Blue Moon Lavender Farm

  (Sequim, Washington)
Recipes and stories about farm life
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Ten Things About Lavender

Interesting!

1. Lavender was said to have been brought over from Arabia to sell to Greek traders approximately 600 BC, later reaching the Hyeres Islands off the coast of France.

2. Lavender was used 2500 years ago in the mummification process in Ancient Egypt.

3. It is also speculated that Cleopatra used a perfume infused with lavender to seduced Julius Caesar and Mark Antony!

4. Romans used the lavender flower to scent their homes, in the bath, to ward off insects and even cook with.

5. The name lavender originated in its Latin form as either lavare--to wash, or livendula--livid or bluish.

6. Queen Victoria used to require that her furniture be polished with a lavender-based solution, and she also sipped tea infused with lavender to settle her stomach and ease her headaches.

7. During London’s great plague, people would tie bunches of lavender to their wrists to fight infection and bacteria.

8. In Europe, lavender’s cultivation dates back to the middle ages and even as far back as the Mediterranean.

9. Today it is farmed across the globe. Lavender farms are situated everywhere from Australia, England, Asia, Europe and the United States.

10. Rene Maurice Gattefosse was one of the first people to document the healing powers of lavender in the early 1900s.

 

ESCENTSAROMATHERAPY.COM

 
 

FRESH LAVENDER HARVEST

The lavender harvest has started and we are up to our eyeballs in lavender. The house, the car, the storage shed, all smell intensely. When we stop by the store, people smile and say: good harvest, eh? It's the best yet - purple, beautiful, fragrant, long lasting.

Don't hesitate - order your fresh bundles of our lavender now! The harvest only lasts two to three weeks, so indulge yourself and enjoy our beautiful bouquets. They will keep fresh in clean water for up to 2 weeks, or dry them for your own everlasting bouquet.

 
 

The Doe Comes Again

The doe with the triplets turned out to be two does, one with twins, one with a single fawn. They seem to swap babysitting duties and generally graze together. The fawns are getting bigger, and more frolicky. It's a joy to watch them running through the tall grass, with barely their ears sticking out. Their rusty coats contrast with the budding lavender. The does are very careful crossing the road and browbeat the fawns into waiting for the signal to cross. We have to be very careful driving around the neighborhood this time of the year because of the many new fawns.

Fortunately the days are very long now, still dusky after 10 pm and light again around 4 am, so the deer have more chance on the roads.

People around here learned to plant landscaping perennials which deer don't eat, like lavender, artemisia, mint, dusty miller, iris, peonies, sea holly, and others. The deer still come in and chew the leaves off the trees skirting them up to the same height, making them look extremely well groomed. The vegetable garden has an 8 ft fence with some flashing tape and CDs on strings to scare them, but it's worth it to see the does and the fawns year round, up close around the house and in the fields.

 We start harvesting lavender in about a week and the does will move off during that time. Don't miss your chance to receive a fresh bouquet of lavender from Blue Moon Lavender Farm in Sequim, Washington.

 
 

Doe and 3 fawns

Our lavender farm was graced this morning with a visit of a doe with triplets. The babies are wobbly on their legs, reddish brown with white spots, and quite adorable. The mother seemed unperturbed by our presence, and calmly kept grazing on grass, while the fawns chased around and nursed. What a great site to see in your garden.

Deer don't like lavender plants, so we don't have any damage from deer eating them, except when they deposit their young among the plants and push them under to hide them, some of the plants get crushed a bit, but we don't mind. We love seeing the deer all year in our gardens.


 
 

Lemonade with Lavender

Happy summer from all of us at the Blue Moon Lavender Farm in Sequim, Washington. Around here, lemonade is the drink of the summer! A real lemonade made with lemons, and for a surprising twist, a bit of culinary lavender added to the mix.

You can use culinary lavender for both sweet and savory dishes. A little goes a long way. Use the purple buds, not the leaves or stems. Can be used fresh off the stem or dried and packaged in jars. We grow, use and sell only Royal Purple (an English lavender, Lavandula angustifolia) a fragrant purple beauty, which explodes with color in early summer and stays purple after it's dried.

