High Country Lavender, a lavender farm and shop in Meadows of Dan, is under new management.
Owner Sandra Sarlinga purchased the business in March from Brenda Stringfellow, who opened the business in 2014.
Originally from Argentina, Sarlinga recently moved to Meadows of Dan after living in North Carolina for more than 20 years.
“I used to roll lavender in North Carolina, so I became friends with Barbara, the former owner. I told her, ‘If you need help planting lavender let me know and I can help you,’” she said.
When Stringfellow decided to retire, she offered to sell the business to Sarlinga.
While she bought the business, Sarlinga did not buy the property it is on.
“With the business, I have the use of the lavender field that she started many, many years ago. I’m the one taking care of the lavender plants and doing all the manual jobs that involve taking care of the field,” she said.
She also inherited the business’s recipes from Stringfellow. “I’m making all of her products that people love,” she said.
Sarlinga said she first discovered her love of lavender when she smelled her grandmother’s perfume. “It’s clean, it smells wonderful, and it’s relaxing. When I grew up, I realized that I liked the plant, and I like it in the garden,” she said.
Before she started growing her own lavender, Sarlinga and her husband began cooking with it, making lavender-infused cookies, lemonade, and jellies. “Then we started growing lavender to use in our products. When we were in North Carolina, with my cousin, we managed a lavender farm for a whole season, and then we planted our own field,” she said.
High Country Lavender will be open for lavender season, which is April to December. Sarlinga said lavender typically starts blooming from June until the second week in July.
“Then we harvest, but we harvest only every other plant so there are still flowers in the field. Then in August we finish the rest,” she said.
The harvested lavender florets are used to make soaps, lotions, teas, and jams. High County Lavender also sells lavender infused essential oils, candles, and a variety of other products.
Sarlinga said the farm includes about 300 plants made up of five different species of lavender.
“Right now, if you go to the field, you can see there are two kinds of lavender that just started to bloom, and they are totally different in color, shape, size, and everything,” she said.
Sarlinga said she welcomes visitors to experience the relaxing effects of lavender.
“I tell people to bring their picnic if they want to. You know, like family, a group of friends, or a couple to come, pick a spot, and spend the afternoon at the farm,” she said.
If given notice of a visit, she said she is willing to prepare a picnic, quilt, or table for visitors. The farm is also open for tours, either by Sarlinga or self-guided.
In the future, Sarlinga wants to start holding small gatherings, such as small weddings or elopements, at the farm. “I don’t have any indoor space for big gatherings in case of bad weather,” she said.
Sarlinga also plans to start attending and selling her products at local events like the Stuart Farmers’ Market and festivals.
Visitors also are welcome to get a lavender cutting for their own garden towards the end of the season. Sarlinga said the shop also has lavender plants for sell at the start of lavender season.
The farm and store are open Thursday to Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To schedule a tour, call (336) 343-8125.
For more information, visit Facebook.com/HighCountryLavender or www.higcountrylavender.com, or email Sarlinga at firstname.lastname@example.org.