COPENHAGEN — The highlight of the Second Annual Lavender Festival this year will be Hopenhagen Farm’s launch of its first-ever lavender beer.
“We’re not cutting the bologna. We’re pouring the draft,” said farm co-owner and festival founder Mary Rumble, referencing the recent Croghan bologna-cutting, in lieu of a ribbon-cutting, launching the Lewis County Cuisine Trail in which Hopenhagen takes part.
Mrs. Rumble and her husband DeVere, prophetically referred to as “DeBeer” by their children as toddlers that couldn’t get the “V” right, were trying to think of interesting products to make out of their two main crops, hops and lavender, when they realized beer was the obvious choice.
“I thought, ‘Why not?’” she said, a can-do attitude that has driven her and her husband to give everything a try: from farming to wine making to throwing tea parties and building a festival.
Gouverneur’s beer crafters, Adirondack Tobaggan Co., have been working with the Rumbles to come up with the right balance of lavender to give the brew a compelling flavor that doesn’t cross the line to being “like drinking perfume.”
The Hopenhagen Blonde Ale that will be poured for the first time on Saturday is the result of that effort.
Hopenhagen also produces two varieties of lavender wine, with the help of Tug Hill Vineyards, which will be available for tasting at the festival.
Surrounded by vistas of the Lewis County countryside, the festival will feature more than 70 food and craft vendors, almost double the number that participated last year.
“We’re having to make space for all of the new vendors,” Mrs. Rumble said, “We’re going beyond the lavender.”
Last year, vendors were situated along the grounds parallel to the hops and lavender fields, but this year will continue further into the property.
Many of the vendors, inspired by the festival’s focus, are bringing their own lavender-infused products from iced coffee to jam.
Local wines, maple syrup, handicrafts in many shapes and forms, home and decorative items created from repurposed objects and handmade jewelry are among the creative offerings to be found at the festival.
Throughout the day, activities will abound: painting classes, wine tasting and workshops about lavender and other plants will be held while live music by Oceans Below and Rob Hirschey, both of Watertown, and Brittney Cean of Pierrepont Manor, sets the scene.
Horse and wagon rides will take visitors to the neighboring Jones Family Farm where a member of the Jones family will give a talk and show folks around the working dairy.
The dry, hot-climate loving lavender plants that have struggled with the heavy rain so far this year have rebounded enough that the popular “you-pick” lavender option will be available again this year, Mrs. Rumble said.
Taking the idea of a family-friendly event to a new level, Mrs. Rumble said Hand in Hand Childcare professionals will have a dedicated area where, for a donation, children can play safely and have fun while parents do the same.
Entry to the rain or shine event is $2, free for children under 13. The Lavender Festival is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday at Hopenhagen Farm, 10218 Washington St., Copenhagen.
For more information about Hopenhagen Farm, go to https://www.hopenhagenfarm.com/ or call 315-778-8735