In 1994, Robert and Karen Macdonald left their family and friends in CA and moved with their two young children and another on the way to start a new business in NC. They did not know one person in NC and set off to introduce a new solar product, a Solatube Daylighting System to NC. 22 years later, they built one of the top Solatube Premier Dealerships in the country and their NC friends have become like family. Their hard work and adventurous spirit has now forged a new path to realize a life long dream of owning their very own farm. On November 2, 2015, Robert and Karen officially closed on 45 acres of glorious forest in Chapel Hill, NC only minutes from the downtown area, and access to all the wonderful attributes the Raleigh/Durham Triangle area provides. Their vision to build and create a beautiful organic lavender farm amidst a majestic forest began years earlier when Karen visited the lavender fields in Provence, France and fell in love with the vast landscape of regal purple highlighted by the hypnotic aroma of relaxation and peace. Robert always dreamed of a family farm where your land provided your livelihood, and fulfilled your passions. Karen’s father owned land in Avery, CA, part of the Sierra Nevada range and she spent her childhood tending to that land, working on septic fields, and learning farming techniques from the rural community. They both remember a forgotten time in CA when a Sunday drive meant finding a roadside farm stand filled with a bounty of harvested crops from acres of local farms. Together, their culmination of talents from Robert’s engineering background and Karen’s artistic talents will serve to transform their forest into a magical gift of organic lavender fields and the jewels of the land – the historic timber frame barns they will lovingly restore. Their search to find the ideal location and appropriate land to farm came to fruition upon finding a hidden treasure with the help of their best friend, real estate agent, Colleen Blondell of Blondell Properties. One walk through the woods of this land that was untouched for decades and Lavender Oaks Farm was born! On March 10th, 2016, they broke ground to begin their journey to build a farm and create a family homestead to be enjoyed for generations. Now, in 2017, after purchasing the adjacent 14.5 acres of lush pasture and forest, Lavender Oaks Farm is complete with almost 60 acres with several acres of lavender, two restored timber frame barns, a log cabin near their pond, and a 1.5 mile trail winding through the purple fields, historic barns, and emerald green forest.
You are invited to follow their journey on the Lavender Oaks Farm Blog, and schedule a visit or register for one of the Farm’s many agricultural workshops and other special events in the future. Please stay in touch by filling out our Contact page.
“It is amazing the gifts one can find amidst nature,
and its tranquil depth of joy that feeds your soul.”