Having just this year planted their first fields featuring nine varieties of lavender, Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm
in Enon has quickly become a destination location for travelers far and wide.
The large purple barn at Sunset Ridge - 6360 Fowler Road - beacons like a light to those who want to simply enjoy the scents, color and flavors offered by the popular whorls of lavender.
“This is my husband’s fault,” says owner JoAnn Moore with a laugh. “He watched a PBS special – an ‘Our Ohio’ episode – about a lavender farm in northeast Ohio. He was a corporate attorney at the time, and he just said, ‘You know, I would like to do that when we retire. I’d like to have a lavender business.’”
Moore reached out to Purple Haze Lavender in the state of Washington for guidance. In 2015, Tom and JoAnn Moore purchased their 33-acre farm and set in motion the process of making their retirement dream come true. In 2017 they added a purple barn.
“I think the barn is really the key to the beauty here,” says Moore. “The name of the purple paint is ‘Just a Fairy Tale,’ which I think is very appropriate.”
Sunset Ridge features three fields of lavender plants. Planting season begins in mid-May and peak season is in late June and early July.
Known for its gentle scent and relaxing properties, lavender is used as ornamental plants for gardens and landscapes, as a culinary herb and also commercially for the extraction of essential oils.
“I love the lavender, and I love the things it provides. But what I really love is just having the people come out; they just want to be in the country,” says Moore. “We feel so fortunate to be out here. After your career, when you can do something to help people have a moment of joy, that’s what gives us joy. It is our home; it means a lot to both of us. It’s nice to have people come out and enjoy the day, especially in this crazy world.”
The barn at Sunset Ridge features a gift shop with locally homemade lavender products like tea, honey, notecards and more. The farm also hosts You-Pick days when the lavender is in bloom.
Nearby Brandeberry Winery
, 5118 W. Jackson Road, Enon, will launch a lavender wine on Friday, September 17. The wine features the lavender grown at Sunset Ridge and pictures the purple barn on the label.
Owner Kelly Brandeberry says the partnership with Sunset Ridge came about naturally and describes the Lavender Dreams wine as lightly sweet with the perfect hint of lavender.
“You’ll definitely smell and taste the lavender, but it’s not overwhelming,” she says. “It was a lot of work testing the different types of lavender with wine bases. It’s a delicate process. Our winemaker worked a lot on the coloring and it turned out beautiful.”
Brandeberry says the winery likes to support local businesses, and she appreciates the support her local business receives.
Moore says with Brandeberry Winery, Peifer Orchards
, and Young’s Jersey Dairy
all close, the Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm is in a nice destination area.
Last weekend, Sunset Ridge hosted its first event and raised funds for the Miami Valley Alzheimer's Association
. The event featured a presentation about "Understanding Alzheimer's and Dementia,” a bake sale, and the first fifteen caregivers in attendance received a gift bag.
Moore was inspired to host the event after she saw a post about the color purple and Alzheimer’s last winter.
“I just loved the post, and I had wanted to find something (we could support),” she says. “It touches everybody, so we reached out to the association. This purple barn needs to mean something.”
Just two months before the event, Moore’s brother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
“A higher power was in play there,” she says.
While it has been mostly Tom and JoAnn running the farm, they do have help from family and friends.
“It’s about the beauty, but it’s labor intensive,” says Moore. “We love when people just come and sit on the porch and enjoy it. It’s so peaceful and relaxing.”