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Quakerdale Farms


The Place Where LOVE Grows.

It's a New Day at Quakerdale Farms

Continuing a tradition, Quakerdale Farms is now once again a working farm and Iowa's newest event venue!

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Imagine having a beautiful field of lavender as the backdrop for your wedding, family gathering, or lunch. You can also take tours of the greenhouse and grow room. Plants and Products will be available for sale Summer 2024 - Look for announcements!

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Make your wedding, birthdays, reunions, or workplace meetings a unique experience!  Our scenic campus offers many options for small to very large groups to gather, celebrate and fellowship.

Accommodations coming Fall of 2024!

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In 2027, a new advanced Equine Aquatic Center will be opening. It will offer services like aquatic therapy, training, and healing for horses. The center will focus on helping sport horses recover from injuries and get in better shape.

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In May 2024, we planted 3,000 lavender plantlets across six test fields on our campus. These fields are currently marked with pink flags, and we welcome visitors to walk the grounds and enjoy the scenery.

We are testing 24 lavender varieties to monitor their performance and growth in different soil types, both natural and manufactured. Each plantlet is crucial to our future plans. The plantlets in the fields are approximately one year old, with the first harvest expected next summer. Therefore, we kindly request that visitors do not touch the plants or remove any blooms without staff approval.

Our Tissue Culture Lab is now open to visitors, who can observe our work through observation windows. The lab is located in the main office building.

Please be patient as our plants grow. It will take a couple of years for them to reach the appearance of the promotional photos on our website.

We have reserved over 100 acres for lavender in the first phase. At full development, spanning over 400 acres, we will become the largest lavender farm in the world. The remaining acres will be planted based on our R&D findings, so stay tuned!

We look forward to seeing you on campus! Although our plants are young, there is much to learn, many activities to enjoy, and beautiful grounds to explore. Come have lunch with us soon and enjoy a free tour!   

Purity. Devotion. Serenity. Grace. Calmness


The Quakers were the first to bring Lavender to America.  In addition to its sweet, floral smell, lavender has therapeutic and medical benefits. Various research indicates that lavender can help reduce anxiety levels and can be used in a variety of ways, including massage, aromatherapy, baths, décor, or in recipes.

“Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard (many refer to as lavender), very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the ointment.” (John 12:3)  

Visioning Our Future

About us

“The former Quakerdale School campus will be transitioned into a for-profit agritourism venue which will continue to honor the foundation’s mission of supporting families and children.” - Lance Thornton, Owner


Quakerdale Farms offers an unparalleled blend of rustic charm, agricultural immersion, and modern amenities. Founded over 170 years ago as an orphanage to teach young boys farming skills and Quaker-based principles, the institution evolved through various phases before sadly closing down.

In January 2024, Lance Thornton, a former student, returned to Quakerdale, purchasing the historic campus in New Providence, Iowa. Once a haven for children and youth, the property is now meticulously transforming into Quakerdale Farms, a vibrant agritourism destination. Our vision includes creating Iowa's largest lavender farm with multiple fields, lavender r&d program, alongside wedding venues, greenhouses, an event center, a campground, fitness center, full-size gym, and an equine aquatic resort.

Imagine waking up to the serene beauty of lavender fields stretching before you, their fragrance filling the air and setting a peaceful tone for your day. Quakerdale Farms offers not just sensory delight but also active engagement with nature. When fully developed, guests will explore over five acres of cultivated gardens, fish in a well-stocked 2-acre pond currently under construction or embark on adventures along miles of walking and hiking trails in the beautiful woods. The farm's diverse offerings make it an ideal spot for both relaxation and recreation. The transformation of Quakerdale Farms into a premier agritourism site also honors its historical roots and the mission of its founder, Quaker philanthropist Josiah White. We expect to have accommodations available by the end of 2024 - Stay tuned!

While the farm operates as a for-profit venture, it remains deeply committed to fostering hope, love, and community support. A percentage of all proceeds supports the Quakerdale Foundation, ensuring the philanthropic spirit of the original campus continues to thrive. This blend of commercial success and charitable giving creates a unique atmosphere where guests can enjoy their stay while contributing to a greater cause.

