Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Clean Fine Jewelry with Natural, Organic, Non-Toxic Lavender Hydrosol


Lavender is truly a remarkable plant.  There are few other plants that have such a wide breadth of uses. With the same plant we can repel insects and soothe pain, we can fragrance ourselves and our homes, we can create delicious savory dishes and sweet treats, we can clean our bodies and our surroundings - and we can even clean our fine jewelry.

Using lavender to clean jewelry was an application that we came across almost by chance.  Many years ago, our staff at the Farm’s Visitor Center started receiving lots of compliments on their rings.  All of our locations use our Organic Lavender Hydrosol for dusting and widow and floor cleaning.  Lavender Hydrosol is a well-know solvent and disinfectant and so we thought that maybe while cleaning our staff’s rings were also benefiting.  After some intentional jewelry cleaning trials, we found this to be the case!


As our staff began cleaning more of their fine jewelry with Organic Lavender Hydrosol, the increased sparkle started generating more and more comments.

As a non-toxic alternative to removing soap and lotion build up, skin oils, and general dirt and grime, Organic Lavender Hydrosol works like a charm.  It polishes up light tarnish and finger prints on silver, gold, precious and semi-precious stones and even Swarovski crystals, restoring their rainbow sparkle.



It's a simple process to keep your fine jewelry clean and shiny.  Simply spritz the dirty piece with Organic Lavender Hydrosol and, using a microfiber - or similarly soft - cloth, polish it up.  A soft tooth brush moistened with Lavender Hydrosol works well for cleaning fine filigree.

For a deeper clean, soak the piece in a small dish of Lavender Hydrosol for 30-40 minutes and polish it with a soft, clean cloth.

A cotton swab soaked in Lavender Hydrosol is perfect for accessing the underside of stones and the interior of rings.


     





A truly remarkable plant indeed!  The uses of Organic Lavender Essential Oil and Lavender Hydrosol are expansive and applicable to many areas of everyday life.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Easy Autumn Wreath


Perhaps you dried some lavender from your garden this summer and are now wondering what to do with it...  Let's use it to make an autumn wreath!  With this simple tutorial you can create a lovely splash of fall color for your living space or office.


Simple Autumn Lavender Wreath Tutorial

What you'll need:

  • Dried lavender - We used Lavandula angustifolia "Royal Purple", but really any variety that has dried nicely will do.  Some varieties keep their color more readily when dried and others tend to fade.  Whatever you have on had, if you like the look of it, it's perfect!  If you need some dried lavender, it's available in any of our locations or we can send you some directly to your home.
  • Wreath base - We used a boxwood wreath from last year that had faded in color to a lovely gold.  Other ideal autumnal options are wheat, pine cone, dried salal or magnolia, eucalyptus, twig, preserved leaves or berries...again, if you like the look of it and it says "fall" to you, it's perfect!
  • Kitchen shears or clippers and floral wire (optional depending on wreath base).


Step 1:

Clear a large work space and gather your supplies.  Separate your dried lavender into small bundles of 10 - 15 stalks.  Trim the stalks to 2 - 3 inches below the flowers.  The number of small bundles you'll need will depend on the size of your wreath base.  We used a 16 inch diameter wreath base and made 7 bundles of lavender.  You can make more or less depending on how prominent you want the lavender to be - artist's choice!

Note: If your wreath base is made of salal, magnolia or other less dense material, it will be helpful to secure the ends of the lavender stalks with several wraps of floral wire.  This will make the bundles easier to secure amongst the other florals.



Step 2:

Add the small bundles of lavender sprigs to your wreath base.  Nestling the bundles into wreath bases made of dense material like boxwood should hold them securely.  For a balanced look, space the lavender flower bundles equal distances apart around your wreath and follow the same angled orientation of the other florals.

If you are using a less dense wreath base, securing your bundles with a twist of floral wire will help it hold up better.



Step 3:

Don't forget about the sides!  Hold your wreath up and view it from a variety of angles.  Are the florals balanced from all vantage points?  Add more bundles or adjust them to even out holes or clustering.