LEMONADE with LAVENDER

1 cup sugar

1 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon culinary lavender

juice of 2 lemons

2 lemons, sliced

2 quarts ice water

2 cups ice cubes

Use 1 gallon or larger glass pitcher or jar. Combine sugar, lavender and boiling water until sugar dissolves. Add the remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Add sugar to taste.


 
 

Sunny Day on the Lavender Farm

A brilliantly sunny day in Sequim today. The bees are very busy - we love the lavender honey they produce and the hives have mostly revived after a tough winter for the bees.

The dark purple, english lavenders are starting to show their color and we are busy cleaning out the drying shed in anticipation of the harvest. Yet again we find no sign of mice - the lavender smell keeps them away, as it does insects.

 We will have some fresh bouquets for sale as soon as the end of this week, so make sure to visit our store, Blue Moon Lavender, and get your tussie mussie of the purple flowers.

 
 

Fresh Lavender Coming Soon

Our lavender fields at Blue Moon Lavender Farm are starting to show the green buds of flower stalks. It looks like in 3 to 4 weeks we will have another spectacular lavender harvest. This year's rains have provided plenty of water to our fields, and the warming weather has made the place really green. We will start harvesting and shipping fresh lavender bundles in about three weeks. And if you're in our area (Sequim, WA), don't miss the annual Lavender Festival, held July 16, 17, and 18. 
 
 

LAVENDER HARVEST

Fresh lavender harvest - a great experience. The heady smell, the flowers tacky from the essential oils, the shed full of hanging bundles - yes, summer is here at the Blue Moon Lavender Farm.   [Read More]
 
 

LAVOSH CRACKERS with Herbs of Provence

If you grow culinary herbs in your garden, take a walk about mid-morning to gather some and make delicious crackers for the afternoon snack. Or buy fresh herbs from your local organic farmer.

INGREDIENTS

2.5 - 3 cups white flour
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
.75 cup water
1 egg white
2 tablespoons butter, melted
egg yolk + 1 TBSP milk, combined
1 teaspoon each of very finely chopped FRESH herbs:
sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, culinary lavender, salt, garlic

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
In a bowl of a KitchenAid mixer, stir together flour, sugar, chopped herbs, garlic and salt. Combine water, 1 egg white and melted butter; add to flour and knead well adding more flour to make a stiff dough.
Knead until dough is smooth, about 1 minute. Roll through an Atlas pasta machine till mark 5. Arrange strips of dough on a greased, or lined with parchment, cookie sheets. Smear with egg yolk mixture. Cut with a pizza wheel or a knife into 2" wide ribbons. Bake in a preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden.

 
 

Lavender in Bloom - Lemonade with a Twist

Do you grow lavender? is it blooming now? then it's probably the English (culinary) lavender. To use lavender in cooking, simply strip the fresh or dried buds from the stem, and grind in a mortar or chop with a sharp knife.  [Read More]
 
 

Valentine's is coming!

Valentine's is coming and we are hard at work making those beautiful lavender bouquets. The lavender smells great, especially on a foggy, wet winter day. We have dozens of bundles hanging in our drying shed and when we take them down and straighten them up, they exude the fragrance. When I drop off the packages at the Post Office, people walk by me and say "The Lavender Lady is here, I can smell it."

When I ship it, I always think - what a great gift for someone on a cold February day - imagine opening the package and the smell of lavender fills the room. You can already smell it even before the box is opened.

Well, the lunch was nice, but the lavender beckons. Till the next time.

Below is a quick recipe for a great winter lunch or side dish:

1 large can of Bush's Vegeterian Beans

1 apple, cored and cubed

1/4 cup raisins or craisins

1 teaspoon freshly crushed pepper

1 teaspoon italian herbs or herbes de Provence

Combine in an oven-proof dish. Bake covered, in 350°F for 40 minutes. 

Can be frozen and re-heated.