"We have opened our fields, farm, pasture, and hearts for those to stay here for free to enjoy what God has built for all."

"Whether you seek a peaceful retreat, a family-friendly adventure, or a unique venue for your next event, Quakerdale Farms offers a truly special experience. The combination of its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and dedication to community support makes it a must-visit destination in Iowa. Come and be part of this exciting new chapter at Quakerdale Farms, where the legacy of the past beautifully intertwines with the promise of the future. While here, don’t forget to visit the Lavender Market and the Café, both located inside the main office building.  

Now booking Celebrations (birthday's, anniversaries, reunions and weddings).


Campus cleanup and remodeling

Building demolition, landscaping including removal of diseased trees, flower planning, building evaluations

Lavender Lab and Events

  • R&D lab under construction - tissue lab opening in April.
  • First plants arriving April 2024
  • First planting expected May 2024
  • Coffee cafe open daily in Broer center. Grab and Go menu coming soon May 2024
  • Ongoing Purchasing equipment Birthday party rentals.
  • East campus clean up
  • Campus Beautification and Landscaping
  • First Saturday Clay Pigeon Shoots
  • Pond Construction

Summer fun ahead!

  • Adding cardio equipment to Fitness Center

  • Educational Classes on lavender

  • Greenhouse and Cabin Construction (1-6)

  • Wedding and Birthday Rentals - Now Booking!

  • First Saturday Clay Pigeon Shoots

  • Launch Online Products Store

  • Cafe open Monday - Friday 11-3 pm

  • Mini Market Open Inside Main Office

  • Monthly Product Launch

Q1 2024

Q2 2024

Q3 2024

Q4 2024

Ending the year

  • Gardner and Bart Cottages renovations complete.  
  • Christmas and Holiday Parties - Now Booking!
  • Sports Tournaments and Academic Camps
  • Lavender Greenhouse Sales - Wholesale


Plan Your Visit to Quakerdale

Our campus is open daily and we welcome the opportunity to give you a tour and show you what's happening!

Cafe is open Monday - Friday 11-3

Our Product Store is open daily 8-5

Open Gym every weekend!

Now Booking Celebrations!  Birthday Parties, Anniversary Parties, Reunions and Weddings. We have many options!

You are invited to explore the grounds and enjoy the serene beauty of mid-Iowa daily.  Stop by our main office to pickup a map of our future development plan.


26866 County Hwy S55, New Providence, IA 50206


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History of Quakerdale Farms

Josiah White (J.W.)

Josiah White was a Quaker philanthropist from Philadelphia. In his last will and testament, he gave a portion of his estate to the Indiana/Iowa Yearly Meetings of Friends with the goal of teaching orphaned children good work skills and the Christian practices of the Quaker faith. Over the years, White developed several children's home and purchased farm lands to financially support the children's ministries.  Josiah White's work continued in various forms, under several names, in multiple states, but the goal was always the same: serving children and families in the name of Jesus Christ.

In 1941, one of the working farms, named Quakerdale,  in New Providence, Iowa, was transitioned into a home for boys.  For almost 80 years, Quakerdale provided a safe home, a school and served as a family to thousands of children (both girls and boys) in crisis.

2017 brought to the forefront the changing political and social pressures the ministry was facing due to state funding, resulting in growing misalignment with the mission and values of Josiah White. Thus, in 2018, the Quakerdale school was closed. A Foundation was formed as a means to continue the work according to Josiah White’s vision.  

In January of 2024, former student, and successful developer, Lance Thornton, purchased the New Providence Quakerdale campus.  The New Providence campus, now operating as Quakerdale Farms, will be transitioned into a working lavender farm featuring multiple fields, greenhouses, an event center and an equine aquatic resort. This will be a for-profit agritourism venture with plans to to honor the founder's mission by using this land to encourage hope, love and community support. A percentage of all proceeds will go to Quakerdale Foundation to further the work of Josiah White.