Lucy Mae Lavender Farm

The South Mountain Range in the distance forms the backdrop for the lovely lavender plants at Lucy Mae Lavender Farm.  Located at the corner of W. Zion Church Road and Chatfield Road in Cleveland County, Pam and husband, Woody Fish are farming the land where she grew up, the farm of her grandfather and grandmother, the late Mr. and Mrs. Walter Davis.  They live in the renovated home of Pam’s parents, the late Mr. and Mrs. Max Davis.

Pam recalls, “My grandfather would grow 10 acres of flowers each year.   He and I would pick them on Saturday morning; then take them to Shelby, along with some fresh produce from the garden, and give them away to his friends and acquaintances.  It is a lovely remembrance of growing up on this farm.”

Woody Fish was head football coach at Gardner-Webb University for 13 years.  He and Pam, a graduate of GWU, left Cleveland County for Asheville, NC where he worked for Gilman Gear, selling football equipment to the NFL.

Pam says, “Our first experience with lavender was in Asheville, where I grew it in the yard of our home.  It loved the hot/cold climate and continues to grow in our yard there today.  Lavender is the herb of devotion, joy, and luck—the perfect flower for a wedding or special occasion.”

Next stop for the Fish family was with Woody working on the football coaching staff for Duke University in Durham, NC.  While Woody was working in the football arena, Pam continued to teach public school.

Pam says, “In Durham, one of my students was the nephew of Annie Baggett, owner of Sunshine Lavender Farm in Durham.  I expanded my knowledge of growing lavender with Annie, who became a good friend.  Annie Baggett grows lavender as they do in France, in rows where it will drain and it is farmed by hand.  She holds two shows at her farm each year and she returns to France periodically in order to continue to expand her knowledge.”

Pam and Woody came back to Cleveland County in 2006.

“I am interested in farming because I am passionate about our local, good food and farming.  I want to see the economy grow and farming can be a contributor to that.  I am expanding my garden this year to include purple asparagus, different varieties of basil and eggplants,” she said.

“I put some research into my quest to be a farmer.  I became a member of the Foothills Farmers’ Market.  I attended the ‘Grower’s School’ at UNC-Asheville and developed a business plan.  I took ten days and visited local farms and received information from them.  I took classes at the Cleveland County Arts Center to learn about making products from lavender,” Pam said.

“I knew that if I planted flowering plants, pests would be more attracted to them than the lavender, so I wanted to follow as many organic practices as possible,” Pam states.

Pam continues, “Some of my products include sachets for weddings, dryer sheets (which can be used 50 to 100 times), a soak for sore muscles made of Epsom salts and lavender, a scrub for eczema made from recycled coffee, olive oil and lavender.  I use a recipe from TV star, Dr. Oz for a facial scrub of lavender, oatmeal and cornmeal.”

“I make dried lavender bouquets; lavender fire sticks which are made from stripped lavender, and they are known for making the fire smell good; I make photographic greeting cards and I make recycled bags for toting things,” says Pam.

Pam is exploring the possibility of getting into the culinary market with her lavender crop.

Pam has been instrumental in bringing a garden to Graham School, where she is a physical education teacher.

“Jada Brown obtained a grant for Fresh Foods & Vegetables for our school.  We dug the garden by hand and cultivated it by hand; it was all organic.  We did composting.  We eat everything we grow and the children love it,” states Pam.

Pam and Woody also provide a half-acre on their farm for growing sweet potatoes for the Cleveland County Potato Project.

Son, Brandon, who is 26 years old, works for Madison Square Garden and NY University.  He resides in New York City. Twenty-year old son, Patrick, is on full scholarship at University of South Carolina as a football punter.

It is great to have these energetic farmers back in Cleveland County.  Visit them at The Foothills Farmers’ Market in Shelby, email [email protected], or reach them by phone at 704 487-8670.

  • Lucy Mae Lavender Farm
  • Pam Fish
  • 1300 W. Zion Church Rd
  • Shelby, NC 28150
  • 704-487-8670 or 919-451-2246
  • [email protected]

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