If you go to a beautiful location to visit and take photos, please be careful not to destroy the things you've come to see. An Ontario lavender farm in Milton, Ont., is calling out people who come to the farm to take pictures and end up destroying their plants. Terre Bleu Lavender Farm is as picturesque as it gets with fields of lush lavender that attract people from all over. While the farm encourages photography on-site, it does not appreciate the lack of respect for the plants.
Terre Bleu draws crowds because of its picture-worthy rows of lavender, but tourists looking for the perfect selfie are leaving the plants crushed. The farm encourages visitors to get that Instagrammable moment but to do so with respect.
"We understand the draw to come to our beautiful farm to get the perfect photo. It’s not that we do not want people to capture special moments at Terre Bleu, we just want them to do it in a respectful manner," Lesley Harris, marketing manager at Terre Bleu, told Narcity.
The harm mostly comes from people lying on the plants, stepping on or over the rows and leaving heavy objects like bags and purses on top of lavender.
These actions damage the lavender and once that damage is done it can't be reversed.
"When our crop is damaged, it means less lavender to make our products that we sell in the farm store. We only use our farm grown lavender for our products, we never import other lavender," said Harris.
One of the owners of Terre Bleu, Ian Baird, told CTV News that even when staff asked visitors to be careful around the plants, they were met with resistance because they paid for entry to the farm.
The farm offers people lots of opportunities to get up close and personal with their lavender like yoga in the fields, a farm shop with products made exclusively from their lavender and the ability to take photographs. And while visitors are charged an entry fee, some take that to mean they get free reign over the fields.
"We are not a botanical garden, we are a working family farm," said Harris as a reminder that this is how people make their livelihoods.
Terre Bleu isn't the only farm to experience this. Last summer, a sunflower farm near Hamilton had to close its fields from viewing because of the damage done to the plants by visitors taking pictures. Other farms have sympathy for this situation.
@Happyda73176532 @CTVNews @AppleHLavender Finding balance in #agritourism can be challenging. We want visitors to h… https://t.co/g7UUBiTh8J— Bonnieheath Estate - Lavender & Winery (@Bonnieheath Estate - Lavender & Winery) 1564457411
Terre Bleu is aware of what has happened to other farms, but as of right now, has no plans to close their fields. They say that they've been able to manage the problem effectively enough to keep it open.