The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

Features

June 5, 2012

'Farm living is the life for me'

GREENVILLE — Gwen Snyder of Celeste went from city girl to lavender farmer and now seeks to share the happiness she’s found on the farm with families that are surrounded by man-made buildings and meticulously ordered landscaping.

Snyder met her husband, Mike, on the very same property that is now known as Savannah’s Meadow Lavender and Herb Farm. At that time she was serving as a real estate agent and Mike was the interested buyer. It didn’t take long before the pair were married and well on their way to discovering their dream.

It all started in the home they built together seven years ago.

“There was an evening where neither of us could sleep,” said Snyder of that night. “We went into the kitchen to talk, which we’d never done before. We got out big peices of paper and Mike said ‘Tell me what you want out of life. Anything you want. Anything.’ I believe the first thing I said was ‘I want a BMW.’”

After that announcement, she followed up with “I want a lavender farm.”

Mike announced he wanted a tree house.

“A lot of people say ‘What do I think I can do,’” said Mike. “Not a lot of people say ‘What do I really want to do.’ I’m real big on exploring what you really want to do, so we sat down and figured out what we wanted out of life.”

That was the beginning of the lavender farm, named after the  pair’s youngest daughter, Savannah, with the tree house being named after their eldest daughter, Kaitlin.Snyder grew up in Plano and was truly a city girl before moving to Celeste. Her goal in regard to the creation of Savannah’s Meadow Lavender and Herb Farm is to share the joy she’s found in country living with those who reside in the city, particularly children who know nothing of flowers, insects, farm animals and fresh air.

“I want to have families out here spending time discovering nature,” said Snyder. “Some of those city kids have never even seen a bull frog and some are terrified of insects and other animals, simply because they’re not around them. I want to introduce them to the beauty of nature. That’s my goal.”

The farm, once opened to the public, will offer a place for families to cut their own lavender and other herbs, find the perfect place for a picnic, check out the fairy garden hidden among the trees, refresh themselves at the outdoor tea party table and bar area found just inside the tree-shrouded Enchanted Gypsy Grill or catch a few fish or play with the baby ducks that reside in a pond right on the property. The farm will also offer meditation and wedding fields once it’s completed.

In addition, visitors will be able to check out Snyder’s retail space, where she plans to sell her essential oils, tea, eye pillows, lotions, soaps and bath salts.

“We really want to make a place where families can come out, enjoy nature and have fun,” said Mike. “We’ll probably even look into bringing venues here, though we want the tree house and meadow to be the main attraction.”

The tree house, which Mike is currently working on and will be available to rent out once the farm has its grand opening in the fall, will sleep six with a master bedroom that juts off the main house. It will be open to the trees and covered with a sheer mosquito netting. A walkway will lead down to a hot tub and the tree house will come complete with kitchen and bathrooms, all nestled snuggly among the trees.

“The tree house will provide a beautiful place to relax and connect to nature and Savannah’s Meadow will provide luscious garden herbs and wildflowers,” said Snyder. “We planted 3,500 lavender plants in November that will take a few years to really reach maturity.”

All of Snyder’s gardens are organic, which is very important to her and most, if not all, of the materials used to build the tree house, the tea party table, the bar and so on, were made from recycled materials.

“We reuse what we can and prefer not to throw anything away if we can recycle it in some way,” said Snyder. “That’s why you’ll find wine bottles being used as garden accents or outdoor lighting, along with old and interesting doors that you’ll find scattered around the property.”

The Snyders do all their own building and gardening, with a little help from close friends who have taken on the task of contributing to the pair’s success, in the process acquiring a sense of pride and ownership in Savannah’s Meadow Lavender and Herb Farm.

For more information on the farm visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/SavannahsMeadowLLC.

 

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