecting appropriate varieties and complementary materials, drying techniques, plus other tips for creating your own beautiful, unique wreath (or table center- piece) and simple bouquet.

This seminar will give you loads of new ideas for wreaths: shapes and sizes (6", 12", heart, square); and how to artfully combine different lavenders, or lavenders with wheat or dried flowers for contrast. Serena and attendees discuss which varieties shed the most/least; and "fresh vs dried," though Serena herself only uses dried due to time constraints with running the farm! P.S. The wreaths are beautiful!

Keep Followers Engaged on Instagram
Shellie Watkins Ritzman, My Garden Blooms
https://mygardenblooms.net
The business model of "My Garden Blooms," includes bouquet subscriptions plus collaborative events, both in the community and on the farm. Shellie will explain the benefits of using Instagram with this model. Shellie's suggestions and shortcuts for improving your Instagram are spot on, including:

  • Post weekly, at a minimum. Keep your business on their radar.
  • Structure and schedule your postings to make it easier to accomplish. For example, pick three themes.
  • How to ENGAGE in order to improve your followings.
  • Hashtags: Shelly explains a shortcut for adding hashtags (thank you!). She believes the more hashtags the better, and teaches you how to find best hashtags for your business.
  • Hint: List your location in your bio.

If you're on Instagram, you need to watch and you will learn some new tricks from this presentation.

Opening Your Farm for a Year-Round Revenue Stream
Ellen Reynolds, Beagle Ridge Lavender
www.beagleridge.org
Opening your farm to the public can be daunting. Agritourism has long been a way to attract visitors to the farm, and diversification is the key to running a sustainable business. Ellen details many basic business concepts including retail vs wholesale vs private label and "bring in an expert if you don't know it.” Most importantly, Ellen explains dozens of ways to expand your season from a one-day festival (or even a three- weekend U-Pick) to generate revenue year-round, long after the lavender season is over.
Tips include:

  • Plant/promote/sell "second crop" alternative-season plantings: pumpkins, Christmas trees, and flowers.
  • Solicit "groups" to visit your farm: PTAs, book clubs, teas, field trips, specific-topic workshops (weaving). They'll become return customers after their first visit.
  • Consider if your venue can be used for weddings, cabins, etc. Idea: Yonder.com can rent your farm!

Discover Lavender for Health and Beauty
Janice Cox, Natural Beauty at Home
[email protected]
The fresh clean scent of lavender has been used in cosmetics and skin care products since ancient times. Lavender smells good, improves your circulation, and helps you sleep, just to name a few reasons the popularity of this fragrant plant has never been higher.

Janice demonstrates how to create your own DIY body care products that can be used for hair care, skin care and in the bath. She also shares many tips, recipes, and herbal craft ideas. Janice offers practical tips as well, e.g., you don't need perfect lavender for sachets, how to debud a bundle for cooking, and loads more. See the session and her wonderful handouts with three recipes! Janice is the author of five best-selling books on thetopic, including her latest book, "Beautiful Lavender."

Culinary Lavender Cook Along--From Field to Kitchen to Table
Nancy Baggett, Nancy's Lavender Place
www.nancyslavenderplace.com
Join Nancy in her kitchen and discover many delectable  ways to cook with lavender. Learn tips on choosing the right  lavender, growing, harvesting  and prepping lavender buds. Learn which specific types of lavender consti- tute "culinary  lavender." Learn how lavender enhances any herb it's combined with, such as cinnamon, gloves, nutmeg,  and cardamon.

During Nancy's "Cook  Along", you will see how to make a microwave mug of lavender hot chocolate, and her Gourmet Lavender Fruit Syrup, which goes with most any fruit.  Watch to the end to see this recipe: Nuke 1 tablespoon lavender buds with water; strain it into lemonade, add ginger  ale (vodka optional).  Also hear about Nancy's latest book, “The Art of Cooking with Lavender”.

Introduction to Soapmaking
Kevin Dunn, Hampden-Sydney College
www.essentialdepot.com
This session demonstrates the materials and procedures  used to turn oil into soap. Using an "Essential Depot" soap kit, Kevin walks you through  the process to make a soap, with lots of ideas, precautions,  and suggestions on both ingredients and the soap-making process. Both lavender buds and lavender oil may be incorporated into soap, thus giving growers a showcase for their crops. Given Kevin's technical background, rest assured this information is solid.
Kevin suggests two books for soap-makers:

  1. New Soap Makers: Smart Soap Making by Ann Watson
  2. Advanced: Scientific Soapmaking by Kevin Dunn

Lavender Festival: Planning for a Successful Event
Tina and David Duffy, Red Oak Lavender
www.redoaklavender.com
This session covers how to plan a successful lavender festival; including  an excellent month-by-month planner with all the details that a farm might  or should think about to be prepared. What are the unforeseen problems and how to avoid them? How do you control attendance? What worked  and didn't work over the years of having festivals? Learn how to streamline the positives and avoid problems to create the best ever successful lavender festival.

Examples of the monthly  planning points include:

  • 1 year before:  date, cost, map, and legal requirements.
  • 9 months before:  get vendors (need contracts to ensure they show, and for liability reasons), demos, musicians, etc. Find vendors by visiting  other festivals.
  • 6 months before:  ticket  pricing,  volunteers,  WIFI for vendors, photo-op designs/locations.

If you're ever planning to do a festival, this is a must-see!

Culinary Lavender Workshop -- Tasting, Smelling & Comparing Lavenders
Joseph Downs, The Lavender Boutique
www.thelavenderboutique.net
Joseph imparts his extensive culinary knowledge in this session, from specific details to truisms about the craft. He details his preferences for culinary lavenders. You must watch it to hear this … it's fascinating. Spoiler alert: some of his top picks include Provence, French Fields, and Pacific Blue, but he talks about many more!
Some fun facts from Joseph include:

  • If they don't like the scent, they won't like it in food.
  • Keep lid on during  simple syrup cooldown (or all lavender scent goes into the air).
  • Lavender enhances the flavor of other herbs in a dressing or rub.

On The Edge Events
Kera Wasserbash
www.ontheedgeevent.com
Kera is the event coordinator who facilitated this USLGA conference. If you watched the conference, you know what the company offers! They develop  in-person and virtual events/conferences from the pre-planning through  post-review, while offering several small enhancements to your planning that help make your event a success.

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