Skip to main content

Lavender for Luck

It's no surprise to those that know me... Lavender is my FAVORITE flower! It's been my favorite for many years but most particularly since I took massage and healing courses and used lavender essential oil to clean my head and hands, its scent to perfume and calm those I was working on and yes, to even flavor my tea along with mint. Its lovely lavender flower and sage colored leaves are peaceful to look at, smells beautiful and because of its camphor content, repels most plant damaging insects. It grows well with very little water and in less than perfect soil.

Here are a few things you many NOT know about lavender:
  • The stem is square not round stems
  • It is a member of the Mint family
  • Used to scent water for the Greeks
  • Root word "Lavo" means "to wash"
  • During the great bubonic plague, glove makers would scent leather with lavender oil, as this was known to ward off the plague. This claim may well be true as the plague is transmitted by flies, and lavender is very effective as a repellent.
  • It is antibacterial and antifungal
  • In the movie A Good Year, Lavender was said to help repel scorpians!
So a few years ago I started visiting some of our local Lavender farms. My first trip was to Andre Organic Lavender Farm. It it located in the Santa Rita Foothills in Buellton, CA. They have 10 different varieties of Lavender and over 13,000 plants! My husband and I would stop in while camping at Flying Flags RV Resort and usually walked away with an armful of sachets, soaps, lotions, and tea. It was the highlight of our visit.

Next I found a really great book on Amazon, Lavender the Grower's Guide by Virginia McNaughton, picked a couple of varieties that grew well in my area and started growing my own. Right now I have Grosso and Provence and this upcoming year I'm planting a couple of Munstead and one that says it is "Sweet" Lavender. I also have a Spanish Lavender shrub that smells really good but isn't the best for harvesting buds.

Last year I made a visit to Green Acres Lavender Farm in Atascadero, CA and asked A LOT of questions! Janice took me around and showed me how they harvested lavender and the process of distillation. This farm is the largest in our area growing 13,000 plants themselves and belong to Cooperative Alliance, a statewide group of lavender farmers growing over 60,000 plants statewide. They are located on 4 1/2 acrea of land that used to be a turkey farm. Please go to the site and check them out!

So why am I writing all about Lavender today you ask? Because I just completed my very first Harvest from my OWN plants! August 1st I took the flowers from all 6 of my plants. After tying them together and drying them upside down for a couple of weeks, they were finally ready to strip the flowers off this past Sunday. When the flowers are dry, you just pull your fingers down the stem in the opposite direction the flowers grow and they come right off. And here is what I got from my first harvest....


12 whole sachet bags full of the sweetest smelling Lavender you EVER smelled!

I am so jazzed that I think I will throw a few more Lavender plants in this year and see if I can double that amount of flower next year! Some things I plan to try this upcoming year are amending my soil with a little lime, planting my new plants in an area that gets a bit more sunshine each day and putting them on a drip system so they are watered right near their roots rather than spraying on water on the leaves and flowers.

My daughter asked me today what I was going to do with all these little bags. Probably put a couple in my drawers, hang a couple of sachets from hangers in my closet, one or two in my car for that Lavender fresh smell and some to give to others. I MAY even try my very own soap with Mint and Lavender.

As quoted by William Shakespeare; "There's a few things I've learned in life: always throw salt over your left shoulder, keep rosemary by your garden gate, plant lavender for good luck, and fall in love whenever you can."

I have to agree with Shakespeare...watch out world....Karen's going to be winning the lottery REALLY soon!

Comments

Lovely!! I can smell it now!

Popular posts from this blog

Hey Retirement! Don't take OUR Date Night Away!!

"Wait! Did we budget for Date Night??"

Wednesday night is Date Night at our house. It's been that way for a LONG time! And we didn't want retirement to do away with our weekly fun. So today, I'm going to cover some good ways to keep that fun coming and be able to pay for it with slightly reduced funds.
Put some money in the budget. Analyze what you can afford and how many times you will be going out during the month. If you get paid twice a month, budget for two date nights. If you get paid weekly, you only need to budget it in for the week. For us, we are getting paid once a month so we will budget for 4 to 5 nights out. We set aside about $20 to $25 per week for date nightRemember, it's about spending time together not how fancy the dining is. You can make a picnic one week and then spend double the following week at a nice place. You can make dinner at home and go to see a play or movie. In our case we could go to the beach with some hot dogs, potato chips a…

Sourdough Bread

A few of you have been asking about the recipe for Sourdough Bread that I use and I figured this would be the easiest way to give it out. This recipe makes 2 loaves.

MIX TOGETHER:
260 g. of actively fed sourdough starter (about 1 cup)
460 g. water (about 2 cups)
90   g. Canned milk or milk that has been scalded and cooled. Can use water or plant milk instead (About 6 Tbsp)

20 g. Kosher Salt (1/8 cup)
900 g. flour (all purpose or white bread flour, don't use whole grain, to heavy to rise well) 7 1/2 Cups

Mix the starter, water, milk (or the substitute) together thoroughly. Then add in the salt and flour.
Put the dough in a covered container and let it ferment at room temperature.
After 2 hours fold the dough. How To Fold The Dough
After an additional 2 hours, fold the dough again.
When the dough is is finished fermenting (after a total of 5-6 hours - when dough is bubbly, soft and will pull a windowpane) divide dough into two pieces around 855 g. each.
Do a first shaping of the dough and let r…

Living on Less.....WEIGHT, Part 1

It's not just about the money. Living on Less can also mean having less "stuff" cluttering up our homes, less stress and drama, and dragging around a whole lot less weight. 
The topic of the day... What are YOU "Weighting" for?
I think I've always had a weight problem. I was active enough as a teen and young adult to keep the pounds in range. But when I started having kids, I put on weight with each one. In 2001, and 230 lbs., I'd finally had enough and opted for Gastric Bypass Surgery so I would never have to think about being fat ever again and yes, I'm using the word FAT. I like to eat though, and only ended up losing a total of 35 lbs. with gastric bypass. Don't get me wrong, if you do it right, you MIGHT not have the same results I had, but a little dixie cup size meal was just not enough food for me. I would cry and be angry at every gathering of people and food. Let's just say eating was a big part of my life, so much so that it had int…