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
- Detroit Working Writers
- Seven Ponds Nature Center
- Hatfield-McCoy legend
- Lavender farming
- Iris’ books
- Iris’ column in the Tri-City Times
- Gardening in Michigan – Michigan State University
- Hillsdale College
- The McCoy Homeplace
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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