I have always been mesmerized by photos of lavender fields in the French countryside, oceans of purple stretching as far as the eye can see. However, a busy life and limited travel budget have prevented me from making the trip. Then recently, a free weekday and a spirit of adventure had me seeking out Ohio lavender fields.
Just a bit of internet research turned up an article by a fellow Ohio blogger on 14 Ohio lavender fields. Natalie and I clicked through the links and decided to visit Sunset Ridge Lavender Farm in Enon, Ohio.
Natalie had a showing (she’s a realtor), so I packed a lunch for the drive. Our drive was just over and hour and plugging in the address to our GPS brought us directly to the farm with no issues. Sunset Ridge is in the country, but they have a sizable sign at the entrance and you can spot the purple barn from the road.
Planning Our Trip
Our timing was perfect. Our visit was in late June and a bit of research told us that Ohio lavender fields bloom through June, July and even into August. The fields at Sunset Ridge were full of purple blooms.
Ohio, Not Provence
While the fields were quite large, they didn’t quite match the rolling acres of purple flowers of my dreams. I reminded myself to adjust my expectations and still had a lovely time.
Lavender grows in full sun. Be sure to take some sunscreen if you plan to visit for long. You may also consider wearing a wide brimmed hat and/or sunglasses. It was quite bright the day we visited.
The fields are full of bees. For the most part they went about their business, buzzing from flower to flower and didn’t bother us at all. One young lady picking near us did get stung. I would say, just be aware of the bees and not too concerned. However, if you or someone you travel with has a bee allergy you might want to choose another activity.
Photography in the Fields
If you are planning a trip to the fields more for the photos than the flowers, be aware of their photography policy. Cell phone photos are free of charge, but there may be an additional fee if you plan on shooting with a more serious camera. Though I would have liked to take my DSLR, cell phone cameras have come a long way and I was still able to get some nice shots.
Our calendar was rather full this June, so we made our trip on our only available day. It was blindingly bright, which made photography a bit more difficult. If photos are the primary reason for your visit, try to visit on an overcast day as the fields are in full sun. Alternatively, you could consider making an after-hours appointment to shoot during the golden hour, which is that last hour before sunset.
Because the fields are smaller than those of the French countryside, you’ll want to adjust your angle. Play with your shots. Get low and shoot up at your subject, or try to get above your subject and shoot down. By choosing a good angle you can disguise the fact that the fields don’t go on forever and surround your subject with a frame of purple flowers or blue skies.
We parked and checked in at the purple barn for the self-pick experience. Lavender bundles are $10 each. The ladies at the check-in table provided us with scissors, a rubber band (purple of course) for bundling our bouquet and a metal ring. The ring was about one inch and diameter and was provided to help size the bouquet, which was to be about 100-150 stems in size.
We also received a short lesson in harvesting lavender. She showed us where to cut, which resulted in stems approximately eight inches in length.
She also pointed out the different types of lavender, which did me little good. I know that most were purple, although there was one row of white flowers. I expect some might have been better for culinary purposes, maybe others were more fragrant. If you are interested in that type of thing the employees at the farm seemed very knowledgeable and willing to answer questions.
The Barn and Gift Shop
The barn at Sunset Ridge is purple, very purple. It has a large front porch with plenty of rocking chairs. It’s a nice stop in the shade after picking.
Inside they offer lavender lemonade, which I understand is amazing. Natalie and I forgot to go for a cup after we were done in the fields.
Our visit took us to the gift shop, which had a nice selection of lavender and Ohio based products. We each purchased a sachet and were eyeing the lavender honey. We talked ourselves down from that purchase when we remembered that we already had five open bottles of Ohio honey at home.
Young’s Jersey Dairy
Back in the car hot and tired, Natalie reminded me that we were only seven minutes from Young’s Jersey Dairy. If you’re not familiar, Young’s has some of the best ice cream in Ohio.
What started as a commercial farm and dairy just after World War II, has transformed into a food and entertainment complex. In addition to homemade ice creams and cheeses, they offer a full-service menu and even a food truck.
There’s so much to do there as well. They offer two mini-golf courses, batting cages, a golf driving range, a petting zoo, slides, a gift shop and more. This is all in addition to their event center and birthday parties.
We are anxious to get home and are quite done with being in the sun (we forgot our sunscreen), so we settle for cones. The ice cream is amazing and tastes obviously home made. I would definitely place it in Ohio’s top ten.
Ohio Lavender Fields
While visiting Ohio lavender fields was definitely not the same as a trip to the south of France, we had a great time. We learned a little more about Ohio agriculture, got some great photos and the car smelled amazing going home. I would recommend a visit to Sunset Ridge or one of Ohio’s other lavender farms.
If you go make sure to remember your sunscreen and plan on spending an hour to about an hour and a half. Depending on the length of your drive, you may plan to bring a jar or container with water so that your bouquet makes it home looking like it’s fresh from the field.
Thanks for FindingOhio with us today. There’s so much to explore in our Day Trips section. If you enjoy learning more about Ohio agriculture, you might consider visiting Slate Run Metro Park or the Groovy Plants Ranch, both in Central Ohio. If you plan to travel to Sunset Ridge and you’re looking for additional adventures in the area, check out our articles on Yellow Springs or on hiking in that part of the state.
We enjoy exploring our wonderful state and sharing our adventures with you. We always appreciate it when you share our articles to your social media. That gets out the word that Ohio is a great place to live and visit. And remember, check back often, we’re posting a new article at least once each week!