If your wreath base does not have a means of hanging on a hook or nail,  you can create one easily by cutting 3 lengths of floral wire each 3 inches long.  Braid the 3 lengths together to create a single strong length.  Secure it through the back of the "top" of the wreath and twist the ends together to create a secure loop from which to hang.

To determine the "top" of the wreath, hold it up at arms length and rotate it until you find the most visually pleasing orientation.  Tip: if one side of your wreath is a little bulkier than the others, orient the ample side to the bottom as a strong visual base for your wreath.


Well done!  Now hang it up and enjoy your beautifully created touch of autumn!



Speaking of wreaths... If you are planning on creating a holiday wreath, check out this tutorial for creating a Lavender Wreath for the holidays!

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Honey Lavender BBQ Chicken Skewers and Black Ceylon Lavender Sweet Tea


Nothing says summer like spending time in the sun, having a BBQ or picnic - or our favorite - spending time in a lavender field!  With the long summer days and all the great recipes that come with them, we're excited about new flavors to experiment with.

Lavender is a lesser-known flavor to our modern palette.  You may be new to using it in the kitchen.  When cooking with new herbs and spices, we like to test them out by making smaller batches of the recipe at first.  This way, if the new flavor turns out too strong or not strong enough, one can nail down the best combinations before serving them to others.  Trial and error is all part of the fun in creating your own recipes!

We're excited to share a few recipes that are all set for summer gatherings.  The BBQ chicken recipes below will have people coming back for seconds!  Every barbecue or picnic also needs great beverages to keep hydrated and satisfied in the heat.  Our Lavender Lemonade, a perfect drink for a hot sunny day, and the lavender sweet tea recipe below will have you dreaming you're on the south east coast with your toes in the Atlantic Ocean (unless you're there already, of course!).

We hope you'll enjoy these grilling favorites at your next BBQ at home or on a camp-out!

Honey Lavender BBQ Chicken Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Honey Lavender BBQ Chicken


To incorporate lavender in recreating some of our favorite recipes, we made only minor substitutions and they made major differences.  In a favorite BBQ sauce recipe, we substituted the normal honey with our lavender infused honey and added a small pinch of culinary lavender to enhance the lavender flavor even more.  This barbecue recipe is simple and delicious.

Ingredients:

Directions:

In a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring the ketchup, honey, butter, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and the pinch of culinary lavender to a boil, stirring frequently to make sure it doesn't burn.   Taste the sauce to make sure the lavender flavor is present and add more lavender if needed.  Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If you choose, you can strain the sauce to remove the lavender or you can leave it in to marinade with the chicken.  Cool completely.

Now that you have made the barbecue sauce and let it cool, it's time to marinate the chicken.  Place the chicken in a seal-able container or bag, pour the barbecue sauce over the chicken making sure it is evenly coated, cover and let it sit in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

When you are ready to get to grilling, preheat the grill.  If your BBQ has a hotplate, preheat that as well as the grill.  If it has just a grill, a sheet of aluminum foil on one side on the lower shelf will work.  Use the hotplate (or a sheet of foil on the grill) on medium heat to begin cooking the meat, turning occasionally.

Once the chicken is a little over half way cooked on the foil or hotplate, transfer the chicken to the grill to cook for about 10 minutes or however long is needed on your grill, on medium high heat to get that perfect seared BBQ flavor and texture.  Turn regularly as needed.  Once the chicken is cooked, serve and enjoy!

Easy Honey Lavender BBQ Chicken Recipe with Organic Culinary Lavender 

Easy Honey Mustard Lavender Chicken Skewers Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Lavender Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers


Mouthwatering and beyond easy to make, these Lavender Honey Mustard Chicken Skewers are a great summer dinner or potluck contribution.

When making chicken skewers, we suggest using boneless skinless thighs.  We find that it creates a more complimentary flavor.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Cut the chicken thighs into cubes.  Once the chicken has been cut, place it in a seal-able container or bag with about 1/2 of a jar of our Lavender Stone Ground Honey Mustard.  Seal the container and shake until evenly coated and let it marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight.

