ROBBINSVILLE, NJ -- The Gafgen family has been a staple of the Robbinsville community for decades. Elmer and Joyce Gafgen bought their farm on Tindall Road in 1976 and still live there today. Now, they are experiencing it anew as a lavender farm with two baby goats.
Shannon Gafgen recently talked with TAPinto Hamilton/Robbinsville about the “new chapter” for the family farm. The 12-acre space located on Tindall Road recently transformed itself to a place of calm and tranquility as a local lavender farm – Serenity Farms.
The idea came from her husband, Garyl Gafgen, who said “lets try it” and the family went to work planting its first lavender crop last year on four acres of the property. The family learned a lot from reading books and watching videos online, Gafgen said. They started with soap and learned how to use steam distillation and other techniques to create the oils, teas and balms now sold at the store in the barn as well as online.
“We listen and we learn as we go and people are really enjoying the experience,” said Gafgen who added that Serenity Farms is bringing a “new chapter and a new purpose” to the decades old local farm.
In addition to the bundles of lavender their first 2020 harvest in June and July yielded they also welcomed almost 100 visitors, in small groups, at their open house over the summer.
Elmer and Joyce, now 83, can be seen in their golf cart at the farm talking to visitors and enjoying the community. Grandchildren Abby and Ashley also help out at the farm with the customers and making the lavender-based products
Recently, two new family members moved to the Gafgen farm – Norman and Ross – two Nigerian Dwarf goats that children and adults can visit.
In addition, Serenity Farms gives kids and families “somewhere they can run into the fields” when so many families are home this summer.
Their second harvest of the year that will include English Lavender and wild flowers is planned for September, Gafgen said. Guests will be able to cut their own once the crops are fully grown
All of the products that they sell are derived in whole or part from the lavender grown at the farm.
After a much-needed family vacation, the Farm will reopen in September with hours posted on their website. Social distancing and face coverings are in place to keep everyone at the farm healthy.
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