Thursday, June 26, 2008
My first lavender harvest has taken place yesterday and today. The lavender is thick with blooms. It is one thing I can grow well here in the desert valley!
I had to compete with the bees to cut it this afternoon.
I wash it well, as I use it mostly for eating. Then I lay it out to dry a bit...
...and hang it in bunches in the studio to truly dry. There are good reasons for doing this in the studio: first, the pets don't go in there, so there is less pet hair there than in the rest of the house (prime shedding season right now), and also, lavender is a natural moth repellent. We don't really have a problem with wool eating moths, but I might as well take advantage of lavender's perks! In addition to being a natural insect repellent, the scent of lavender helps reduce pain. I use an eye pillow filled with lavender when I have a migraine, a fever, or even after surgeries, and it always feels cool to the touch and soothes with it's scent.
After the lavendar all dries, I can put the flower heads in zip-lock bags and shake them off into the bag. I only use the flowers for cooking. I make lavender shortbread (lots of recipes on the web, and I use an 'adapted' one - which means I am a creative cook who never truly follows a recipe as written.) I also love a lavender pound cake recipe that I found somewhere, and I am the biggest fan of my apricot lavender jam, which I'll have plenty of both main ingredients soon to make more of. It is so good on biscuits or even bagels! Mmmmmm... lavender!