As you wait for the marinade to do its thing, grab the bundle of Lavender Organic Stalks and find a few of the thicker stalks in the bunch to use as the skewers and set them to soak in a shallow dish of water.  At this time, you can also go preheat your grill.  After doing so, grab the chicken from the fridge and start pressing the cubes onto the soaked stalks.  You can choose to alternate the chicken with a few vegetables of your choosing.  When you have completed making the skewers, lightly season with Lavender Gourmet Salt and Lavender Gourmet Pepper and then place them on the grill.  Cook them 4 to 5 minutes on each side until no pink remains or until the internal temperature of the chicken has reached 165 degrees F.  When they are cooked, take them off the grill, grab a basting brush, and brush on a little more Lavender Honey Mustard.  Garnish with lemon wedges and enjoy!

Honey Lavender BBQ Chicken Skewers Recipe from Pelindaba Lavender


Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Sweet Tea


This simple recipe for Lavender Sweet Tea has only four ingredients and is a lovely summer dining accompaniment or warm afternoon treat.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Measure the tea onto a square of cheese cloth and secure with twine to create a teabag.  Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add the tea, remove from heat and allow it to steep for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove the tea bag and disassemble for drying and reuse or compost it.

Add the sugar and stir until completely dissolved.  Pour the tea into a gallon pitcher and add three more quarts of water.  Stir to blend evenly and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or, better, overnight.

Pour the tea into ice-filled glasses and add a few leaves of fresh mint or a few slices of lemon for a refreshing cool beverage on a hot day.

•  •  •

If you aren’t feeling so adventurous, but remain curious about cooking with lavender, take a few baby steps instead!  Add some Lavender Gourmet Pepper to a burger or some chicken.  Test the waters and have fun as you go.

So, get your grill and picnic blanket out, call some friends over, grab that sun screen and Lavender Insect Repellent and enjoy the sunshine!

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Easy Grilled Lavender Peach Chutney Pork and Summer Cucumber Salad




Warm summer days call for simple, delicious (and easy!) meals ready for outside grilling and picnics.  Gardens are bursting with produce, flowers are fragrant, and berry patches are perfect for outdoor family fun.

Summer is also the time when lavender is in bloom and at its best and brightest shades of purple! It is easy to be inspired by lavender's floral fragrance and taste in the kitchen - mixing it into beverages, dressing up fruits and vegetables, and rubbing on grilled meats.

Lavender Peach Chutney Pork and Cucumber Salad with Lavender from Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Our Lavender Peach Chutney is the perfect way to add the taste of lavender to your table with the flavor of summer peaches, a touch of lavender and sweet heat that creates a perfect savory grilling sauce for pork, chicken or fish.  This sweet and spicy chutney also makes a great addition to vinaigrettes, cheese plates and compound butters.

Grilled Lavender Peach Chutney Pork with Pelindaba Lavender's Lavender Peach Chutney

Grilled Lavender Peach Chutney Pork


Ingredients:
Lavender Gourmet Salt & Papper made by Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Lavender Peach Chutney Pork Chops on the grill   Easy Grilled Lavender Peach Chutney Pork

Directions:
Over medium-low heat, place Lavender Salt and Pepper seasoned pork on grill to cook.  When meat is ¾ cooked through, brush on Lavender Peach Chutney.  The chutney is sweet and will caramelize to create a slight, saucy crust.  Keep turning and brushing on the chutney until meat is fully cooked.  Each grill is different and has cool and hot spots, so you will know your cooking time and temperature the best.  Enjoy!

Lavender Pork and Cucumber Salad Recipes from Pelindaba Lavender


Cumber Salad with Summer Peach Chutney

 

Lavender Summer Cucumber Salad from Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Ingredients:
  • 1 English cucumber diced or sliced (can substitute with standard cucumber de-seeded)
  • ½ white or red onion diced
  • 1 Tablespoon Pelindaba's Lavender Peach Chutney
  • 3 Tablespoons white or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • salt to taste
Lavender Summer Cucumber Salad with Lavender Peach Chutney

Directions:
Add Lavender Peach Chutney, vinegar, sugar, water and salt to a medium bowl.  Mix until combined.  Stir in diced cucumber and onion.  Chill to allow flavors to come together.  The longer the cucumbers marinate, the more flavor!

