Shades of Purple

Hidcote lavender buds Hello, November! My tomato plants and impatiens have succumbed to a late-October frost. At this point in the year, I welcome colder months and the chance to retreat from the lavender field for awhile. This winter I will be focusing on products, creating lavender tea blends and soap using our organic lavender buds. I can't wait to get started.

For many, the appeal of lavender is in its fine scent. Although initially I was drawn to it by the color purple. The secret is in the buds. I spend several hours every weekend removing buds from the lavender spikes. I wasn't prepared for this tedious task. The standard advice for bud removal is to shake the dried bundles over a seive. In theory, the buds fall off and the dried foliage is filtered out. While it sounds simple enough, I'm beginning to wonder if this is really the most efficient method. The problem, I've found, is that alot of debris ends up in the buds. And I'm partial to clean buds! So, more often than not, I end up with a handful of buds four inches from my nose, sifting the tiny husks out by hand. Maybe I can fine-tune the process... Once off the spikes, the buds can be used in sachets, potpourri and soap. Some varieties of lavender, including Hidcote, can be used in cooking. To extract the flavor, I usually crush the buds in a mortar and pestle.

Speaking of cooking, a spirited lavender vinaigrette and homemade lavender pizza have been on the back burner of my mind. Time to get to work on these recipes, and more.

Finally, how about a gift of lavender for those on your gift list this year? Or a beautiful lavender bundle to go with the seasonal decor on your Thanksgiving table. You can pick one up at the farmers market, or give me a call. I would love to hear from you!