She walked into the Dancing Mule Coffee Company, and though I happened to be sitting with a friend I accidentally ran into while ordering, Catherine greeted me with a beautiful smile and bright eyes. She has one of those magnetic personalities that makes it difficult not to like her. While she ordered her caffeine fix for the day, I bade farewell to my friend and sipped on my iced caramel latte (it’s my favorite drink, in case anyone out there ever wants to buy me coffee – wink wink).
After she sat down and we got the formalities out-of-the-way, it began to feel like we were long-lost friends. While we tried to stay on topic, we spoke about everything from huge spiders in Brazil and Penang to getting free meals from men (who fancy us) to feed our starving roommates – but that was years ago! Without delving too deep into some of our hilarious discourse, I’ll just say that the last time I laughed this hard required a bit of alcohol….imagine how much more fun it would have been to have some Bailey on standby!
Less than a year ago, this amazing lady threw caution to the wind and started a lavender farm with her husband. After buying a beautiful parcel of land approximately thirty (30) minutes outside of Springfield, they started growing lavender and making their own homemade all-natural lavender products including linen sprays, soaps, lotions, scrubs, bath salts, oils and dried lavender bundles. All of this and more can be found at the Greater Springfield Farmer’s Market at Battlefield Mall or on their website here.
How Lavender Falls Started
Thor Bersted is an interesting man who, aside from flying commercial planes, being a film director, meteorologist and a policeman, was injured on the job one day and found himself scheduled for multiple surgeries and visiting the intensive care unit all too often.
With two young children at home, 7 ½ beautiful acres to tend, and a husband in pain, Catherine came home one day after work to find her husband heavily sedated and muttering something about purchasing 768 lavender plants. Considering all the medications he was on, she didn’t take what he said literally that Monday afternoon. After all, he could barely touch his nose and commented that the ceiling was falling when it clearly wasn’t. When he sobered up and became coherent, he convinced Catherine that he did indeed buy 768 lavender plants (not 750, not 800, but 768). Catherine, along with family, put up a temporary greenhouse to house the lavender plants and a couple of days later, all 768 of them had been delivered.
Catherine and Thor had talked about farming and cash crops before he went online and shopped under the influence of prescription drugs, and found that lavender was the second most profitable cash crop and there were no lavender farms in the greater Springfield area. At this point, I asked Catherine what the first most profitable cash crop was, and while leaning over the table whispering, she said, “marijuana!” I then asked her, “Why aren’t you growing that?” After snorting a bit, we got back to business.
Starting a farm is a lot of work, especially when you have never done it before. Neither one of them had any farming experience or background in producing luxury skin care products, but that didn’t stop them from jumping in feet-first! That weekend, along with her step-mom, dad and father-in-law, Catherine and her family planted all the lavender plants while her hubby recuperated.
Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for the rest of us in Springfield and surrounding areas, on September 30th, 2015, Catherine lost her job and took up lavender farming full-time. While she didn’t do anything wrong and was far from incompetent, her boss decided to let her go for reasons unbeknownst to us. Catherine, distressed and feeling dejected, went home and cried for two days – we’ve all been there. Her loving husband asked if she would be interested in taking on the lavender farm as a business, and after agreeing she never looked back. In fact, she has never been happier! Lavender Falls Farm was born and Catherine was given a new lease on her career.
About Catherine Bersted
Catherine is one of those amazing women that has done it all: she has navigated the corporate world, traveled to several different countries for business AND pleasure, has lost it all (and been the last person to be notified of it) started over, and gained it all back again. A mom, business owner, wife and lavender farmer, this is one lady who is always thinking ahead and doing so with a bubbly persona.
She has two beautiful children and admits that being a stay-and-farm-at-home mom is something relatively new to her. She wasn’t used to cooking dinners and taking care of a household – she had always been a working woman – but confesses that the lifestyle change has grown on her.
She met her husband while working: he was a pilot and she was a customer service agent
and trainer for the same airline company. Though she rejected him once stating, “Oh I
don’t do the whole pilot thing,” eventually she gave in and ended up having a three-hour first date with Thor. They soon moved in together, married and started their family all while switching careers and overcoming obstacles as a husband-wife team.
When I asked her the biggest difference between living in the city versus living on a farm, she replied with some hilarious stories of the local wildlife. There have been a few nights where, living out in the country, there have been sounds which can be likened to a woman screaming bloody murder. These sounds actually originated from some hot and bothered bobcats looking to get a little action (bow chicka wow wow). They have also had a momma bear and two cubs pass through their farm which resulted in Thor having to call Missouri Wildlife and Conservation. Coyotes can be heard right off the farm, but the thing that scared Catherine the most, understandably, was an 8” spider that was found in their barn. When she left to get reinforcements (aka Thor), she came back and the spider was gone…what is worse than having a spider? Having it disappear and not really knowing where it is! My bit of advice was to burn the barn down – she could have a barn-fire (hahaha).
About Lavender Falls Products
Aside from producing locally grown goods, Lavender Falls Farm uses 100% pure lavender oil in their goods. They currently feature eleven (11) products, and if you are interested in getting some samples, it may be in your highest interest to attend the next Ladies’ Night Out event in August. Lavender Falls Farm is sponsoring thirty (30) sample goodies for the first lucky ladies to register for our event! If you are interested in purchasing some of their products, either for personal use or to become a reseller, feel free to contact Catherine and Thor. Their details are as follows:
Phone: (417) 459-3404 or (417) 350-7570
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