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U-Pick lavender event goes viral, turns into an impromptu festival in Greer

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Monday, June 6, 2016

Enlarge photo

Thousands showed up for the U-Pick lavender event that quickly turned into a festival.
 
 

Jim Fair

Thousands showed up for the U-Pick lavender event that quickly turned into a festival.

 

 



Enlarge photo

It took only one acre of lavender to bring passionate customers to the U-Pick.
 
 

Jim Fair

It took only one acre of lavender to bring passionate customers to the U-Pick.

 

 



Enlarge photo

The lavender fragrance could be smelled from the farm to Highway 101.
 
 

Jim Fair

The lavender fragrance could be smelled from the farm to Highway 101.

 

 



Enlarge photo

Instructions, a little bit of history and different kinds of lavender welcomed people.
 
 

Jim Fair

Instructions, a little bit of history and different kinds of lavender welcomed people.

 

 



An acre of lavender brought thousands of customers to what arguably turned out to be the inaugural Southern Hills Lavender Festival on Saturday.

“It was insane,” founder Mary Bergstrom said. “It took off by itself. We only used social media and it went viral.”

Bergstrom and her husband, Tim, with scores of family and friends volunteering, hosted the event that partnered with Greer Relief and provided entertainment, informational sessions, vendors and food trucks to occupy long lines patiently waiting to trim their limit of lavender.

“Early on we said a hundred people, would be great,” Mary said with a laugh. “And then as it became closer we noticed Facebook had a lot of people indicating they were coming. There is a formula Facebook gives on how many people to expect at an event that respond to a post. We used that.”

Mary figured 8,000 people attended the event.

Mary, founding president of the U.S. Lavender Growers Association, her husband, Tim, and in-laws spent two years preparing the land and harvesting the lavender. It is the only lavender farm in the Upstate.

Saturday was a U-Pick day with free admission for all the activities and customers only paying for the bundles cut. Bundles, priced $2-$10, were limited to three large bundles per person, measuring 7.5 inches.

“We adapted all the way,” Mary said. “The food trucks were available, we knew some vendors who could come, the horse was from a neighbor … and the kids were having so much fun the grownups ended up playing with the kids.”

Multiple colors of lavender were available. A cooking demonstration was held on lavender’s flavoring.

The Bergstroms have a food and product display at Foodie’s Farm Shop in downtown Greer at the Depot and have a vendor’s table at the Farmer’s Markets alternating in Greer and Taylors – this week in Taylors.

Mary said she learned a valuable lesson Saturday. “It tells me people are truly passionate about this plant. Some people told me they just wanted to be in the lavender. I heard it was a Mother’s Day gift, birthday presents, and other occasions to come here.”

 

 

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