Sunday, July 17, 2011

Dilly Dilly - Lavender

Yesterday we took a drive out west of here. Across the street from home begins beautiful farm country. The area is called "New Halvatia" because it was the area settled by Swiss immigrants in the 1800's. (Switzerland - Proper name: Swiss Federation- Confoederatio Helvetica in Latin as seen in the EU abbreviation, CH) Because Polly lived there for 5 years, she says it's a little like visiting her old home.
Last weekend was the Washington County Lavender Festival, but with all the moving and such we didn't have time to go. Yesterday we decided to take a break and so we visited two farms in the area. First we stopped, first, at a small farm that Polly is blogging about, and visited with Mary, the dear lady who makes wonderful natural products from the herbs she grows on her farm. More information on Polly's blog. I will be going back there next spring to get some herbs that I haven't found any place else. She had summer savory and borage! Two of the herbs I can never find in the spring to set out. Both favorites for summer. I love summer savory with tender little green beans. I put borage in white wine as a summer drink, or in a salad. If you aren't familiar with it, it has a slight fresh melon/cucumber taste. Polly bought some dried pink delphiniums for her pink bathroom, and some lavender lemonade mix.
Next we drove on a little farther to Helvetia Lavender Farm. They specialize in "U-Pick" Lavender in the summer and Christmas trees in the winter. There Polly picked a large basket full of various kinds of lavender.

While I waited for her to finish picking, I sat in the tent, out of the drizzle, where there was a working still. They were distilling lavender oil. The lavender flowers are put into the top container and water is boiled in the lower chamber. The steam produced when it filters through the flowers is cooled in the descending pipe to a holding pipe where the oil rises to the top of the water, which is forced out the spigot. The pure oil is collected and bottled. The perfumed water is collected and use for ironing linens or rinsing hair.

I walked around the grounds of the farm. They had planted darling "fairy gardens" in wagons and wheelbarrows. They were all different and all so pretty.

There were flowers of all kinds. Some were familiar to me like these poppies, and some of the roses, but there were lots that I had no idea what they were. Every place I looked there was some new delight.

 There is a Tea Pavilion where they serve lunch, and afternoon tea. I want to go back when I can enjoy eating in the lovely garden.


Sarah said...

What a wonderful excursion. Polly is a beautiful young woman. Wonderful shot of her sitting among the rows of lavender.
Lavender is grown in the hill country west of here. Someday I'd like to go and experience something like this. ~ Sarah

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

The lavender farm was marvelous. Imagine sitting there in the middle of all that lovely colour and fragrance. V

black eyed susans kitchen said...

What a beautiful lavender garden...reminds me of France. That still is fascinating..I love the scent of lavender.

Pondside said...

What a wonderful visit that must have been. There is a lavender farm near here, and the nearest town to us had a lavender festival last weekend.


hahaha...yeah, sometimes the way my hubby says things just stick to me, like the lamp!! The sky light, of course! Thank you so much for your lovely and fun visit. I love this visit you just did, to the lavender farm and it's gorgeous fields!, the smell must be wonderful, along with the blue, you want to run thru it!! Love, FABBY

Pamela said...

Looks like such a fun day! Thanx for stopping by earlier! I wish we only had 70 days!!


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