By Jennifer Davis
Charlotte has a new destination worth visiting! Mi Alchemy, which includes the Carlisle Lavender farm, opened for the first time this summer and is already thriving. Located at 3418 Carlisle Hwy, the farm offers over a mile of beautiful blooms composed of nearly 1,500 plants, as well as an adorable storefront for purchasing the many products they make themselves. Collection baskets and scissors are provided for patrons to leisurely walk the fields and collect their own lavender. The store on the property is a 1980’s horse trailer which they have converted into a selling booth that can both park comfortably on the farm or be towed to farmers markets. The farm is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays while the lavender is in bloom. First bloom made its appearance this July and as long as nature cooperates, there will be a second bloom again in September. Once in bloom, the fields will offer fresh lavender for around two months at a time. The owners of Mi Alchemy are able to maintain such a long bloom time by growing six different varieties of lavender that all peak at slightly different times in the season.
Sinda and Scott Venton are the people responsible for this budding new business. After moving here in 2018, Sinda began planting flowers around her new home. She noticed that the lavender in particular flourished especially well in their soil and so she began to plant more of it. Not too long later, COVID-19 hit, and growing lavender became a passion project. Sinda struggled with how to help her dog with skin allergies when the pandemic prevented him from receiving needed allergy injections. After doing her research, she learned that her lavender may be the answer. She created a specialized dog soap (which they now sell) that helped soothe his skin so much that he no longer needed the injections. The idea of soothing soaps then expanded to a variety of soap products, as well as shampoos, lotions and bath bombs. They have also used lavender to create delicious jams and syrups. Once these ideas began to expand into a business plan, the whole family pitched in to help. Sinda and Scott both work hard on the farm, and their grown children as well as Scott’s mother, Marie, have all put time and effort into getting things ready. Sinda said, “When we were going through the pandemic, we all worked together on the farm. It was a way for us to all come together when being around each other indoors was not an option.” She went through the Lavender Growers curriculum at Michigan State University, as well as doing much of her own research, in order to help produce the best products for her business and create a beautiful, thriving farm.
Eventually, the Ventons would like to expand their business. As a large supporter of pollinators, they already own several hives and hope one day to produce lavender honey. Sinda also dreams of building a greenhouse where she can teach classes, hold yoga sessions and educate the community on both the healing and culinary aspects of lavender. She feels her family has chosen the perfect property to put down roots. “The community has been so wonderful. People have been incredibly supportive. I wish we would have done this ten years earlier,” she said. You can find more information about Mi Alchemy on their website at www.mi-alchemy.com