Quick and Easy Cucumber Salad with Lavender

Lavender Cucumber Salad Recipe Made With Organic Culinary Lavender

Enjoy the sweet, savory, and spicy flavors of our unique Lavender Peach Chutney or our Lavender Berry Chutney this summer at your next BBQ!

Lavender Peach Chutney and Berry Chutneys from Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

4 Lavender Uses to Ease Back to School Anxiety for Preschool and Elementary Kids and Parents


It is time for school to restart!  Whether children are starting preschool or kindergarten for the first time or returning to familiar schools and friends, there is excitement - and maybe a little anxiety - about new and unknown teachers and classmates.

Many households know the nervous excitement and lack of sleep the first few nights of school bring.  Lavender can help comfort and sooth tired and nervous children who are anticipating the start of school.

Lavender Aromatherapy Bear


The start of school for first time preschoolers or kindergartners is a huge milestone in the lives of both the children and their parents.  It is a time to celebrate the beginning of new experiences and to be proud of each child’s on-going development.  A comforting friend to aid in the transition to independence can be helpful in the first few weeks of school as children get used to new routines.

Pelindaba's Lavender Aromatherapy Bear can be that perfect snuggle buddy at night to soothe and comfort first time students.  The belly of our stuffed bear is filled with our organic lavender buds which release their calming scent throughout the night to assist with relaxation and sleep.  The bear can be warmed for extra comfort and to release even more of the soothing properties of lavender (or brought into any anxious parent's room to proffer the same benefits to them)!

4 Lavender Uses to Ease Back to School Anxiety for Preschool and Elementary Kids and Parents

Lavender Bubble Bath


Bath time is a fun time to release end-of-the-evening bursts of energy many children can get right before heading to bed for the night.  Taking a relaxing bath in a lavender scented bubble bath just before turning in calms excited nerves so that children can get to sleep more easily.  The scent of lavender is also relaxing for moms and dads as they watch their splashing and playing child during bath time.  By the time children have finished in the fragrant bath suds, they with be ready to settle into bed for the night.

Lavender Treatment Stick


One of the most anticipated parts of the school day (other than lunchtime) is recess!

Getting the opportunity to run, jump and play is vital to cognitive and social development.  Young children’s minds take in information in small bursts and need rest in order to process that information.  The opportunity to remain active and release energy through play facilitates learning.

When playing, however, small scrapes, abrasions and bruises are common as children navigate monkey bars and swings or while chasing balls or running after each other.  Pelindaba Lavender’s handcrafted Lavender Treatment Stick comes in a convenient, easy to use, small tube that children can quickly apply to these minor injuries themselves.  The stick has the natural antiseptic and anesthetic properties of lavender to aid quick healing and is readily kept in backpacks.

This is also a great start-of-the-school-year gift for teachers!

Lavender Hand Sanitizer     Coming back together with friends and classmates is so much fun! Unfortunately, coming together in groups spreads illnesses that would otherwise not affect individuals. Teachers and parents know that shortly after starting school, many students become ill with viruses, colds and other common illnesses.  Consequently, the top items on many back to school supply lists are hand sanitizer and disinfecting products. Pelindaba Lavender offers a natural hand sanitizer that has no harsh chemicals, and only utilizes the natural antiseptic properties of lavender to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses in the classroom.  Utilizing hand sanitizer is important in stopping the spread of germs, and using a chemical free alternative is best. Teachers and children will enjoy spraying our fragrant and effective natural hand sanitizer.

Lavender Hand Sanitizer


Coming back together with friends and classmates is so much fun!  Unfortunately, coming together in groups can also spread illnesses.  Teachers and parents know that shortly after starting school, many students come down with colds and other common illnesses.

