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Farm Feature: Lavender Wind Farm

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In Ebey’s Landing Historical National Reserve on Whidbey Island, WA, is a distinctive and productive little lavender farm called Lavender Wind Farm. Whidbey Island is in the rain shadow of the Olympic mountain range, leaving it windy and dry most of the year, with a sandy, rocky soil perfect for growing lavender. Lavender Wind Farm is open all year round for visitors, and they offer a unique and relaxing experience. Their Farm Store has an incredible selection of products ranging from lavender jams to bulk lavender buds. The beauty of Whidbey Island and the surroundings is only enhanced by the gorgeous blooms of purple flowers all through the summer and the winds carry the relaxing scent of growing lavender.
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Farm Feature: Lost Mountain Lavender

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The Dungeness Valley in Washington State is the home to an ambitious group of farmers. When the dairy farms began to close and the fields became empty, enterprising folk looked for a crop that could easily be grown in the Valley’s dry climate and that would bring commerce to the area. They settled on lavender. Today, there are 12 small family owned farms in and around Sequim, Washington, and they each offer an opportunity to walk through carefully cared for lavender fields. At Lost Mountain Lavender, a visit can be a relaxing chance to pick your own fresh lavender bundle or the perfect place to have a picnic under one of their many fruit trees.
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Oregon Lavender Festival – July 14-15, 2012

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This summer, plan to get away to Oregon for a weekend of relaxing lavender farms, festivities, art, and foods. The Oregon Lavender Festival is an annual tradition, allowing visitors to enjoy the bountiful and beautiful lavender fields at the height of summer. Lavender has long been known to encourage a feeling of calm and relaxation, and it is used in an incredible number of products, from bath soaps to chocolate. The smell and taste of lavender is a unique and gentle experience, and Oregon’s lavender farmers want to share it with you.
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Farm Feature: Lavender Hills Farm

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Lavender has been used for centuries by apothecaries, herbalists, and aromatherapists as the most effective herb for relaxation. The scent of lavender brings about a sense of calm like no other flower can. Traditionally, lavender is used as an essential oil or the flowers are dried and sewn into pillows and sachets. Lavender is also used in soaps, lotions, and other beauty products.

Today you can even buy food with the delicate flavor of lavender, such as lavender chocolates, lavender coffee, as well as an assortment of cookies and other treats. For lavender enthusiasts, there is no wrong turn that can be made when experimenting with new ways to include lavender. Lavender for culinary uses can bring a hint of flavor to salad dressings, scones, or soups.

Lavender Hills Farm in Marysville, WA is one of a number of small, family owned lavender farms in the state of Washington. [click to continue…]

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Farm Feature: Cedarbrook Lavender and Herb Farm

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Washington State’s Dungeness Valley is one of the premier lavender growing regions in the United States. Often compared to Provence, and some go so far as to call it the American Provence, the Dungeness Valley is home to 12 individual lavender farms that are family owned and offer an incredible variety of lavenders and products. At Cedarbrook Lavender and Herb Farm, you will find an astonishing 70 different varieties of lavender as well as many other herbs and flowers that are used in their products or for your cooking and baking needs. [click to continue…]

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Recently, we took time to chat with Kathy Gehrt, a lavender expert and author of “Discover Cooking with Lavender.” In talking with her, we quickly realized that we were in the presence of someone truly passionate about lavender and all of its wonderful properties, especially in the realm of culinary delights. She had so many wonderful insights, and we are excited to be able to share some of those here:
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Sequim, Washington is known to many as the Lavender Capital of North America. The region was once primarily dairy farms, but as the land began to convert to residential housing in the 1990’s, community members decided to take an active role in the re-assignment of the surrounding prairie land. Rather than allow fields to remain inactive as dairy farms moved out, a movement started. What residents and landowners wanted was to find a way to use the land productively and sustainably. The answer was lavender.
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Lavender for culinary as well as aromatic uses can be found online from a wide variety of sources. For the purest and highest quality lavender, you can buy directly from small family farms that specialize in producing lavender for culinary purposes as well as aromatic purposes. Small farmers often have more experience cooking with their own lavender, and can recommend the best varieties for savory and sweet recipes. They may even offer some recipes on their websites or with the lavender when you buy from them online.
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For centuries lavender has been used for all kinds of medical applications. It has been said to soothe and cleanse the mind as well as the body, and even the name comes from the latin root lavare, which means “to wash”. The most common uses of lavender are aromatic, but lavender essential oil is also used for massage because of the calming qualities of the scent and application of lavender oil.
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The plant kingdom is incredible. While we can only buy one variety of bananas in the store, there are actually hundreds of varieties, some which taste better, others which are not edible when raw. Lavender varieties are the same. There are over 200 varieties of lavender and while you may not be able to tell the difference between many of the little purple flowers, there are others whose unique character may be obvious.
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