If you’re looking for a laid-back and peaceful environment to host a baby shower in the Nashville area, then be sure to check out Menkveld Farm! The Menkveld Family has worked hard to create a beautiful and organic lavender and sunflower farm that doubles as a baby shower venue and can even host your family photo session! Be sure to keep reading more from owner Elizabeth on how you can plan your party or photo session on their farm!
Tell us about Menkveld Farm! How long have you been in business?
Elizabeth: We officially opened the business the summer of 2017, but my husband and I started preparing to own a farm and grow lavender years before we were able to buy the property in Nolensville. Before we purchased our property, we had a quarter acre in Minnesota where we started growing flowers on a small scale. We had a small row of lavender and a large garden where we learned as much as we could about growing and caring for cut flowers. Within a few months of purchasing our current home, we had planted 350 lavender plants. Our first lavender harvest was the following summer. This past summer we added a second lavender field with another 150 plants and two sunflower patches. We currently sell a variety of lavender products, and throughout the year we are available for private events, weddings, and professional photo sessions. There were a few major desires for our family that led us to start this business. First of all, we love being outside and knew that if we were going to start a small business we wanted it to be focused around something that we enjoyed doing. We also purchased the property and started the farm with the hopes of raising our children here. We wanted to give our children access to the outdoors to play, explore, and learn, but also instill in them a strong work ethic and an understanding of how to care for the earth.
What made you want to work with families?
Elizabeth: My husband and I have been volunteering with children as long as we have known each other. Children have a special place in our heart, and it is a joy to watch them learn and explore the world around them. When we moved back to Tennessee a few years ago, we knew that we wanted a place where our children could run around and play, while also getting to see first hand where our food comes from, how plants grow, and be able to identify and care for different types of plants. Shortly after purchasing the farm, it was amazing to watch how much our friends’ children wanted to come and play and how much fun they had while they were at the farm. Over the past year we have also had the opportunity to watch our daughter come to life outside. No matter how many naps we missed or teeth are coming in, going outside makes everything instantly better. It has been such a joy to watch her process the things she finds during our outdoor adventures. This past year we also began offering photo sessions on the farm, and Nathan and I kept saying over to each other how we loved hearing the kids that were visiting ask if they could run around and play. Knowing how much people, especially children, were enjoying their time at Menkveld Farm, we decided to start offering the farm for private, outdoor events, in the hopes that many families would have the opportunity to enjoy the farm and create some wonderful memories.
What is the philosophy behind Menkveld Farm?
Elizabeth: Being good stewards of the land is extremely important to Nathan and me. We are very intentional about how we farm and what the implications are for anyone who visits or purchases our products. One major way we try to care for the land is by choosing to follow organic practices as much as possible. While it takes significantly more effort to keep the weeds under control and prevent bugs from eating our crops, it is very reassuring to know that we don’t have to worry about what our kids or other people may be exposed to when they are enjoying their time here. Right now our daughter is at a stage where everything goes in the mouth, so it brings peace of mind knowing that while we are out harvesting lavender and she is chewing on some of the flower stems, she isn’t being exposed to any chemicals that might hurt her. In addition to not using chemicals on our property, we strive to make a place where beneficial insects and birds want to live. We plant a variety of flowers that attracts bees, butterflies, and birds from spring until fall. The bees especially love the lavender fields when they are in bloom, and it is not unusual to see up to 5 different types of bees on the same lavender plant! This philosophy also translates into the products we make with our lavender. We only use ingredients we would feel comfortable using with our children, so other parents can also feel comfortable with the products being used with their families.
What are your strengths compared to other baby shower venues?
Elizabeth: One of the best things we can offer people who work with us is flexibility! While we have our standard event offerings and product listings, we are able to work with our clients to tailor our offerings to meet their individual needs. Just the other day we had someone reach out who saw our pressed lavender notecards and wanted to know if we could turn that into place cards for an upcoming wedding she was planning. We understand that it can be difficult and frustrating when you have a vision and you can’t quite find what you are looking for to make everything come together. We hope that our flexibility enables our clients to see their visions become reality.
What attracts parents to work with you?
Elizabeth: I think being parents ourselves has allowed us to understand the many aspects parents are considering when choosing to work with someone. Time is a precious commodity, so we strive to make working with us as simple and straightforward as possible. When people are interested in hosting an event at the farm, we provide a personalized informational package that details the different planning considerations for an event to help ensure the planning process goes as smoothly as possible, nothing is overlooked, and everyone has an enjoyable time at Menkveld Farm. Our goal is to provide a high-quality experience to everyone we work with, and have them leave knowing that we value them and their time, and want them to have the best experience possible.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about Menkveld Farm?
Elizabeth: We also have lots of ideas in the works for our next growing season, so keep an eye out for announcements about our new offerings on our blog or social media accounts!
Thank you so much for sharing all about the baby shower venue at Menkveld Farm with us, Elizabeth! We’re excited to see all of the beautiful showers you host there!