Revitalizing an old Tryon farm with elbow grease and lavender

Published 10:23 pm Thursday, March 7, 2019

Carolyn and Tracy Henry of Tryon Mountain Farms will speak to the Tryon Garden Club on March 20. The free program is at FENCE at 2:00 pm and the public is welcome. Carolyn Roff Henry, a Tryon native, is the fifth generation of her family to live in Polk County. Carolyn’s great-grandmother, Minnie Ballenger Hester, was the first President of the Tryon Garden Club.  

Henry will talk on revitalizing her family’s farm on Howard Gap Road. She will also weave together the history of the area with its agricultural importance. Howard Gap Road, which is contiguous to the property, was once a Cherokee trail. As settlers came into Western North Carolina, this became a gateway through the Appalachian Mountains. In 1835 the trail became an operational toll road. The tollhouse and gate are said to have been located near Howard’s Gap. Following the 1926 opening of Highway 176 through the Pacolet Valley to Saluda, Howard Gap Road, once full of drovers and wagons, became a quiet country road.  

The footprint of the current farm dates back to 1933. Carolyn’s grandparents purchased the farm in 1956 and her parents moved to the property in 1964 and began a lifestyle farm using organic farming practices. In 2015 Carolyn and Tracy Henry began a small commercial farming operating with lavender as one of their signature crops. After much hard work and “elbow grease” the farm is gorgeous, thriving and productive.  

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The Henrys grow culinary lavender and heirloom crops using organic farming methods. They sell what they grow at farmers markets and farm stores in Polk County, NC and Greenville, SC. This past season Carolyn and Tracy added line of salt blends and simple syrups, which they make with farm grown ingredients in an NCDA Certified Kitchen located at their farm. They will have both their seasoned salt blends and simple syrup available for purchase after the program.  

Come hear the fascinating and inspiring story of the revitalization of Tryon Mountain Farms as it looks to the future while embracing its past. Everyone is welcome to come hear this presentation and ask questions. The program is at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 20 at FENCECall 828-859-9021 or go to 


– Submitted by Lucy Brannon