Harvesting lavender in a field that looks as good as it smells is all in a days work for the team at Menkveld Farm. From wedding bouquets to gifts, not only do they offer their products year round, including fresh lavender in the summer, but have expanded into holding weddings and wedding photos all on the farm. They aim to make your job easier and are flexible in working with you to meet your needs. Sounds like a dream right?! Elizabeth is sharing all about their business below. Keep reading to find out more!
Tell us about Menkveld Farm + how long you’ve been in business.
Elizabeth: We officially opened the business the summer of 2017, but my husband and I started preparing to own a farm and grow lavender years before we were able to buy the property in Nolensville. Before we purchased our property, we had a quarter-acre in Minnesota where we started growing flowers on a small scale. We had a small row of lavender and a large garden where we learned as much as we could about growing and caring for cut flowers. Within a few months of purchasing our current home, we had planted a field with 350 lavender plants. Our first lavender harvest was the following June and we decided to focus mainly on drying the lavender for sachets and decor. With our second harvest this past year, we decided to expand our on farm offerings by selling fresh lavender at our farm stand and opening up the farm for professional photographers to use for photo sessions.
In addition to this we also planted a second lavender field with another 150 plants and two sunflower patches. Currently we sell fresh lavender during the summer and we have a variety of lavender products for sale year round. The farm is also available for private events, weddings, and professional photo sessions. There were a few major desires for our family that led us to start this business. First of all, we love being outside and knew that if we were going to start a small business we wanted it to be focused around something that we enjoyed doing. We also purchased the property and started the farm with the hopes of raising our children here. We wanted to give our children access to the outdoors to play, explore, and learn, but also instill in them a strong work ethic and an understanding of how to care for the earth.
How did you get started in weddings?
Elizabeth: Hosting weddings and having a wedding product line had been in our 5 – 10 year plan for the farm, but there were a couple things that really fast-tracked us getting started with weddings. After our first harvest, we noticed that many of our customers were brides who were planning on using our dried lavender for their upcoming wedding. With the demand for lavender for weddings, we decided to start offering brides a variety of wedding decor and favor options, along with dried flower arrangements. This now allows us to offer products for both brides who are interested in making their own decorations with our standard, dried bouquets, or brides who would like items ready to go. What really launched us into weddings though was that we were approached by someone asking if we would be open to having a wedding on the farm! We were thrilled to see there was already interest in using the farm for wedding ceremonies and receptions. Our current wedding offerings include a variety of flower arrangements for the wedding party, lavender wedding favors, toss bags for the newlywed couple’s send off, and an outdoor venue for photography and weddings.
What’s the philosophy behind Menkveld Farm?
Elizabeth: Being good stewards of the land is extremely important to Nathan and me. We are very intentional about how we farm and what the implications are for anyone who visits or purchases our products. One major way we try to care for the land is by choosing to follow organic practices as much as possible. While it takes significantly more effort to keep the weeds under control and prevent bugs from damaging our crops, it is very reassuring to know that we don’t have to worry about what our kids or other people may be exposed to when they are enjoying their time here. We also strive to make the farm a place where beneficial insects and birds want to live. We plant a variety of flowers that attracts bees, butterflies, and birds from spring until fall. The bees especially love the lavender fields when they are in bloom, and it is not unusual to see up to 5 different types of bees on the same lavender plant! This philosophy also translates into the products we make with our lavender. We only use ingredients we would feel comfortable using with our family, so others can also feel comfortable with the products being used in their homes.
What are your strengths compared to others farms?
Elizabeth: One of the best things we can offer people who work with us is flexibility! While we have our standard event offerings and product listings, we are able to work with our clients to tailor our offerings to meet their individual needs. We love when brides reach out asking if they could buy a bouquet, but have a different color ribbon, or would love to have sachets for her wedding favors, but wants a custom stamp made just for them. It is fun to see each bride’s style as she prepares everything for her wedding! Just the other day we had someone reach out who saw our pressed lavender notecards and wanted to know if we could turn that into place cards. We understand that it can be difficult and frustrating when you have a vision and you can’t quite find what you are looking for to make everything come together. We hope that our flexibility enables our clients to see their visions become reality.
What attracts couples to your business?
Elizabeth: Regardless of if a couple is interested in wedding favors or a location for wedding photos or the wedding itself, our lavender is definitely the main attraction! Lavender fields are not something that you often see in the South, so our farm provides a unique opportunity for couples getting married in middle Tennessee. For those interested in our wedding products, we offer couples a place to buy lavender locally. We also are able to customize our offerings to fit each couple’s unique style. For our fresh lavender, we harvest stems within 24 hours of delivery and store them in a refrigerator, so couples receive extremely fresh and fragrant bouquets!
We also know there are so many details couples are sorting through when they are planning their wedding, so we strive to make working with us as simple and straightforward as possible. There are many ways for our customers to contact us, so they can use whichever form of communication is best for them. Our customer can also expect to hear back from us very quickly. For our custom orders, we confirm all personalizations with clients before finalizing the product to ensure everyone is happy with the end result. For photo sessions and weddings on the farm, we provide a personalized informational package that details the different planning considerations for an event to help ensure the planning process goes as smoothly as possible, nothing is overlooked, and everyone has an enjoyable time at Menkveld Farm. Our goal is to provide a high-quality experience to everyone we work with, and have them know that we value them and their time, and want them to have the best experience possible.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about Menkveld Farm?
Elizabeth: While we offer dried lavender products throughout the year, we also provide fresh lavender for weddings that take place in June and July, which can be preordered through our website. We also have lots of ideas in the works for our next growing season, so keep an eye out for announcements about our new offerings on our blog or social media accounts!
Everything about Nashville lavender farm Menkveld Farm defines quality and we love all that they have to offer! Thanks Elizabeth for sharing all this great information with us!