Consequently, the top items on many back-to-school supply lists are hand sanitizing and disinfecting products.  Pelindaba Lavender offers a natural, lavender-based hand sanitizer that contains no harsh chemicals and only utilizes the natural antiseptic properties of lavender to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses in the classroom.

Teachers and children will enjoy spritzing our fragrant and effective natural hand sanitizer on themselves.

Lavender Hand Sanitizer     Coming back together with friends and classmates is so much fun! Unfortunately, coming together in groups spreads illnesses that would otherwise not affect individuals. Teachers and parents know that shortly after starting school, many students become ill with viruses, colds and other common illnesses.  Consequently, the top items on many back to school supply lists are hand sanitizer and disinfecting products. Pelindaba Lavender offers a natural hand sanitizer that has no harsh chemicals, and only utilizes the natural antiseptic properties of lavender to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses in the classroom.  Utilizing hand sanitizer is important in stopping the spread of germs, and using a chemical free alternative is best. Teachers and children will enjoy spraying our fragrant and effective natural hand sanitizer.


How have you used lavender with your school aged children?  We'd love to hear in the comment section below!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Lavender Iced Tea is Summer in a Glass


 

The sun is high, the lavender is in full, glorious bloom and the fragrant flower heads dance in the breeze while busy honey bees make their endless rounds from flower to flower.  Summer is ripe at the lavender farm.  What is needed right now is a cold glass of iced tea.  Refreshing - and with a hint of lemon and lavender - it's a perfect summer treat.

 

How to make lavender iced tea...


There are a lot of opinions out there about the "best" way to brew iced tea - sun tea, cold brew, hot steeping, etc...  Whatever your preference the goal is still the same - a nice, cold glass of summer!

Here's our recipe for a simple way to always have a pitcher of lavender iced tea on hand.  

Lavender Rooibos Iced Tea

While any of our organic lavender tea blends brew beautifully hot or cold, our favorite for iced tea is our Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea.  It's an herbal blend of our organic lavender and organic Rooibos.  Rooibos is a naturally sweet, low in tannins, high anti-oxidant herbal tea from South Africa.
  1. Measure : We suggest 1 teaspoon of tea per cup of iced tea.  Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea is a fairly dense tea, so if you prefer a lighter flavor use 3/4 teaspoon per cup.  Secure the loose tea in an infuser or in cheesecloth secured with cotton twine. 
  2. Boil : Bring water to a full, rolling boil.
  3. Infusion : Measure 1/2 cup of hot water per final cup of iced tea and pour over the tea.  This will create an extra strong brew to accommodate the cold water you will add later.  Let it steep for 10-30 minutes depending on how strong you prefer your flavor.
  4. Chill : Remove the tea and add an equal amount of room temperature water.  Decant the room temperature tea into a pitcher and place in refrigerator to chill.
  5. Enjoy : Add some ice, a slice of lemon and put your feet up!

An extra lemony variation...

For a lavender spin on the classic "Arnold Palmer", mix equal parts Lavender Rooibos Iced Tea and Lavender Lemonade.  Maybe we should call it a "Lavender Palmer" or a "Stephen Robins" (in honor of our owner/founder who loves this variation - but don't tell him we told you!).


An adult variation...

After mixing equal parts Lavender Rooibos Iced Tea and Lavender Lemonade, add a splash of vodka, gin or white run and serve the whole deliciousness on ice with a lemon twist and a stalk of fresh lavender.

 

As we mentioned above, Organic Lavender Rooibos Tea is wonderful hot as well.  For those who avoid caffeine, this is a wonderful summer morning beverage when the air is still cool.  Add a small spoonful of our Organic Lavender Honey for a little extra lavender sweetness.  Be sure to lick the spoon off (go ahead and have an extra spoonful straight out of the jar, we won't tell)!



Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Our Favorite Natural Lavender Stress Relieving Products for College Students


This generation's high school and college students are arguably faced with more stress than many of those who preceded them.  Back to school for these young adults means more than just moving toward their goals of graduating high school, leaving their childhood home, earning a degree, and becoming independent working adults.

