From the moment you step foot on the Applegate Valley Lavender Farm, you’ll know you’ve stepped into more than just a place where someone is growing lavender. The farm itself has been passed down through the family, and where there were once cow pastures, which doubled as a private golf course, the family now grows lavender. But the animals are not all gone, as you’ll notice immediately. Cows, sheep, chickens, and other fuzzy friends are all happily clucking, lowing, and barking about, filling the farm with a sense of liveliness and constant motion. Applegate Valley Lavender Farm is a fun and comfortable place to visit, a treasure of southern Oregon.
Of course, the passion for lavender is also abundantly clear. Among the rare breeds of chickens on the farm are Lavender Orpingtons, a very uncommon breed that has a lavender grey color (http://applegatevalleylavenderfarm.com/OurFarm.aspx). And of course there are the fields of lavender itself. At Applegate Valley Lavender farm a variety of lavenders are grown and harvested. From French varieties that are best used for fragrances, essential oils, and bath and body products, to the best English varieties for culinary uses. They even have a few recipes on their website for you to try, including the award winning Butterscotch Pumpkin Muffins with Lavender Honey Butter (http://applegatevalleylavenderfarm.com/things.aspx). If that doesn’t get you excited to try baking with lavender, maybe you should stick to savory uses.
Lavender has actually been used for cooking and teas for a very long time. Lavender salts and peppers are great for making salad dressings, marinades, or bread crumbs for encrusting lamb or pork. There are actually an incredible variety of lavenders, and most lavender producers agree that it is the English lavenders that are best for cooking. Lavender tea used to be incredibly popular in England, and was favored by royalty. Today people are using culinary lavender to make lavender mocha lattes and lavender hot chocolate.
And of course, the aromatherapy uses of lavender are most well known. Bath salts, bubble baths, soaps, lotions, and essential oils made of lavender are incredibly popular, and for good reason. Lavender has the distinction of being the best herb for inducing a sense of calm as well as alertness. No chamomile sleepiness with lavender tea or lavender baths. Just the sensation of a clear and calm mind.
Applegate Valley Lavender Farm is obviously tended with care and a lot of fun. There are many signs that show how much the farm is appreciated by the owners and the community, and that everyone who visits is meant to have some fun, find the lavender products they want, and maybe even buy some fresh eggs as well.