Lavender Mission Field is Sowing Seeds of Kindness
“We believe in sowing love and kindness into our community. In doing so, we get to experience the greatest joy.”
With a mission like this, I knew I was in for a special experience when I began this shoot with Pat Heafy, founder of Lavender Mission Field, just south of Green Bay. This little lavender farm provides fresh products, grown with organic-based farming practices, for local stores including Sweet Willow Wellness.
I planned this shoot for early sunrise, and I just had a feeling it was going to be amazing. I was blown away by the gorgeous simplicity of our setting, scented by sweet wafts of lavender in the rolling field along side the drive in. Talking to Pat, however, was even sweeter. As a retired educator, she runs this mission-oriented farm, where 10% of the sales support Growing Resiliency (a non-profit that Pat also founded) which aims to close the achievement gap in literacy by supporting children experiencing adversity in many different forms. It’s about more than just literacy though, her mission is to teach resilience.
We scheduled a sunrise photo shoot so our lighting would be very subtle. We lucked out with perfect weather, and amongst the buzzing of bumbles we got to work right away. Pat would be the first to tell you that she’s an introvert and doesn’t care to take the spotlight - but she really helped bring our setting to life.
Pat cares deeply about helping children develop a resilient mindset. She wants every young person to learn how to pick themselves up after failure, learn from mistakes, and grow from challenges. What a valuable lesson for all of us, and these lessons also ripple beyond the children into the Lavender Mission Field tutors too.
The choice to grow lavender coalesces perfectly with this mission. Beyond its benefits for relaxation and aromatic qualities, lavender has adapted to challenging growing conditions throughout history. From the Mediterranean to Northeast Wisconsin, lavender has proven its resilient nature.
Pat’s journey to cultivate this thriving farm hasn’t come without its challenges. Between root rot, winter damage, and insect issues, she’s had to practice what she preaches and keep moving forward no matter what happens. We can all draw inspiration from this habit.
When we finished the shoot, Pat shared this kind of feedback:
“Now it’s my turn to say you are amazing! These photos are absolutely fabulous and brought a tear to my eye! The photos of Frank and me look so natural and you truly captured the beauty of the lavender and our farm. What a wonderful experience it was to be part of the photo shoot and to meet you! You truly emulate the beauty you capture through your work!”