From secondary school and onward, the educational experience has changed dramatically.  There is higher competition for grades and achievements in order to be accepted into college and receive scholarships.  Classrooms often reflect real world environments with the integration of technology in instruction that mimic staff development, peer collaboration and real time evaluations.   Students are stretched for time to complete assignments while participating in extra-school activities, working, getting enough sleep and maintaining social lives in the age of social media.

All of these stresses compound for many students and can manifest in sleeplessness, anxiety and headaches which can sometimes lead to unhealthy options to find rest and comfort.

Fortunately, lavender's wondrous therapeutic attributes are known to aid sleep and promote calming to quiet minds without introducing any toxic "remedies" to the body.  Here are a few of our favorite handcrafted Pelindaba Lavender products for facing the oft grueling days back in the advanced education system.

Our Favorite Natural Lavender Stress Relieving Products for College Students

 

Lavender Stress Ball


Many people find that when they are stressed, they are fidgety and have trouble staying focused on one task - instead running a list of many tasks through their restless mind or find comfort in having something in their hands, like a fidget spinner or something similar.

One great and tried-and-true solution to release this "fidgetiness" is the classic stress ball.  Pelindaba's Lavender Stress Ball is filled with lavender buds that release the calming scent of lavender essential oil when squeezed - which, of course, helps calm and quiet the mind

The physical motion of clutching and releasing the stress ball also focuses the muscles on an activity, which then helps the mind remain on task.  The stress ball can be especially helpful during long periods of testing, nights before big exams or while writing papers.  Another great option is to burn a lavender candle during late night studying.

Organic Lavender Sachet


One of the best known attributes of lavender essential oil is that of helping to quiet the mind for sleep.  An Organic Lavender Sachet tucked under your pillow will help you calm and fall asleep more easily.  To generate more fragrance gently squeeze the sachet which will crush the buds and release more of the fragrant essential oil contained within the buds.  Keeping a few sachets in your pajama drawer and linen closet will not only keep your pillowcases, sheets, and pajamas fresh and insect-free, but will also permeate your textiles with the same aroma that will encourage rest and relaxation during especially stressful seasons of school.

Lavender Lip Therapy


Pelindaba's Lavender Lip Therapy is a great way to discretely reduce anxiety and stress with the calming scent of lavender, with the added benefit of moisture for your lips.  If you tend to bite, chew or lick your lips when concentrating or under pressure, this can be a welcome benefit, especially as we enter into drier, cooler months that can often lead to cold sores and chapped and cracked skin.

Back to School Goodies for College and High School Students

Lavender Room Mist


Refresh your bed or dorm room with the sweet scent of lavender.  Often small enclosed living spaces can develop musty smells due to moisture, lack of ventilation or to more than one person being in the small space.  The fresh floral fragrance of lavender will renew the space and also impart the calming scent of lavender.  Keeping your space fragrant with lavender will help you sleep and also repel insects that are often found in dorm buildings and attracted to those somewhat cramped conditions.  If you are in a dry climate and need more moisture in the air, a humidifier or a sonic diffuser with a few drops of lavender essential oil are great options, too.

Lavender Hand Sanitizer


No one wants to catch common colds or other illnesses.  High densities of students moving through classrooms, halls, dining spaces and common areas enable illness to spread easily and quickly.

To combat illnesses, it is a good practice to have a hand sanitizer readily available for quick use.  Many hand sanitizers use harsh chemicals that are damaging to the skin and are linked to the development of “super bugs”.  It is best to use only natural sanitizing products to prevent worse ailments and eliminate germs.  Pelindaba's Lavender Hand Sanitizer provides the natural antiseptic properties of lavender in a fragrant spray that you will want to use often and will actually help the healing of minor skin abrasions on the hands!

Our Favorite Natural Lavender Stress Relieving Products for College Students

Need more ideas for natural remedies or have a particular woe about going back to school?  Let us know in the comments below - we always love to share stories from our friends to help make your days a little more comfortable and lovely.