Friday, April 29, 2022

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

Flowers are always a stylish way to say 'thank you', 'I love you' and a host of other thoughtful sentiments.  In fact, flowers have been used to send messages for centuries, reaching a zenith with the Victorians who, one could easily say, were obsessed with the communicative meaning of flowers.  Today, flowers continue to be an elegant way to celebrate, acknowledge or thank someone.

The one downside of sending someone flowers is that they will inevitably wilt.  Such is the transience of life, but there are many flowers that don't have to wither.  Creating bouquets with florals that dry naturally means that a gift of flowers does not have to be fleeting. 

Lavender is one such flower.  Many varieties of lavender retain their form and color beautifully when dried.  Let's create a giftable bouquet that will last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


You will need....
  • Lavender - dried or fresh (see note below)
  • Fresh Eucalyptus - We used Seeded Populus Eucalyptus for its delightful texture.
  • Fresh Baby's Breath
  • Fresh Sea Holly (Thistle Eryngium Blue)
  • Scissors or clippers
  • Floral tape or rubber band
  • Parchment paper
  • Ribbon to suit your fancy

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender


We chose these floral elements for their soft palette, similar scale and structural variety.  Each of these elements retain their structure and color when dried.  They are also readily sourced from a local florist.

When we are creating a bouquet we rarely follow a formula, but there are some useful things to keep in mind — scale, balance and composition.  Large or dense florals can be balanced by groupings of smaller blooms.  Use taller blooms in the center of the bouquet surrounded by slightly shorter blooms so that all the florals are visible.  Intermingle feathery, lighter textures with heavier greenery.  Turn the bouquet as you are building it to ensure there aren't any holes forming and it doesn't become overly one-sided.  Don't hesitate to remove leaves, cut stems down and trim the florals as needed.

One of the wonderful things about flower arranging is that each bloom is different.  Each stem and each spray of leaves is unique.  Embracing the organic diversity and letting the asymmetry be present will invariably mean that there is something wild, joyful and free in the bouquet.  

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender 

When the bouquet is ready for finishing, secure the stems with floral tape or a rubber band and trim them to the same length.  Wrap the bouquet in parchment paper and tie with a ribbon (leaving the stems visible gives it a nice organic feel).  Or, for a simpler dressing, wrap the stems a few times to cover the floral tape or rubber band and finish it with a bow.

Add a gift note and you are all set for gifting a beautiful bouquet that will last and last!

How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender   How to make a dried flower bouquet with lavender

To ensure it lasts a long time do not put it in water.  These florals will dry naturally without water in whatever vase or container they are put in.  Additionally, keep it out of direct sunlight to preserve the color.


Note: To create this beautiful bouquet we used dried lavender.  We cultivate two varieties of lavender in our organically-certified fields that are especially suited for drying — Lavandula x intermedia "Grosso" and Lavandula angustifolia "Royal Purple".  We used "Royal Purple" for this bouquet.  If you are planning a large bouquet and long stems would be preferable, "Grosso" would be well-suited with its long stems. 

If you plan on using fresh lavender, it's a good idea to check that the fresh lavender you are using is a variety that drys well.  Some varieties crumble and loose their color when dried and do not work well for dried arrangements.  If you are unsure, send us a picture or the variety name and we'll gladly provide guidance.

Friday, April 15, 2022

Lavender Lemon Bars

 
This sweet treat looks and tastes like spring. Bright citrus, like spring sunshine warming the earth and  encouraging flowers to come forth, lifts the floral flavor of lavender into something altogether delightful to the eye and the palate.

Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Lavender Lemon Bars

 
For the crust:
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons lightly ground Organic Culinary Lavender Buds (see note below)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

 Lavender and Lemons   Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Step 1 — Preheat oven to 350°

Step 2 — In a bowl beat the butter, flour, powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Once combined the texture will be crumbly. Press it evenly into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes until set and lightly golden.
 
Step 3 — While the crust is baking, whisk together the sugar and ground lavender buds.
 
Step 4 — Beat the eggs and lemon juice. Add the lavender sugar, flour, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add the salt and beat until combined.

Step 5 — Spread the filling over the crust. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the top is slightly cracked and set. The inside filling will still be somewhat soft and curd-like.
 
Step 6 —  Let the bars cool completely before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar and garnish with dried or fresh lavender flowers.

These bars are delicious served chilled or at room temperature for a springtime brunch. For afternoon "tea", pair a bar (or two!) with a cup of our Organic Lavender Black Ceylon Tea.

Note: Lightly grinding the lavender buds will bring the flavor out more readily. Using a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle works well. If neither of these are at hand, place the lavender between two sheets of parchment paper and lightly grind it with a rolling pin.

