Snowy January at Hauser Creek Farm

Snow day at Hauser Creek Farm

Snow day at Hauser Creek Farm

Happy New Year! Barely a week into 2017 and we received about 8 inches of snow overnight. Mornings like these are breath taking! A fresh blanket of powdery snow all over the farm never gets old here in North Carolina. By noon today the sun was out and tonight bitter cold temperatures are moving in. I am grateful for the beautiful snowy scenes and don't mind the slow-down one bit. I took Margaret the chocolate lab for a long walk and did a ton of indoor work including trying out a yummy new lavender dessert. Enjoy the snow if you can and enjoy the tart (recipe below). I hope things are pretty and well wherever you are. Spring is coming.

Chocolate Lavender Tart: Combine 1 1/4 cups half-and-half, 2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender buds, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 2 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan; heat just until mixture comes to a simmer making sure butter is melted. Remove from heat and let stand for at least 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare crust. Place 8 graham crackers and 1/2 cup walnuts in food processor; top with cover and process until crumbly. Transfer crumbs to a bowl and add 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 cup melted butter, stirring until well mixed. Press crumb mixture evenly in bottom of a 8 x 11-inch rectangular or 9-inch round tart pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes; remove from oven and set aside. Place 12 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips in a large microwave-safe bowl; microwave on high for 2 minutes or until melted, rotating after one minute. Place a thin-mesh strainer over bowl; pour lavender mixture through strainer, pressing lavender buds to extract all the liquid. (Reserve lavender buds for garnish.) Vigorously whisk or beat the chocolate mixture until completely smooth; pour into prepared crust. If desired, garnish with reserved lavender buds. Chill completely before serving.     



Chocolate Lavender Tart at Hauser Creek Farm

Chocolate Lavender Tart at Hauser Creek Farm

August: Naked Lavender Cake and End of the (Lavender) Season

Naked Lavender Cake

We had another great lavender season and truly appreciate all of you for your support and interest! This summer has been exceptionally dry which isn't typically a problem for drought-tolerant lavender, but some of our perennial flowers didn't fare so well. Our farmers market days are finished for the year and we'll soon be gearing up for planting fall cover crops AND more peonies. Have you noticed any signs of fall? I have! Our muscadine grapes are coming and the farm's warm season native grasses are blooming. You probably noticed a problem in the last blog in that the photo(s) were apparently missing. Sorry!! Hopefully by the time you receive the next post, the farm's website and blog will be completely updated with a whole new look!

Those of you who know me know that I like to eat and cook with flowers, especially lavender! Here's a recipe I'm excited to share! I found just enough lavender in our field to make this work. It's quick and easy and I love the naked cake concept. Hope you do, too! Enjoy!

Naked Lavender Cake Recipe


1/2 cup whole milk
2 to 3 stems fresh culinary lavender
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried culinary lavender
1 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest


Place milk in a glass measuring cup and heat in microwave just until very hot; add fresh lavender stems, completely submerging the stems in the milk. Let stand for 30 minutes or until completely cool. Combine sugar and lavender in a food processor bowl; top with cover, and process for about 60 seconds. Cream butter until light and fluffy; add lavender sugar and vanilla extract and beat until well combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Sift together cake flour, salt, and baking powder in a small bowl; add flour mixture alternately with milk (remove and discard the lavender stems) and beat until well combined. Stir in lemon zest.

Butter an 8-inch round cake pan and line pan with wax paper. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove cake from oven; let stand on cooling rack for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely. To serve, garnish with fresh lavender stems or other assorted edible flowers.

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Reflections on Spring Open Farm Day 2015

Farm Day 2015 051.JPG

I'd say Saturday was a near-perfect farm day. Big HUGE thank you to everyone who visited! This is one of my favorite photos, and I can't help sharing how it happened that Chef Lynn Wells cooked lunch at Saturday's event. Last month I spent 3 days in Charlotte getting continuing education credits for registered dietitians. I had been nervous about signing up for the class because it was during "busy season" at the farm, but it was close enough to home that I could make the drive back and forth each day, and, as a dietitian, I needed the credit-hours. One day during a break in the lectures I stepped outside to get some fresh air and stretch my legs, and as a result I made a new dietitian-friend named Christine from Ontario, Canada. Long story short, Christine suggested I contact her friend and former dietitian, Lynn, who now works as a personal chef in Greensboro, NC (Thyme Well Spent - Personal Chef Service).  Funny how things happen, but in the course of about a week Lynn and I made plans for her to cook at the farm. I love this picture because it portrays Lynn in her element, towel slung over the shoulder, chef's hat, and beautiful decor in the open air. I know some of you didn't get a chance to enjoy Lynn's food, but it was amazing! I look forward to collaborating on future events. Thanks again, EVERYONE!