Ohio Lavender Festival presented by DayBreak Lavender Farm

Gateway News

State's first lavender festival at DayBreak Lavender Farm
July 12, 2006
The Gateway News

Far right, children play and parents and adults learn crafts at the lavender festival, which took place July 7 to 9 at DayBreak Lavender Farm on Frost Road.

Officials said this festival was the first of its kind in the state.

Right and below, Jonathon and Margo Tipping rush through lavender fields clipping their own to take home with them.
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The Beacon Journal

Lavender wafts into the kitchen
July 12, 2006
The Beacon Journal
Jane Snow, Beacon Journal food writer

Fields of lavender unfold downhill from Jody Byrne's white farm house, dwindling in the distance into two ribbons that lead to a picturesque pond.

On Sunday, the hot summer sun coaxed a few lavender buds to open and waft their heady perfume over the crowds. To Byrne's astonishment, more than 1,000 people visited the farm last weekend to revel in this bit of French Provence in, improbably, Northeast Ohio.

"I never dreamed..."she said, shaking her head as another load of passengers debarked from a shuttle bus that delivered them from the Wal-Mart a mile away.

Byrne had hoped to lure 200 to 300 people to the first Ohio lavender Festival in Streetsboro. But she hadn't factored in the strangely hypnotic power ofthe herb.

"Lavender is more of a culture than a plant," Byrne said. "There's not a culture built up around oregano."
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The Plain Dealer

Life-Enhancing Lavender
Wednesday, July 8, 2006
The Plain Dealer

Away from Cleveland's mass of concrete and smells of industrial burning lies an aromatic sanctuary at DayBreak Lavender Farm.

There, herbal flowers on endless rows of lavender bushes blanket the emerald grasses in a violet haze. The purple sea fills the air with the fragrance of sweet camphor, which Jody Byrne and Michael Slyker hope draw visitors to their visitors to their farm in Streetsboro for the first Ohio Lavender Festival.

Byrne and Slyker, two self-proclaimed aging hippies, hope to encourage the love of lavender by promoting its vast practical uses.
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Akron Beacon Journal

For the Love of Lavender
July 2006
Akron Beacon Journal
Doris Larson

Streetsboro couple cultivates sweet-smelling concoctions.

Jody Byrne was searching for acreage for a small alternative farm in 1994 when a realtor showed her a property on Frost Road in Streetsboro. She fell in love with the 14 acres and purchased it without even stepping inside the house. "Houses you can fix; land you can't fix," says Byrne, who found now only her farm but also the quiet rural setting she wanted.

Byrne was a city girl, but a job transfer brought her to Northeast Ohio from New York City. She works as a newsletter editor and trend forecaster for the professional spa, salon and cosmetic industries. But it's DayBreak Lavender Farm, which Byrne co-founded with husband Michael Slyker, that allows her to work at something she loves dearly. "Daybreak is my passion," she says.
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Record Courier

Lavender Festival coming
Monday, June 26, 2006
Record-Courier

In an effort to make Northeastern Ohio the lavender capital of the Midwest, DayBreak Lavender Farm in Streetsboro is gearing up for its first lavender festival and cook-off.

DayBreak co-founders Jody Byrne and Michael Slyker see the Ohio Lavender Festival an opportunity to encourage laven- der farming in Ohio and to celebrate the fact that lavender is as much a culture as it is a versatile herb.

Ohio's first Lavender Festival is sched- uled for July 7 to 9 at Streetsboro's only lavender farm, Daybreak Lavender Farm, located at 2129 Frost Road.

"We're also hosting the first-ever Lavender cook-off," Byrne said. "This is a great opportunity to get ladies thinking about entering and beginning to assemble their recipes."

The family-owned lavender farm offers a unique look at lavender farming and a wide variety of its uses.
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Gateway News

Streetsboro farm to host first Ohio Lavender Festival
June 21, 2006
The Gateway News

STREETSBORO - After five years of growing lavender and producing homemade products, DayBreak Lavender Farm looks to grow even bigger by hosting the first annual Ohio Lavender Festival July 7, 8 and 9 at 2129 Frost Road, while having just opened a store at 8376 Route 14.