Lavender Lemon Bar Recipe

Friday, March 4, 2022

Sugared Lavender Almonds Recipe

A tasty, nutritious snack is a good thing to have in the house for work-at-home breaks, an after school nibble or evening appetizer. This Sugared Lavender Almond recipe is easy to make and will keep the pantry stocked for a while. Or, maybe not. These crunchy bites are as addictive as they are delicious!

Sugared Lavender Almonds Recipe

Sugared Lavender Almonds

Ingredients:
  • 1 pound raw almonds (approximately 3 1/2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons Organic Culinary Lavender
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe

Finely grind lavender and sugar together with a mortar and pestle or a spice mill. If a food processor or blender is what you have at hand, either will also do the job.

Preheat oven to 300. Place raw almonds on a rimmed baking sheet. Similar recipes might call for you to peel the almonds. If you have the time and prefer your almonds peeled, go for it. We don't find this step makes a marked difference. 

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe     Lavender Almonds

Slowly roast the almonds, stirring once, until lightly browned. This takes about 15 minutes.

Let the toasted almonds cool until just warm and transfer them to a large bowl.

Drizzle with oil and mix to coat. Sprinkle the lavender and sugar over the almonds and mix until thoroughly distributed. 

While you can certainly eat them right away, we suggest covering them and allowing the oils and flavors to infuse for 24 hours. This delicious snack will easily keep for a couple of weeks in an airtight container. In fact, we think the flavor improves with time!


If cooking with lavender is new to you, we offer lots of useful tips, sweet and savory lavender recipes, along with a cookbook containing many of our favorite lavender recipes from our own farm kitchen and beyond.

How to make sugared Lavender Almonds recipe


Friday, January 21, 2022

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

 
In addition to their culinary applications, many of the items in your kitchen pantry can be used to marvelous effect on the skin.  Green tea is loaded with skin protecting and repairing antioxidants.  Honey is an excellent ingredient for moisturizing the skin.  Rice flour can exfoliate and brighten skin.  Lavender's long-recognized antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties provide much benefit for the prevention and treatment of acne-like breakouts. 

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Blended together these simple, natural ingredients make a luxurious skincare mask to gently exfoliate, hydrate and brighten skin.  Try adding this rejuvenating, at-home treatment to your regular skin care regimen and follow with our Lavender Body Lotion or one of our other moisturizers.

Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask


Ingredients:
 
Note for those with extremely sensitive skin: It is always a good idea to test new products on a small patch of skin to ensure there is no irritation.

To get started, grind the loose, dry tea leaves to a rough powder.  This will create a consistency that is easier to apply to the skin. 

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Steep the ground tea leaves in 16 ounces of hot water for 2 minutes.  This is more tea than you would use to make a single cup of tea, but the more tea leaves you use, the more antioxidants will be present in your mask.

Organic Lavender Green Tea

Strain the tea leaves well and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.  Once cool, blend the tea leaves, honey and rice flour into a rough paste.  Note: If you prefer a creamier consistency, add more rice flour.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask
 
Before applying the mask, be sure to remove all makeup.  Spritzing a cotton ball with Organic Lavender Facial Toner & Cleanser and gently wiping the face is an excellent way to moisten and prepare the skin.
 
Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask     Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Using the tips of your fingers, lightly massage the mask into clean, damp skin.  The ground tea leaves and rice flour buff away dead skin cells to help keep pores unclogged.  It is ideal for the face, neck and décolletage.  You can certainly continue applying it to the arms and anywhere else on the body in need of a little care and attention.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Let the mask rest for 5 - 10 minutes to allow the antioxidants and moisture to absorb into the skin and the rice flour to gently lighten dark spots.

This is an excellent time to put your feet up and enjoy some of the tea you brewed.  Because you brewed extra strong tea to ensure your mask was brimming with antioxidants it may be too strong for your palate.  If it is, simply add more hot water to achieve your strength preference and add a dollop of honey. 

Organic Lavender Green Tea

Rinse the mask off with warm water and gently pat dry to reveal smooth, supple and bright skin.  It is normal for skin to appear a little read after exfoliation.  This usually passes within a few minutes.

Exfoliated skin absorbs moisture well, so be sure to apply a moisturizer.  Our Lavender Body Lotion is an excellent option for a light, quickly absorbing moisturizing agent made with plant oils and extracts.   For those that prefer an oil, our Lavender Body Oil is a favorite face moisturizer of our staff and those of more venerable years may find our Lavender Body Butter particularly suitable for mature skin.

To help protect your bathroom plumbing, we recommend using a drain strainer (hair catcher) or a washcloth laid over the drain to catch the tea leaves and prevent them from going down the drain.  They are easily compostable when finished. 

Need a more thorough rejuvenation?  Give yourself a decadent 5 Step Lavender Self Care Spa Treatment.  Want to explore more at-home spa treatments?  Try our Lavender Honey Oat Face Scrub or stress-reducing Lavender Tub Tea recipes.

