The Southern Grace Lavender Farm is located a few miles from Pensacola on the Panhandle of Florida. The “farmers” grow, distill, package and sell — Lavender — in a small, neat plot on their 3+ acre farm. Lavender is a delicate plant; they do all the work with love by hand. They also host Recreational Vehicle travelers who are enrolled in Harvest Hosts and similar travel sites pairing travelers with hosts who offer free or very low-priced RV sites on their property.
This place is lovely. Winnie had a level, fenced gravel site with a large concrete pad, fire ring, a supply of firewood, and a picnic table. All spotlessly clean and free.
My host, Kari Leabo, greeted Winnie as we pulled into the drive. She and her husband, Jason, inherited the land from Kari’s grandmother and decided to re-dedicate it as an oasis for travelers after a false start growing peaches, and some other struggles led them to the current adventure: farming of Lavender and welcoming travelers. They live their faith by welcoming travelers.
Kari encouraged me to walk around the grounds, say “hello” to Priscilla the Pig, look at the Lavender grove that gives the Farm its name, and envision the weddings that have and will take place in the gazebo, and first of several small cottages that are planned to become rental cottages when completed.
When Kari pointed me to the free range eggs and offered me the bounty of her farm, my mind drifted to an earlier sermon about Genesis 18 where God urged the better-off farmers to offer their hospitality and some food to the travelers. If this was Kari’s example of Southern Grace, I am enjoying the breakfast omelet as I write and thanking her for the outreach I felt when she first welcomed Winnie into the drive as we arrived.