About

Lavender and Herbs Brooklyn Wisconsin

Redtail Ridge is a grower of lavender and herbs and is located in Brooklyn Wisconsin, just south of Madison Wisconsin.

 

Redtail Ridge Lavender & Herbs is the partnership of Cheryl Rezabek and Bob Strous.  We moved out to rural Brooklyn, Wisconsin in 1994 as off-grid renewable energy pioneers.  We produce all of our electricity from a small 1kW wind turbine and a 1.2kW photovoltaic array (solar panels), batteries for storage and a propane generator as back up.  We are conscious of the impact our daily lives have on the environment and we strive to minimize that impact.  We’ve hosted many tours and emphasize that even small life style changes can lead to more sustainable living.  You can learn more about our off-grid adventures at our blog, Redtail Ridge Ramblings.

 

Over the years, we had successful careers and worked to maintain our 53 acre property.  Cheryl trained as a Master Gardener and dreamed of sustainably growing a crop that would earn us a little income in retirement.  The land is situated on a limestone ridge, part of the Niagara Escarpment in southern Wisconsin.  The top soil has been eroded over the years from traditional farming, lacking organic matter and is low in nutrients.  Cheryl researched possible crops that matched our soils and site and came up with the herb, lavender Lavandula agustifolia.  Being a native of the Mediterranean region, it likes alkaline soils, good drainage, lots of sun and can tolerate limited nutrients.  A perfect fit for our site!

 

As part of our research, we visited other lavender growers in Washington state and northern Michigan.  These growers inspired us to try growing lavender on our farm.  In May of 2014 we began the experiment with 425 plants comprising 9 varieties of lavender.  Redtail Ridge Lavender & Herbs is close to Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago, all with growing interests in the local food movement and have talented artistic communities.   We hope to sell to those interested in exploring the benefits and beauty of lavender.  Follow us as we begin our new enterprise – growing healthy, high quality, sustainably produced lavender in southern Wisconsin.