Rejuvenating Lavender Green Tea Skincare Mask

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite

 
Colorful leaves dancing in the cool, blustery winds of fall make us think of rich, spicy treats made with iconic autumnal ingredients.  Based on our Lavender Pumpkin Cranberry Bread recipe, this Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake is a deliciously sweet treat for cozy, holiday festivities.  And, left-over slices (if there are any!) are the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of tea on a rainy afternoon.

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 tablespoons Organic Culinary Lavender (4 T if you love lavender like we do!)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Step 1 — Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 10 inch fluted tube or Bundt pan.  
 
Step 2 — In a large bowl, combine sugar and oil until blended.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.  
 
Step 3 — Combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, cloves, lavender, cranberries and pecans.
 
Step 4 — Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in small portions alternately with the pumpkin.  Combine well after each addition. 
 
Step 5 — Transfer to the greased pan and bake 60-65 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. 
 
Step 6 — Cool 10 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack.  Remove pan and cool completely. 
 
Step 7 — Dust with powdered sugar, decorate and serve.

Decorating can be as simple or elaborate as you fancy.  For a holiday gathering the center of the cake creates an ideal space for a small cup to contain just about anything — flowers, greens, holly, fall leaves, etc.  Fancifully decorated it could even be the centerpiece of your festive table!

Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite   Lavender Pumpkin Bundt Cake - a fall favorite
 
If you are lucky enough to have a slice or two left-over, savor a few cozy minutes with a cup of one our organic lavender tea blends and a good book!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets


Summer is the season for floral weaving.  Fresh lavender's long, flexible stems and lasting fragrant aroma make it a favorite for this purpose.  Similar to Lavender Wands, creating a beautiful Lavender Basket with flowers from your garden is a charming way to spend a summer afternoon.
 
How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Make a Lavender Basket

 
Materials:
  • 22 long stems of freshly cut lavender
  • 1 1/2 yards of ¼” satin ribbon (additional 12" for a bow - optional
  • Scissors
  • Patience 

Give yourself time and space to enjoy crafting.  It can be a little tricky to work with fresh flowers in this manner, so don't hesitate to undo a step or two and start over.  Perfection isn't the goal, rather joy in the act of creating.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 1 — Strip the lavender stems of any side shoots, leaves or buds so that only the main flowerhead remains.  Trim all stems to the same length, about 12”.


Step 2 — Line up the base of each flowerhead and tie the ribbon in a square knot at the base of the flowers, leaving one shorter end of 5 inches and one long end (which will be used for the weaving).

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 3 — Hold the bundle of stems with the flowers facing down and gently fold the stems down one at a time over the flowers, encasing them.  Tuck the shorter end of ribbon into the flowers so that you can begin weaving with the long length of ribbon.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets   

Step 4 — Weave the longer length of ribbon through the stems.  Take the ribbon over two stems and under the next two repeating this pattern in a counterclockwise direction.  Pay close attention to which stem comes next because they can become entangled when you weave.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 5 — Continue to weave until you cover half of the lavender flowers. 

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 6 — Select two strong stems to become the handle of the basket.  Trim all other stems to ¼” above the top row of weaving.  Ideally the two stems you choose should be next to the long end of ribbon you have been using to weave.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 7 — To start forming the handle, gently bend the pair of stems over the flowers reaching towards the other side of the basket.  This will help start to train the stems to bend.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 8 — After you have pre-bent the two stems, begin weaving them tightly together with the remaining long end of ribbon.  Weave the ribbon around each stem individually until the woven stems are long enough to bend to the opposite side of the basket.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 9 — When the woven stems are long enough to curve to the opposite side of the basket to create a handle, cut the stems half inch from the end of the ribbon.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets 
 
Step 10 — Gently bend the woven stems to the opposite side the basket and firmly insert the end between the woven basket base and the flowerheads.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 11 — Gently pull out the short end of ribbon (from the center of the flowers) and use it to tie a square knot with the end of the ribbon that you have used to weave the stems.  This will help secure the handle in place.  Once the square knot is secure, trim the ribbon ends leaving 3-4 inches for the finishing bow.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 12 — To finish your lavender basket a bow is a nice touch.  To make a small bow, loop a length of ribbon back and forth on itself until you have 2 loops on each side.  Trim the ends to match the width of the loops.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Step 13 — Position the ribbon loops on top of the square knot at the base of the handle and use ribbon tails from the square knot to secure the ribbon loops.  Tie a tight square knot and trim the ribbon ends to the width of the ribbon loops.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets    How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets

Bravo!  What a beautiful lavender basket to hang in a favorite place or gift to a special friend.  If you enjoyed this project, you might try your hand at making a Lavender Wand.

How to Weave Aromatic Lavender Baskets