July: Stars 'n Stripes and Sunflowers at Hauser Creek Farm

Red White and Blue Lavender Shortbread

Red White and Blue Lavender Shortbread

Happy Fourth of July! There's nothing prettier - and more all-American - than sunflowers. It's been a few years since we planted them en masse, and I missed them. So this year I enlisted a local farmer-friend who showed up on May 11 to do the planting. Since then, growing conditions have been perfect and the first blooms are now on the verge of breaking through. This coming Friday evening, July 7, the farm will be open 5 to 7 o'clock-ish. I expect to be picking lots and lots of sunflowers by then so come and get 'em! If you are interested and want to stick around for munchies, please bring a simple dish or beverage to share. 

While the farm's lavender is basically done for the year, I like to extend the season by making lavender sugar using some of the leftover dried bundles. Makes a great hostess gift in addition to being a versatile staple in my pantry. Lavender sugar smells amazing and adds a soft floral note to breads, pound cake, and cookies like the shortbread I made for the 4th.  To make lavender sugar, simply place 2 cups granulated sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add 4 teaspoons dried culinary lavender buds, cover, and process for about 30 seconds. Of course, you can make a larger batch but generally speaking two teaspoons lavender buds per 1 cup sugar is a gracious plenty. Store the sugar in a covered container.

Lavender Sugar at Hauser Creek Farm

Lavender Sugar at Hauser Creek Farm

Sunflower in process at Hauser Creek Farm

Sunflower in process at Hauser Creek Farm

Sunflower in full bloom at Hauser Creek Farm. Do you see the bees? 

Sunflower in full bloom at Hauser Creek Farm. Do you see the bees? 

Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

Hauser Creek Farm in Full Flower

With an abundance of flowers in the field, we welcomed visitors to the farm on June 3. We were up at dawn that day picking flowers for mixed bouquets. As you can tell in the photo, my beloved lavender crop has been twiddled down - a deliberate move because of my swelling interest in other flowers and prolonging the growing season. After Bob Segal's death in 2016 I determined to color my world in flowers this year in his memory. The wildflower patch has been a delight to people and pollinators alike. And songbirds! Oh my goodness, the finches are going bonkers right now. Makes me smile every time I drive up our road.

With lavender harvest already winding down, I took time over the weekend to make a batch of lemonade, long a summer staple. Lemons and lavender go together beautifully and fortunately it doesn't take much lavender. Just be sure to use a culinary lavender and brush the stems off to remove any insects or bugs. Thanks again to those who came out to the farm and to everyone for your continued interest in the farm. 

      

Lavender lemonade at Hauser Creek Farm

Lavender lemonade at Hauser Creek Farm

Lavender Lemonade: Combine 3/4 cup sugar, 2 cups water, and 5 or 6 stems fresh lavender in a saucepan; bring to a simmer and heat just until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 1 hour to infuse.  Once infused, strain lavender mixture into a pitcher, discarding lavender stems. Stir in 3/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice and 1/2 to 1 cup water to taste. Serve chilled over ice and garnish with fresh lavender and lemon slices. Optional: For boozy lemonade, add a splash of gin. Enjoy! 

   

 

June: Celebrating Lavender at Hauser Creek Farm

Provence lavender at Hauser Creek Farm

Provence lavender at Hauser Creek Farm

We invite you to the farm Saturday, June 3 from 9 am to noon, celebrating lavender. Head's up: This year's harvest is much smaller due to a complete makeover in the field. Many of our plants are not up to snuff with regard to production capacity at this time. So ... if you visit, we cannot guarantee that there will be lavender for all of you to purchase. Our policy is typically first come first serve. We DO have a strong crop of various perennials. In another week we should be swimming in a lovely sea of cosmos, to name just one flower. Lots of colorful mixed bouquets will be available. Hope to see you!  

 

Flower field at Hauser Creek Farm

Flower field at Hauser Creek Farm

Cosmos at Hauser Creek Farm

Cosmos at Hauser Creek Farm