Reflections on Spring Open Farm Day 2015

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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!

Hauser Creek Farm to Celebrate Spring Flowers for Mother's Day

Sweet William at Hauser Creek FarmGreetings, friends! I haven't written lately but that doesn't mean we haven't been busy! Our first snowfall of the season happened this week (a dusting, really, compared to other parts of the country), and the forecast is calling for seriously low temps, quite possibly below zero tomorrow night. Wow! That ought to be a real test for the first-year lavender "Phenomenal" that I planted last fall. Phenomenal lavender is known for excellent winter hardiness, so we will see.

I am so ready for spring! Aren't you? Excited to announce our second annual flower arranging class/party coming up in early May, just in time for Mother's Day! The date is Thursday, May 7 from 5 to 7 pm. Space is limited to 10 people and pre-registration is required. Typically the farm's peonies start blooming early May and there should be an abundance of other flowers to play with including some that may be locally sourced. Bring a friend (or mom!) and make your own bouquet. Wine and refreshments will be served featuring flower-themed recipes from the amazing book "Cooking with Flowers" by Miche Bacher. Interested? Need more info? Contact Alethea by email: or phone: 336-706-3235. Thank you!





Harvesting Lavender: The When and How

 According to my journal, last year we started cutting lavender around May 17. Whether you have one lavender plant, or hundreds, the question of when to cut depends partly on how you intend to use your lavender. For a fresh bouquet, it's usually recommended to cut the spikes with the flowers in bud, or when a quarter to one-third of the flowers on the spike are open. Lavender that is to be dried can be cut when the first two flowers on the spike have opened. If most of the buds have opened, the flowers will fall off when which case they can still be used for potpourri or sachets. Harvesting lavender for its essential oil depends on the variety - frequently after the flowers have opened and started to dry out.  

Choose a dry, sunny morning, after the dew is gone, and use a good, sharp pair of clippers or scissors. Cut 6 to 8 inches below the blooms, or just above the woody part. For dried lavender, secure the stems in place using a rubber band or tie together with yarn or raffia. Hang upside down to dry in a cool spot away from sunlight. Fresh lavender stems should be placed in water. Remove any foliage beneath the water line, and change the water daily to keep it fresh-looking. Then, sit back and enjoy the smell!