The Farm Archives
I have been putting this off for some time, mainly because I haven’t
felt like my head has been clear enough to bring you a concise, short,
sweet message about little ol’ me!
However, as I speak to more people and make more connections, I realize
how unique my story is and how personally intertwined a person is with
their “small” business.
Look at any owner operated business and you will see so many bits and
pieces of them in it.
Well, this is me, there’s so much to say, so many topics i’d love to
touch on but for now I will leave it at this:
My name is Justina and I am a Lavender Farmer.
We planted our first plants in April of 2017.
Why / How Lavender Farming?
Like anything in life, there wasn’t a linear path to this. Looking back
on it now, I see how I was being prepped for this role, but I had no
idea. After college, I landed a highly-sought after job with tons of prestige; it was incredible and I was so excited, but after some time I knew it wasn’t my future. It didn’t spark passion nor fuel my want and need to somehow give back to a community in the way I envisioned. I felt bad for feeling that way; not wanting to work for this company seemed almost as if I was taking it for granted.
I quickly took my next job and low and behold, it was an even worse
fit. The crazy thing was I was making more money! So it was like- okay,
clearly money is not a motivating factor for me.… Do I want to live a
good life? Absolutely, give me farmers markets every day, poke bowls,
fresh juice, a cabana on a beach and take me to Tahoe every other week.
But I knew this job wasn’t going to create a “good life” for me.
Looking back, I don’t regret a single thing - I see the value in all the confusion, calling my mom sobbing about how unhappy and unsure
I was of what to do next, the horrible bosses, the general experience; it all
plays a role in my success today.
At the same time all of this was unwrapping, my dad was thinking of retirement and considering everything you could think of: planting almond orchards, vineyards, something new every week it seemed like, and I was excited to see what he was going to land on.
In my head I was doing all I could to figure out what the hell do I do
now? I’ve left Apple, jumped to a horrific job where i’m visiting the
church next door regularly to fit in quick, quiet sobs. If I jump to yet ANOTHER job, am I just your typical, predictable, fickle millennial?? Ahh!!!
I thought to myself, screw all the voices in and out of your head
telling you xyz is ridiculous, and go back to the basics. Pretend you’re
10 and someone asks you “what do you want to be when you grow up?” and answer with no inhibitions what so ever.
……….I want to be a farmer.
It came to a complete surprise to me. I went to college in Silicon Valley, how does that even make any sense?! I do some research and end up looking at unique crops- something I could really get behind. I come across mustard, mushrooms, llaaaaavender…..
I sent that article to my dad as we typically send each other interesting things we find, not thinking anything would come from it and when I went home for Thanksgiving….
BOOM. Mr. Numbers had a 20 year business plan drawn up for A LAVENDER FARM. My mom and dad were living in Mexico City at the time and asked if I would move home to start and manage the business if this was something we were going to get involved in. I was screaming YESSSS in my head but said “Yes, let me think about it some more but i’m thinking yes.” After an appropriate amount of time (to make my debut as business partner very logical and mature, less daughter who would jump up and down screaming yes!!!) I dove further into the logistics of everything. The initial no salary, then the very small salary, to the then you have to create a profitable business to afford your salary, the holy crap you know nothing about this field - and the list goes on. The one thing that kept coming up was there is no option B, you will make this happen.
Well, here I am a few years later and I am amazed at how far this farm
has come. I still can’t believe all the steps that it took and all that I have learned, which I am so excited to share with you. I have such an amazing community of clients, business partners, family and supporters in our community that my great life is here- that being said, no cabana in sight…just some dirt and lots of hard work.
I want to tell you all about what happened next, the challenges the celebrations but I will save that for another time. I want to share the full story in this blog, as well as spread some lavender knowledge and dive into topics of wellness, health, clean food, sustainability etc. I am from California after all :)