Husband and wife co-owners Mike Slyker and Jody Byrne met in 1996 when Byrne answered Slyker's personal ad, describing himself as an "aging hippie."

Byrne said she had always loved lavender and when she discovered that Slyker had done some farming with his family, she decided to try a test bed of lavender in 2001 to see how well it could grow.

"We heard it was hard to grow lavender in Ohio, but we were able to make it work," Byrne said.

Byrne said she has high hopes for the festival and what it could do for lavender farming in the area. She said she hopes to make Northeast Ohio the "lavender capital of the Midwest."
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The Plain Dealer

Flower Children
June 2006
Ohio Magazine
Sarah Vrandenburg

It is entirely appropriate that your nose is the first thing to enter this pleasant suburban home in northern Portage County. Following it leads to an atmosphere of pure fragrance. It's not perfume; it's not food. It certainly isn't a plug-in air-freshener.

Welcome to DayBreak Lavender Farm, the love child of Jody Byrne and husband, Michael Slyker. The aromas - it would be an insult to call this an odor - rise from the basement heart of this cottage industry, where the couple and their employees design, make, cure and ship more than 120 different kinds of soap. Since the farm's conception in 2001, the couple has crafted a growing product line that now numbers 190 items, ranging from soap for pets to food items, lotions, even "body candles."

This imaginative item is a twofer: as a candle, it fills a room with a delicious fragrance. When extinguished, the candle leaves a puddle of warm, fragrant liquid, delightful to massage onto body, hands and feet.
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The Gateway News

Public gets opportunity to view a lavender farm
April 26, 2006
The Gateway News

Area residents will have the chance to tour the first lavender farm in Ohio's history Friday to Sunday, when DayBreak Lavender Farm in Streetsboro sponsors its fifth annual spring open house.

"Since we received our designation as Ohio's first lavender farm, we've received so many inquiries about growing, harvesting and drying that we've decided to say 'thank you' by sharing what our fields have taught us," said Jody Bryne, who co-founded the 2129 Frost Road farm with her husband Michael Slyker.

The couple is offering a free workshop titled "Lavender Naturally," providing tips and tricks of successfully growing lavender in Ohio.

"We'd like to make this area the lavender capital of Ohio with a beautiful lavender display in every garden," said Bryne.

Slyker will host a guided tour of DayBreak's organic lavender field and share in detail how the farm's lavender is organically cultivated, grown, pruned, harvested, dried and propagated - all by hand and without any synthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

Everyone is welcome - from lavender-loving gardeners to area farmers wanting to add lavender to their crop mix.
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Record Courier

DayBreak Lavender Farm offers free workshop during open house
Friday, April 14, 2006
Record-Courier

STREETSBORO - Experience all that lavender is and tour the first lavender farm in Ohio's history at DayBreak Lavender Farm's 5th Annual Spring Open House, to be held April 28-30.

"Since we received our designation as Ohio's First Lavender Farm, we've received so many inquiries about growing, harvesting and drying that we've decided to say 'thank you' by sharing what our fields have taught us,"said Jody Byrne who co-founded the 2129 Frost Road farm with husband, Michael Slyker.

The couple is offering a free workshop entitled "Lavender Naturally" on the tips and tricks of successfully growing lavender in Ohio.

"We'd like to make this area the 'Lavender Capitol of Ohio' with a beautiful lavender display in every garden," said Byrne.

