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‘We’re hoping to make lavender the next pumpkin spice’

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields.

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm creates lavender infused products and is looking to make the plant more widely used.

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm sells products made from lavender. Ben Domaingue / Monitor staff

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Pumpkin Blossom Farm and its lavender fields. Ben Domaingue—Ben Domaingue

  • Molly Biagiotti, her husband and their children run a lavender growing operation. ABOVE: An aerial view of the fields. Ben Domaingue photos / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/15/2021 3:54:09 PM

Defying the odds, Pumpkin Blossom Farm in Warner received one of four USDA-backed grants for the state of New Hampshire.

New Hampshire remains one of the lowest awarded states in the nation, receiving just four Value Added Producer Grants totaling only $564,230 out of over $76 million in available aid, according to data provided by the USDA.

The grants are intended to help agricultural producers boost their processing and marketing of new products, according to the USDA.

Missy Biagiotti, who has owned Pumpkin Blossom Farm since 2007, decided to move to full-time operations in 2016. She retained the Pumpkin Blossom name in order to honor the property’s history, while forging her family’s own path growing lavender.

“We wanted to honor the property in a way that would honor the beauty here,” said Biagiotti. “It has a lot of history.”

Growing lavender at Pumpkin Blossom Farm is a new undertaking by Biagiotti and her family, quickly demanding their full attention as they look to expand with their recently awarded grant, totaling over half of New Hampshire’s total award, at $250,000.

“The minute I saw the grant, I felt it was a very unique match for our farm,” said Biagiotti. “I thought it wasn’t possible for an individual producer to be eligible for this.”

Biagiotti submitted a 280 page grant for review by the USDA. With her experience in grant writing, she was able to complete the proposal in just under four months.

“If you do get it, it’s a game changer,” said Biagiotti. “I would say you would need someone almost completely dedicated to working towards that grant for a few months.”

Biagiotti is expected to match the grant award, which she plans to use primarily to hire new staff and pay for their wages. With her own investment, her total award is $500,000.

Biagiotti believes New Hampshire, which does not have a dedicated grant writer to help farmers, does not do enough to assist its growers and producers.

“It’s really a waste,” said Biagiotti. “If New Hampshire spent $150,000 a year on a full-time grant writer to reach out to these farms about these grants, they would make their money back tenfold.”

Biagotti believes this grant will help her family take their farm to the “next level,” and is ecstatic of the future of her business.

“We knew we wanted to do something together as a family,” said Biagiotti. “We’re hoping to make lavender the next pumpkin spice.”




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