Shawnee Hills Lavender
Hosts Twilight Meeting

Katherine Oblesby, U of I Extension

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The rolling hills of Union County have, for decades, been an excellent site for bountiful fruit and vegetable production in southern Illinois.  One family is trying their hand at adding lavender to the long list of crops that are successfully grown in the region.  Charlotte and Doug Clover and family of Shawnee Hills Lavender are teaming up with University of Illinois Extension to host the first of four twilight meetings at their farm on Monday, May 22, 2017 starting at 6 p.m.  University of Illinois Extension Local Food Systems & Small Farms Educators, Bronwyn Aly and Nathan Johanning, have been partnering with area farmers over the past three years to provide four evening “twilight meetings” to highlight and demonstrate diverse farming enterprises across southern Illinois.  Anyone involved or interested in local food production or learning more about farms in our region is encouraged and invited to attend.  Shawnee Hills Lavender, located west of Cobden in rural Union County, was established just three years ago.  Knowing that lavender is not a crop commercially produced in Illinois, the Clovers conducted extensive research, including site visits across the country, learning techniques for successful production.  Shawnee Hills Lavender operates as a U-pick farm, open the first couple of weekends in June when the lavender is in bloom.  Along with the fresh cuts bundles, Shawnee Hills Lavender also offers a range of locally made products featuring the lavender grown on the farm.
Over the course of the evening, Charlotte and Doug will share their experiences producing and marketing lavender.  Those attending will have the opportunity to tour their production field and learn about the specific production methods utilized.   Charlotte will also discuss her many marketing strategies, and University of Illinois Extension Community and Economic Development Educator, Susan Odum, will highlight the regional benefits of producing, utilizing, and buying local products.  We encourage anyone interested in learning more about this unique crop and agritourism business in southern Illinois to capitalize on this on-farm learning and networking opportunity.
DATE:                    Monday, May 22, 2017
TIME:                    6 p.m.
LOCATION:         480 Brown Section Rd, Cobden, Illinois 62920
DIRECTIONS:      From Alto Pass, head south on highway 127.  Turn right (west) onto Brown Section Rd.  Farm will be about ¼ mile on the right.  From Anna, head west on state highway 146 past Jonesboro.  Turn right (north) onto highway 127.  Turn left (west) onto Brown Section Rd.  Brown Section Rd is approximately halfway between Alto Pass and state highway 146.
This program is provided at no cost but pre-registration is appreciated.  Please register online at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ghhpsw/or by calling 618-382-2662 no later than Friday, May 19, 2017.  For more information about the Twilight Meeting contact:
Bronwyn Aly; baly@illinois.edu; 618-382-2662 OR Nathan Johanning;  njohann@illinois.edu; 618-687-1727

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