when d posted about our trip to the Olympic Peninsula, you might have thought all we did was sit around Lake Crescent Lodge pretending we were Eleanor Roosevelt all weekend. Well, that would have been totally delightful, but we had a very. . .important. . .place to be. . . .
I love lavender. Love it. Its funny, because i don’t really gravitate towards Lavender scented lotions and soaps, but a couple of years ago i got started cooking with lavender (after Dry Soda came out with a lavender drink i love so much) and i’ve been hooked ever since.
We went to LavFest in ’08 and decided to make a return trip as veterans this year. At each farm you visit there are activities, demonstrations, u-cut, but most importantly. . culinary treats!
This year we had: grilled chicken with apricot lavender BBQ sauce (yum!), lavender margaritas (just as good as last year), lavender rosemary rubbed salmon sandwiches, and d’s favorite: chocolate orange lavender ice cream. These all sound crazy but on a hot summer day they are YUMMMMY.
We also stopped by our fave Olympic Cellars for a restock of their Lavender Infused white wine and some tasting of new bottles. We ended up coming home w/ a bottle of dry riesling that was on sale and a great cab franc (hopefully to be had over a nice fall dinner party). They had a silly bottle of sparkling syrah that was Twilight themed. Delicious, but tacky label, and at $36, not THAT delicious (we are wine cheapos).
At one of the farms, we listened to a “Meet the Farmer” presentation on how to care for your new baby lavender plant. The keys are:
#1: Good drainage. These are a meditteranean plant and like sandy, loose soil with lots of drainage. Mr. Farmer suggested a 50% soil 50% sand ratio. He also said not to overwater. In fact, at the farm, which has had very little rain in June and July this year, they hadn’t watered at all (these are more established plants, though.
#2: Give it a hair cut! In order to avoid getting woody stems, its best to cut back more of the new growth every year to stress the plant into better production. He said to cut back 2/3 of the new green growth at the end of the season. Cut it back into a nice round mound close to the ground.
We’re going to plant our new addition out in front and hope for the best – we’ll let you know how it grows!
Next year i think we are going to try and trek to a NEW lavender fest in Hood River, Oregon if anyone is up for an adventure.