 
 

All in All, It's Not Too Bad

At the Blue Moon Lavender Farm this Fall, as we are getting ready for our mild winter, gathering the last plums and apples in the orchard, pressing cider, cleaning up and mulching the perennials, we look to our full freezer, jars of fruit and vegetables, apples and pears in boxes, dried fruit and herbs in the pantry, and realize we are ready. Ready for Holidays, for special gift giving, for sharing our gardens and orchards with family and friends. We are ready for early evenings and games of Scrabble®, for silly old movies, for books waiting in stacks on the living room table, but most of all we are ready for a change of seasons.

The change is just around the corner. Our larder full, we are ready for any eventuality. We hope for a mild winter, for sunny days, not much rain, for new discoveries and new ideas to be born and implemented in Spring. We enjoy this slower time on our farm, time to review, recollect and renew.

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PLUM CRUMB - Quick and Easy!

The fall this year is spectacular on Blue Moon Lavender Farm. Surrounded by forests of conifers and big-leaf maple, they glow with yellow leaves this time of the year. Our Italian plum trees are producing heavy crop of fruit, and we have filled all of the jars, freezers, and tins with preserved, and dried plums.

Here is a recipe for a quick, delicious dessert, which can be eaten cold, or warm, with or without ice cream or whipped cream.

 Magdalena's Plum Crumb

  • 4 oz/1 stick of butter, cut up
  • 1 cup of white flour
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • fresh pitted plums, enough to cover a pie plate in one layer

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place the butter, flour, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl of a food processor, and process using the Pulse button for 5-6 seconds, until the butter is cut up into pea-size pieces. Transfer to a bowl and crumble with your fingers until coars crumbs form and the raw flour  has all been incorporated. Divide in half. Place one half of the crumbs in a pie plate, press flat down. Place plums cut side up in a single layer all over the plate, cover with the remaining crumbs. Bake 35-45 minutes, until the edges are browned and the center crumbs have golden tops.

 Reprinted with permission from Magdalena Bassett's Recipe Collection

 
 

Honey, When's Dinner? or "0.5 Hour Dinner #1"

Cinnamon Chicken

Go ahead, be brave! when you need to speed up the reality, reach for this recipe, which may seem exotic, but is so easy that it doesn't even register on the difficulty scale. I mean, less than 0 difficult. How is that for a dinner from scratch that can be on the table in half an hour from the time you enter your kitchen? And everyone loves it. Here's what you'll need to have in your fridge or pantry to make this dish for 2-3 people (OK, 2 people and one lunch, depending on the size of the chicken breasts):

  • 1 cup dry white rice + 1.5 cup water/rice cooker
  • 1 head of washed lettuce/salad bowl
  • for vinaigrette: 2T balsamic vinegar, 2 T olive oil, 1 t salt, 1 t pepper
  • 2 pieces of chicken breast meat
  • 2 T butter + 2 T olive oil
  • 1 T honey, 1 t salt, 1 t cinnamon, 1 t black pepper, cayenne to taste

Process:

  • Start the rice
  • Combine the vinaigrette ingredients, and shake before pouring over the lettuce
  •  Slice the chicken meat into thick strips
  • Heat butter and oil in a skillet, add the meat and brown on medium heat until evenly cooked through
  • Remove the meat to a warm plate, add the salt, pepper, cinnamon and honey, and cayenne to taste if you like spicy dishes
  • combine and bring to sizzle, about 30 seconds, add the meat, stir until coated, remove from heat
  • serve immediately on cooked rice
  • serve the salad

Reprinted with permission from Magdalena Bassett's Recipe Collection

 
 

Using Culinary Lavender

The culinary lavender has a deeper, more purple color and shorter stems than the lavender used in crafts or bouquets. We grow 300 culinary lavenders, Lavandula angustifolia 'Royal Purple'. After cutting, we hang them to dry in the shed for several weeks. When I rub the buds off for cleaning, the fragrance is so intense, it makes me laugh. The culinary lavender is selling well this year, since there is more interest in exotic spices and dishes. Culinary lavender can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, and it is very intense in flavor, so we use very little to flavor the stews, or lemonade, or cookies.  [Read More]
 
 
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