Fans of Lavender by the Bay won’t have to travel as far east to visit blooming lavender fields starting Saturday. The popular East Marion farm is opening an outpost in Calverton this weekend.
Visitors can expect a paired down version of the original, with one acre of French and English lavender slowly starting to come into bloom, as opposed to the 17-acre East Marion property that is home to some 80,000 lavender plants.
“It is a taste of what is in East Marion,” said Lavender by the Bay vice president Chanan Rozenbaum. “It is not Lavender by the Bay West just yet, but that is the goal. This is the beginning stage.”
The owners of the family-operated farm are currently in contract to purchase the 30-acre agricultural Calverton parcel closer to the Long Island Expressway. Last fall, they began planting lavender and herbs on 15 acres there —the other 15 were planted with ground cover.
The lavender blooms are expected to take at least two seasons to fully mature, though heavy rains this year damaged a significant portion of the initial plantings, Rozenbaum said. In addition to its namesake, Lavender by the Bay is growing turmeric, oregano, sage and lemon verbena in Calverton.
“The herbs are a new dynamic for us,” Rozenbaum said. “We did a little in East Marion and we’re excited about exploring it.”
The Calverton location, opposite Splish Splash Water Park off Route 25, will operate a retail tent with a limited selection of the farm’s provisions, such as bunches of dry lavender, honey, soaps, essential oils and culinary salts. The tent will operate “farmers market” style and be removed by the staff at the end of each day, said Rozenbaum. There are no plans for a brick-and-mortar farm stand at the moment, he added.
“We want to let people walk through the Calverton fields … and get a taste of what we offer, but it is not the same scale as the East Marion,” he said.
The expansion serves a dual purpose for the Rozenbaums who want to plant more lavender and help reduce traffic to the East Marion location, which also began as a roadside retail tent when it first opened in 2002.
Thanks in part to the 2001 release of a Hong Kong romance movie called “Lavender,” Lavender by the Bay has become an increasing popular tourist destination, drawing hundreds, if not thousands, to the small hamlet each year.
“I think that the people who are coming to the North Fork will still want to come to our East Marion property, but people looking to just come to our farm could save themselves a half-hour to 45 minutes by coming to Calverton,” Rozenbaum said when the family first went into contract on the Calverton property last June.
The Calverton location will be open Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the month of June.
The newly renovated East Marion farm stand, located at 7540 Main Road, is currently open 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., though visitors will still have to wait a couple more weeks to walk through the lavender fields. The plants typically come into bloom around mid-June depending on the weather.
Visit lavenderbythebay.com for updates on the 2019 bloom.