Expansive. Calming. Breathtaking.

Lavender Waves Farm began with Dr. Henry Cabrera and his dream to plant lavender and share his love for the crop with the community.

In the heart of Rhode Island lies his quaint 14-acre farm—once home to Gatewood Farms, a historical staple in the community. During the 1940s, families could visit the farm and purchase agricultural resources from a store located on Gatewood’s rolling green acres. Then, the farm raised cows and pigs. An old sign that reads “Gatewood Farm—Bacon and Sausage” lives in the barn to this day, serving as an homage to what once was.

Farming is a complicated business. The former owners of Gatewood Farm had to sell parts of their land to raise financial support for farming and agricultural operations. Eventually, the Gatewood family left their home, and a handful of owners circulated the land until 2016 when Dr. Henry Cabrera purchased it.

Soon, renovations began in hopes of restoring the farm. First, the new owner fixed the water system and installed electricity into the barn. Next, the owner built three stables, dutch doors, and a poultry area.  Dr. Henry Cabrera also added grazing pastures for the farm’s livestock, including sheep, alpacas, llamas, camels, and donkeys, to the land.

As he implemented the restorations, he created the blueprint for the lavender farm. During the summer of 2017, the owner placed a custom-made gazebo that serves as the center of the lavender field. In 2018, the owner added the first circle of lavender plants, and a year later, they planted a second circle. Over 4,000 lavender crops of 10 different varieties thrive on the farm. In 2020, the lavender farm opened to the public, quickly gaining popularity in its neighboring community.

Lavender Waves Farm Operations

Cabrera is an anesthesiologist by trade, but he works to maintain the lavender farm’s transformative experience in his free time.

Throughout the year, anywhere from three to ten employees work on the farm. Although the lavender plants aren’t in bloom year-round, Cabrera explains that the livestock needs treatment every day, and the daily chores include feeding and cleaning each animal.

“It’s slower in the winter, but the farm never stops living,” he says.

Cabrera and the other farm workers prune the lavender plants in the spring, with a prominent bloom in June and a second bloom in October. A paid group of individuals assists in plant cuttings, while volunteers from the Kingston Hill Garden Club of South Kingstown also help out on the farm as needed.

Lavender Waves Farm Livestock

Cabrera’s farm also houses camels, a great pull for visitors. His lavender farm owns 15-year-olds Jack and Bingham, the only two Dromedary camels in Rhode Island. Dromedary camels are Arabian one-hump camels that are found in sub-Saharan regions. Bactrian, the other camel breed, has two humps and is native to cold-weather areas in Asia. The farm is home to the three-year-old Humphrey.

“At Lavender Waves Farm, we are lucky enough to have three out of the five privately held [Rhode Island] camels,” he said. “These giant animals are a spectacular addition to any event as they mesmerize guests with their incredible size.”

The Lavender Waves Experience

Visitors are enamored by the lavender farm’s encapsulating and tranquil beauty, and around 2,500 people visit the farm annually. Some of Cabrera’s favorite features of the farm are Dolly Llama, his pet llama, Humphrey, the young camel, and being able to take in the farm’s expansive beauty.

“I enjoy seeing everything well-manicured,” he says. “The wagon and entrance path are some of my favorite things on the farm. The path winds quietly through the property, all the while hiding the magnificent field just beyond view.”

Guests can also stay at the rustic Airbnb on-site, a luxurious space fit for a couple searching for a romantic or relaxing getaway. The space features reclaimed wood from a 150-year-old silo, rustic stone tile, and reclaimed beams.

On the second floor, a four-post king-size bed made of reclaimed wood comes complete with a view of the lavender field. In addition to a reclaimed wood futon that accommodates two other guests, the kitchen and living room area also look over the lavender field, allowing guests to view the rolling sea of purple as a reminder of the farm’s calming environment.

Estonian amethyst geode sinks line the counters in the suite’s bathroom, along with imported Italian granite. The shower has rainfall, a waterfall, and massage jets, creating the ultimate relaxing experience.

The suite offers complete access to the farm, including personal use of the gazebo. As this is an exclusive experience, only adults can stay in the suite. Pets aren’t allowed.

Not too far from the farm are a handful of towns that offer other activities and lodging for visitors, such as Westerly, Charlestown, Narragansett, and Newport, with Foxwoods Casino 35 minutes away and Mohegan Sun 50 minutes away.

Lavender Waves Weddings & Memberships

The farm is also an official wedding venue and people can have wedding ceremonies and receptions with a membership package.

When someone becomes a farm member, they gain exclusive access to Lavender Waves Farm’s garden and animals. By purchasing large amounts of lavender from them, guests can get an educational experience and exclusive, private access to the garden, grounds and animals. Guests can reserve 1-3 hours of private time on the farm through the membership.

A photographer named Lynne gushed about capturing a mesmerizing wedding at the venue: “As a wedding photographer, Lavender Waves Farm was such a dreamy venue,” she wrote. “It is the perfect combination of rustic and charming, and the animals and views can’t be beat! The buildings and grounds were impeccable and my clients had the perfect day. If you’re looking for a unique and charming location for your wedding, this is the spot!

Lavender Waves Farm Is A Labor of Love

Cabrera’s farm is deeply rooted in rich agricultural history. In 2020, the granddaughter of the original owners visited her family’s former land. Her childhood memories rushed back as she took in the renovated farm and its recaptured beauty. As visitors approach the farm, they can see the white house on the corner hill where the original owners lived. Cabrera lives in the former store where the Gatewood family sold their produce.

“The unique design of the farm was done to create a special place of beauty, peace, and luxury for visitors,” the official website reads. “By being able to sell the lavender as well as offer the opportunity for a limited number of guests to visit the farm, they will experience a working farm and have the ability for the community to have a place of gathering amongst the rolling waves of lavender.”

Dr. Cabrera’s Lavender Waves Farm provides a calming experience for its visitors and serves as an escape from the hectic atmosphere of the world. With the community’s support, the farm will continue to be a labor of love and a source of joy for those who visit in the years to come.

By Chris Bates