For Cheryl Olshove, the sweet smell of success has the scent of lavender.

For Cheryl Olshove, the sweet smell of success has the scent of lavender.

The Upper Arlington resident owns and operates a lavender farm in Urbana, where she will host the first Lavender Festival on June 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival will feature a variety of home-grown offerings from central Ohio farmers as well as Olshove's organic, handmade soap, lotions, aromatherapy and other lavender-based products.

Harvesting lavender has been a lifelong passion for Olshove. "It's been a love of mine because of my Nana. She's 94 going on 40," Olshove said with a laugh. "Every package had lavender attached to it. We'd go visit in California and her house always smelled of lavender. It's always been close to my heart."

Olshove and her husband, Vince, happened upon the lavender farm when looking for a country getaway in 2005 after her brother's unexpected death.

"I didn't have a lavender farm in mind in buying property," Olshove said. "We were looking at some peace, tranquility, a change in life, not really sure where it was going to lead us."

Once the Olshoves decided to buy the lavender farm, they set about restoring the property's barn and getting the fields ready for lavender plants.

"I've always loved the country. I've always loved old barns," Olshove said. "I've always loved reusing things, recycling."

Olshove and her husband, a Nationwide Children's Hospital administrator, work the fields at the six-acre lavender farm without outside help. Olshove makes products in the basement of their Upper Arlington home and sells them online and in a barn they converted into a gift shop at the farm.

Far from taxing, Olshove finds working at the lavender farm a major stress-reliever.

"The weight of the world comes off your shoulders. It's so heavenly," she said. "It's really a labor of love."

The Lavender Festival will showcase the fruits of Olshove's labor as well as those of other farmers whom she met through the Worthington farmers market, where she sells her products every Saturday.

Products available at the festival will include edible goodies such as lavender-infused honey, tea, syrup and lemonade as well as kettle corn, granola and Amish pies, and crafts such as pottery, glass, jewelry and watercolor art.

"It's all local. We have grass-fed beef as well as ice cream that they make from their grass-fed cows," Olshove said. "We will have free-range chickens from another farm in Morrow County."

Festival goers will also have an opportunity to view an ornate, 8-foot by 8-foot quilt that will be on display in the barn/gift shop and featured in Champaign County's Barn Quilt tour in September.

Olshove is hopeful that the Lavender Festival will provide exposure to local farmers as well as her own business, which she says has continued to grow even in the recession.

"Despite what's going on with the economy, I'm thriving - very slowly," she said. "I have a lot more people spending less, but they're still spending. They're putting money in something they know, a natural product, a 'green' product."

Or, more specifically, a lavender product.

The lavender farm is located at 6332 Nine Mile Road, Urbana. Festival admission is free. For more information, visit