A little off the beaten path in Remsen lies a hidden amethyst.
Some visitors come in dresses and sun hats, hoping to capture an enviable Instagram moment. Families arrive to spend time among rows of flowers, pens of goats or on nature trails.
Spring Creek Lavender & Flower Farm, now in its second season, offers 13 varieties of lavender to be picked, which vary in stem length, color and use. The family-owned and operated farm also offers a variety of products: lotions, sprays, essential oils and seasonings.
A bouquet of lavender — roughly 100 stems — costs $10 and is cut with provided scissors. There’s no entry fee to the farm, which is owned by Kevin and Kara Keeley and Kara’s parents, Tom and Jane Willis.
“We want to be family friendly” Kara Keeley said. “We know it’s hard to come to things when you have to pay for all of your kids.”
The Keeleys would know, with three children for their own. Eli, Nathan and Emma help on the farm with tasks like pulling weeds and helping with the animals.
Lavender is a perennial and requires plenty of attention while keeping the farm immaculate. Wide, grassy lanes between the plants allow easy access for strollers or wheelchairs, while preventing a muddy experience for visitors.
At the end of the season for lavender, which runs 3-4 weeks, all of the buds have to be cut and processed into products at the farm. Barn cats are employed to manage the voles and moles angling for a piece of the plants.
Spring Creek Lavender is located on sandy soil, which suits lavender, and is exposed to plenty of direct sunlight, said Kevin Keeley. It’s also in the middle of snowbelt, so the ground is typically blanketed throughout the winter, Kara Keeley said.
“Even though they’re a tropical plant and they like the heat and humidity, the snow keeps them warm and protects them in the winter,” she said. “We have our own little microclimate here on the farm that really works in favor for the lavender.”
When the lavender season ends, the farm shifts its focus to cut flowers. The flowers are already planted and growing in order to pick up right where the lavender leaves off.
The farm doesn’t just offer lavender plants and products, however.
Spring Creek offers lavender tea events, where guests sip tea, eat sweet and savory desserts and pick a bouquet of fresh lavender from the farm. There also are date nights, including July 9, which include meals at the Keeley’s food truck, fresh-squeezed lemonade, access to the farm’s trails and s’mores at a campfire.
The farm also offers goat and lavender yoga on Saturday mornings with instructors from In Bloom Yoga. The session includes an hour-long class with 30 minutes of playtime with the goats or rabbits.
Details of events can be found on the farm’s website, springcreeklavenderny.com.
Spring Creek also offers micro weddings, taking place near a pond and lavender patch, for up to 50 guests. The weddings are all inconclusive, with a photographer, officiant, flowers, handmade arbor and reception food items provided based on the options you select.
The micro wedding idea came up during the coronavirus pandemic, when most wedding ceremonies had to be scaled back, Kevin Keeley said.
“It’s really for the bride that doesn’t want to go through the hassle of planning everything and laying out everything,” he said.
So far, business and local support for Spring Creek have been good, the Keeleys said. People from Rochester, Albany and Syracuse have stopped by, some on their way to the Adirondacks.
Some people have visited the lavender farm one weekend, then returned the next because they enjoyed it so much, Kara Keeley said.
The local crowd also has shown interest. Kevin Keeley said one man who attended goat yoga — and essentially sat through the session with a goat in his lap — lived only a few miles away and discovered the farm for the first time.
“You have people both near and far discovering it, which has been great,” Kevin Keeley said. “And a lot of repeat customers from last year, as well.”
Steve Howe is the city reporter for the Observer-Dispatch. For unlimited access to his stories, please subscribe or activate your digital account today. Email Steve Howe at firstname.lastname@example.org.