We are Jim and Amy Duxbury and have two sons, MacIntyre and Parker. We officially began this lavender adventure in 2018, but it had rattled around in our heads (mostly Jim’s) for a few years prior to the first shovel being put in the ground. Our family has always had a special affinity for the out-of-doors; over the years we have traveled and hiked in dozens of state and national parks across this great country and the importance of being good stewards of the Earth has continued to leave its indelible mark on our lives. We felt the need to try and leave our own humble mark. We began by choosing a brownfield which is “a former industrial or commercial site where future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination.” We have a 4 acre plot of land located in the industrial park in Orrville, Ohio. The site was previously used as a concrete dumping ground, not anymore! While there is evidence of the buried concrete in a few of the paths, the land has been transformed from rock and rebar to 64 rows of lavender! In keeping with our beliefs, all the work in our field is done by hand – the planting, weeding, harvesting, and pruning. We do not use artificial fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides on our field.
This leads us to the next part of our journey, our mission. While our children are at the age that they are beginning to figure out their own path in life, we have both been public school educators for over 25 years. Education in all forms has been our path and continues to shape us. This opportunity to positively impact nature and educate others has manifested itself in our field. The dire situation of the pollinators cannot be ignored. Lavender seemed a perfect fit to attract many species of butterflies, bees, moths and praying mantis! But as teachers, we wanted to be sure kids, as well as nature, benefited from our venture.
This is where our extended community is involved. We want to use the beauty and fun of our lavender field to educate and make a small difference in our region. By coming to our field during the last weekend in July, not only will you have an opportunity to experience over 1500 lavender plants, make it /take crafts, pollinators and photo oppotunites, you will also have an opportunity to donate to the Upside of Downs.