Episode 80 – Iris Lee Underwood – Lavender Farmer, Author, Descendant of the McCoys of Appalachia

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Meaning has directed Iris Lee Underwood along the many paths of her life – from her childhood in Appalachia, hailing from the McCoy part of the Hatfield-McCoy legend, to raising three daughters in Michigan, to losing her eldest daughter to drug addiction and farming lavender as a way to heal from that devastating loss.

Along the way, she’s served as president of Detroit Working Writers and writer-in-residence at the Troy Public Library, published three books and authored a weekly column for her local newspaper. She also opened her home to the public as a lavender farm, baking lavender scones and making lavender lemonade as guests clipped the fragrant branches under the bright sunshine.

In this episode, Lynne and Iris discuss:

  • The legacy of a storyteller
  • A decade of hosting a lavender farm
  • The blessings of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Finding your tribe
  • Iris’ Christian faith as a beacon
  • Medicinal plants
  • Culinary lavender
  • Sustainability, beekeeping and solar energy

Links and Resources

Coming up next on the Make Meaning Podcast: Lynne interviews John Hartig, a Visiting Fulbright Scholar at the University of Windsor, focused on protecting the environment and the fresh water habitats that fill the Great Lakes region.

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