We’re all given a short time on this earth and a small space upon it to make a lasting difference. Fern & Petal is built upon this belief, supporting sustainability with every order and by working with small-batch farmers. Carolyn is one of the farmers who share our passion for natural products and the legacy we will one day leave to those who come after us. This is her story.
Welcome to the Farm
Carolyn’s farm sits happily in the heart of British Columbia, where it’s surrounded by wide open space, trees, and of course a river that brings life to everything around it. With a 360° view of the lavender fields, gardens, and farm around her, Carolyn’s home sits at the centre of it all. Now in her seventies, she is enjoying living a slower pace of life - but she isn’t idle. The chickens must be fed, there’s a quilt in the corner asking to be stitched, and there's lavender oil to distill. She sips her tea before deciding where the day will take her, knowing that it will be touched by a gentle joy.
Joyful is the best word to describe the life that Carolyn has built on the farm beginning in 1986. It’s undergone many metamorphoses since then, but it’s always been filled with life. First there were horses, then cows, and of course the many pets along the way. If you visit the farm these days, you’ll find that things move at a much slower pace. They ebb and flow with the seasons, and at the heart of it all are the bees, lavender, and an ever-growing collection of trees.
When an elder plants a tree knowing they’ll never sit in the shade of it, that’s optimism. I want to touch people’s hearts and leave something behind… And trees do that. By the time I leave this earth, I’ll have left behind all the trees and made the world more beautiful.
A born optimist, Carolyn sees trees as the definition of hope. She Says, "When an elder plants a tree knowing they’ll never sit in the shade of it, that’s optimism. I want to touch people’s hearts and leave something behind… And trees do that. By the time I leave this earth, I’ll have left behind all the trees and made the world more beautiful." When you look out over the lavender fields and meditation garden surrounded by maples, you’ll have to agree.
It’s a legacy of trees that brought Carolyn to us, but lavender is the lasting gift that she shared. “I’d never approached an essential oil company before, but I felt so connected to their message that I had to. It was meant to be,” she says. Through Fern & Petal, Carolyn’s hand-picked lavender buds and essential oil have found their way across Canada, and along with it, her legacy of peaceful joy.
Having bonded over tree planting and local, natural products, the relationship between Carolyn and Fern & Petal is here to stay. “I feel like a grandmother to them,” she laughs. “I’m happy with what I’ve built on the farm, and watching Fern & Petal grow is beautiful. I’m grateful to be a small part of that.”
I’m happy with what I’ve built on the farm, and watching Fern & Petal grow is beautiful. I’m grateful to be a small part of that.
A Gentle Love for Lavender
In the beginning, Carolyn’s farm was an active one, busy and filled with people and horses. Over the decades though, life slowed to a gentler pace and the horse paddocks emptied one by one. But what should take their place? The answer turned out to be lavender, inspired partly by Carolyn’s Nanna. She always smelled of lavender, and the scent has forever reminded Carolyn of her. As they thought about growing it on the farm, Carolyn and her husband attended a lavender festival in Washington as part of their research. While there, they both knew that this was where the farm was headed next. After a bit of reflection and the pull of love, they began to plant lavender.
Now, there are three thousand lavender plants on the farm covering three acres. Grown without pesticides, each plant is tended to during the growing season by Carolyn, her husband, and the bees. When the plants are ready, they hand-cut the flowers in the morning and distill them all afternoon. The soft, floral scent of lavender wafts through the air, bringing with it quiet memories of the past while marking the happy ones created in the present.
From the Farm
Good Things From Small Places
Like Carolyn, we know that bunches of good can come from small things. One lavender bud may be small, but when you multiply it by three thousand plants, you can create something amazing. Fern & Petal is honoured to work with small-batch farmers to bring their incredible products to the world. With each product at Fern & Petal, you get the best all-natural products while supporting small, joyful places like Carolyn’s farm. You don’t need to be big to make a big difference. Just ask our farmers.