Michael Slyker will host a guided tour of DayBreak's organic lavender field and share in detail how the farm's lavender is organically cultivated, grown, pruned, harvested, dried and propagated - all by hand and without anysynthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

The family-owned lavender farm offers a unique look at lavender farming and a wide variety of its uses.
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(PDF file - 127kb)

lavender photo

DayBreak Lavender Farm Honored to Host Turkish Women's Group
May 19, 2005

"I am so proud that we were chosen to be a part of this group's learning experiences," says Jody Byrne, co-founder of Streetsboro's DayBreak Lavender Farm. "The U.S. State Department is sponsoring a cultural exchange entitled The Turkish Women's Leadership In A Democracy. It is designed to show a small group of 12 women a range of entrepreneurial opportunities and we were selected to demonstrate and discuss the craftsmanship and marketing of handcrafted soap."

When it comes to soapmaking, Byrne says language will not be a barrier. "This is a hands-on craft and, while the group will have an interpreter, they will see, smell and experience the magic of making soap by hand." The will also leave with a remembrance of Streetsboro and DayBreak.

The soap recipe that Byrne will make for the women is called Mrs. O'Byrne's Sunday Lavender Oil Soap.

"My great-great grandmother had seven boys, and she made a special soap which she insisted they use every Sunday before she would let them out the door to attend Mass. I'll make each one of the ladies a mini-mold of this family recipe to take home with them."

And of course she will serve a round of lavender refreshments -- the Farm's famous Organic Lavender Chamomile Tea accompanied by Lavender Butter Cakes.

"I hope the ladies remember Streetsboro, and DayBreak, as a place where agriculture meets opportunity and that they can use that intersection as inspiration in their efforts back in Turkey."

Scene Magazine
Scene Magazine
Best of Cleveland 2004

Best Soap Goddess
Jody Byrne

September 29, 2004

Soap Artisan Jody Byrne harvests a bumper crop of all-natural soaps and hand-made spa godies from her fragrant 14-acre DayBreak Lavender Farm in Streetsboro.

The chunky wedges come in varieties ranging from Lavender Castile to Moroccan Mint To Patchouli Rose. All are crafted at the farm from such garden-fresh ingredients as lavender, mint, rose petals, goat's milk and steel-cut oats. Customers say her soaps are the best because of the purity and sheer amount of natural ingredients and essential oils Byrne uses.

And unlike her competitors, Byrne puts the percentage of each ingredient used right on the label. You'll find her products at the Shaker Square Farmer's Mrket and at local salons, spa, health-food stores, and garden centers, or you can order direct from Byrne's website. www.daybreaklavenderfarm.com.

Farm and Dairy Online Edition
Farm and Dairy

Suburban farm lush with lavender
Thursday, April 22, 2004
Andrea Myers

Streetsboro, Ohio - Locals may never guess the treasure that Jody Byrne and Michael Slyker transplanted into their community.

The couple's 14-acre Streetsboro plot, part of a former dairy farm, is in a residential area. The only thing farmed nearby are hosing developments and road construction.

One house, two cars in the driveway, a shed in back, a kennel with two dogs.

Nothing looks out of the ordinary.

But peer at rows of herbs on an east-facing hillside or step through the front doors and you'll believe in the extraordinary.

In a growing suburban area, the couple is making a go of alternative farming.

And their special crop, lavender, and the products they made from it, is turning head.

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The Plain Dealer

Farm has a bumper crop of beauty products
Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Ginger Burnett
Special to The Plain Dealer

Jody Byrne whips her golf cart across the sprawling grounds of her Streetsboro farm on a blustery afternoon.

She's got one hand on the steering wheel and the other proudly points out her first bed of lavender, a quarter-acre herb garden and six hives teeming with honeybees.

"We're using the power of nature," says Byrne, owner of the DayBreak Lavender Farm, which she believes is the first and only one of its kind in Ohio. "We have 1,000 lavender plants in all. It's like putting in a vineyard."

Her analogy is apt. Byrne, an energetic woman with a radiant smile, is a soap artisan, and her picturesque 14-acre estate yields the herbs that she transforms into 60 varieties of all-natural, handmade soap and a bevy of garden-fresh spa and skin-care luxuries.

She and her husband, Michael Slyker, 55, are two ex-hippies on their way to becoming the local Ben & Jerry of the bath and body industry...

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(PDF file - 540kb)

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