Soak in the Summer Solstice Lavender Festival at Peaceful Acres Farm

photo: Demo gong meditation as well as other healing and whole-health activities June 17 and 18

By Tara Pettit

Although its wide uses and benefits have been recognized for centuries, Lavandula angustifolia has made a comeback in the recent decade. As published studies continue to reveal insights into the healing properties of herbs, what is commonly know as lavender has topped the charts as one of the most popular human-chosen plants.

It’s no wonder then that Kym Prell of Dayton turned to lavender for the healing benefits it could offer her family, and then again to this wonder herb to share her love of the plant on a much larger plane. Or field, to be exact.

Prell’s “field of dreams” is what today exists as Peaceful Acres Farm, one of Ohio’s only lavender-dedicated fields and where the Summer Solstice Lavender Festival is held each June. As the plant has continued to grow in popularity and its human uses are explored, the Lavender Festival annually celebrates this greater appreciation for “all things lavender.”

From lavender-scented personal beauty products to lavender-enhanced energetic healing practices to just plain field-picked lavender, the festival draws locals to Peaceful Acres Farms’ outdoor summer solstice celebration to experience the work that Prell and many other naturalists engage in daily, whether through the farm’s regular operations or as stand-alone businesses.

“Because the festival is so merged with everything lavender, including lavender food, people will truly get to see the versatility of the plant in conjunctions with their health and wellbeing,” Prell says.

Prell, a certified reflexologist, decided to explore the benefits of lavender when her husband was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, to which there is no medical solution. Her interest and research led her down a path of exploring alternative healing methods and  on to school for reflexology, and finally establishing herself as an experienced practitioner in a variety of natural healing and energy-balancing methods such as chakra alignment and Reiki, a Japanese technique for stress reduction through the power of touch. Her energy and spiritual work are fueled by the healing properties of lavender and many of her methods use her homegrown, “intuitively made” lavender products.

Prell’s energetic body work—including reflexology, massage, personal readings, and gong meditation—can be experienced through a variety of wellness center services, offered year-round at Peaceful Acres Farm, and will be featured as introductory sessions at the Lavender Festival.  Prell’s holistic health offerings, along with those of other naturopathic practitioners in Kundalini yoga and palmistry, will heighten awareness of various whole health activities that use lavender as a primary relaxation agent.

“The Lavender Festival is a ‘lite’ merging of many different healing and whole-health activities in a comfortable setting for people,” Prell says. “People are able to experience different kinds and degrees of energy healing based on what they’re comfortable with and with low investment on something they would just like to try out.”

Prell explains that lavender is so beneficial to humans as a natural remedy because of its broad-ranging healing properties and uses. As one simple way to incorporate lavender in everyday life, she recommends placing the herb directly from a picked bundle into a sachet, which can then be placed under a pillow or anywhere it can be readily inhaled to encourage relaxation and calm emotions. There are also many uses for the herb listed on Peaceful Acres Farm’s website, including cooking, brewing tea, and extracting into essential oil for bug bites and sunburn.

“There are so many simple ways people can use it to experience the immediate benefits,” Prell says. “Even planting it somewhere you would walk past everyday gives you that natural aromatherapy and relaxation benefit just by inhaling it.”

Visitors at the festival not only will have the opportunity to participate in the lavender-infused wellness activities, but they will also have the chance to take part in the seasonal, family-favorite “U-Pick” to take home a bundle of lavender from the field.

She also encourages anyone interested in experiencing the peace of the fields on any beautiful summer day to come out and explore.

“I actually started the festival because I would go out into the field to harvest and it’s so beautiful and peaceful to stand in the middle of Peaceful Acres … I wanted to get as many people as possible to experience the peace and calm it gives you,” Prell says. “It really is a step away from the busyness of life. People are able to come out here, detach, and soak in the energy of the lavender field.”

Each year the festival continues to add different workshops and programs with multiple instructors so visitors can experience a variety of activities at the farm. This year’s festival will bring Raptor Inc. to the farm for a family-friendly presentation of live animal and nature demonstrations in the fields.

“Of course, the festival will always be centered around celebrating lavender—that’s what it’s about,” Prell says. “There will always be lots and lots of lavender.”

The Summer Solstice Lavender Festival takes place Saturday, June 17, from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Sunday, June 18, from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., at Peaceful Acres Farm, 2387 Martinsville Rd. in Martinsville. Admission is free. Field parking is available by donation. All proceeds benefit The Good Shepherd Ministries of Dayton. For more information, please call 513.322.2415 or visit PeacefulAcresLavenderFarm.com.

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