Monday, June 17, 2013

Lavender Farms & the Teapot

The little plum teapot arrived in Washington state just in time for lavender season. Right now it is steeping a pot of black tea with a touch of lavender bud. Just one-half teaspoon of crushed lavender bud added to steeping black tea in the pot makes a fragrant and delicious beverage. Today the teapot and I are planning activities for this week. In the process, I'm taking time to reminisce about lavender farms in Washington state. You may take that as a clue of things to come. 

Would you like to see photos of some of the Washington state lavender farms along with me? We'll visit some on the west side of the state.

Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm, Sequim, Washington.
Jardin du Soleil gardens encourage visitors to walk and enjoy the blossoms.
San Juan Island, Washington

Pelindaba Lavender Farm, San Juan Island
Gift shop at Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Visitors are encouraged to walk the fields at Pelindaba Lavender Farm
Pelindaba Lavender Farm with rows of trimmed lavender amid lavender waiting to be cut. Pelindaba Lavender Farm has a second gift shop in downtown Friday Harbor. A bakery in the shop features lavender infused pastries and delicious lavender-chocolate ice cream!

Orcas Island, Washington
Orcas Hotel with an abundance of lavender in their gardens. There is at least one dedicated lavender farm on this small island as well.
 Whidbey Island, Washington

Lavender Wind Farm is located on Whidby Island, not far from the ferry landing which connects with Port Townsend.
Alma is enjoying walking through the lavender fields. It is common for lavender farms to plant other colorful blooming flowers to compliment the lavender. Red and orange is popular.
The gift shop and workshop at Lavender Wind Farm.
The labyrinth of lavender at Lavender Wind Farm invites visitors to walk the tranquil path.
Lavender Wind Farm incorporates many rows of tall sunflower plants. They create contrast and beauty.
Sequim, Washington

Blue Moon Lavender in the early morning mist.
Blue Moon Lavender.
Lavender Lane at Cedarbrook Lavender Farm and Herb Garden.
A contrast of lavender varieties at Cedarbrook Lavender and Herb Farm.
Many herb farms feature enclosed herb gardens. They are beautiful and filled with colorful blooming plants. 
The house at Cedarbrook features an interesting gift shop. A lavender scarecrow pair greets guest from the front porch.
The gift shop at Purple Haze Lavender is charming with a dark red roof. Lavender ice cream is sold from the small building beside the gift shop.
Purple Haze Lavender Farm.
Workers at Purple Haze Lavender Farm are preparing lavender bundles for sale. Some are shipped and others go into the gift shop.
Purple Haze Lavender Farm has much charm and row upon row of lavender in bloom.
Jardin du Soleil is a wonderful place to visit!
The gift shop at Jardin du Soleil is filled with beautiful handmade lavender product and more.
Workers at the Olympic Lavender Farm chat as they bundle lavender for sale.
Olympic Lavender Farm also features a fenced flower garden.
Olympic Lavender Farm.
 Ilwaco, Washington

The Painted Lady Lavender Farm is located in southwestern Washington at the mouth of the Columbia River.
The Painted Lady Lavender Farm's marketing style is whimsical.

The little plum teapot enjoys lavender in bloom at her host's home and garden.
There is something tranquil and exotic about a lavender farm. Tourists flock to the fields to enjoy the sweet fragrance, cut bundles of lavender, and to purchase lavender product. Each lavender farm has carefully thought-out characteristics. No two lavender farms are alike. In addition to lavender plants, lavender bundles, and other products, many lavender farms feature foods made with this fragrant herb. Some serve lavender lemonade or lavender ice cream. Others sell jams, jellies, and curds made from lavender. An excursion to a lavender farm always features something interesting to see! 

Lavender is one of my favorite additions to afternoon tea fare. Here's a recipe that you might enjoy as an addition to your tea table.

Lavender Lemon Curd

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 lemons, juice and rind (about 1/2 cup)
4 eggs, well beaten
pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. lavender bud, fresh OR 1 Tbsp. dried
6 lemon verbena leaves OR 1 Tbsp. dried (optional)

Use a double boiler. Fill base with an appropriate amount of water. Bring to a gentle boil. In top saucepan, place butter, sugar, lemon, and salt. Slowly whisk in the beaten eggs. Add the lavender bud and lemon verbena leaves. Cook mixture for five minutes. When done, strain through a sieve. Place in a jar and cool. Store in the fridge until ready to use. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

For a special tea-time treat, whip 1 cup of heavy cream. Gently fold in a cup (or more) of lavender lemon curd. Use this as frosting for a two layer cake or to top an angel food cake. Add fresh fruit if desired. Enjoy!


Marilyn said...

I just love lavender season in the PCN. I am hoping the lavender will still be beautiful when I take a trip to the Sequim area in a couple weeks. But then the lavender farm on Whidby Island might be fun too. Been thinking of lavender and roses too for some jams or jellies. Oh yum, your curd sounds delicious.

Steph said...

Mmmm....the lavender lemon curd sounds great!

Sparkly Engineer said...

Lavender farms seem so magical, victorian and romantic. I would love to visit one. I have never tasted anything with lavender in it. I may and try to remedy that this summer.

Karen's Place said...

Intoxicating. I am entranced like a weaved lavender wand looking at all the fields. Lucky teapot and hostess.

Susan said...

Oh my goodness, La Tea Dah. What wonderful photos! Lavender farms! How fabulou. Can you even imagine how they must smell? SOOOOO heavenly.Thanks for sharing. Susan

ellen b. said...

I'm thinking if I can't make it all the way to Sequim this year I'll hop over to the Whidbey Island farm...