Sarah

Podcasts – a new venture

 Podcasts  Comments Off on Podcasts – a new venture
Apr 122016
 

the_new_organic_radio001009

We have jumped into internet audio through an arrangement with Organic Radio and the voice of that channel, Richard Q’zeromen. Elizabeth Sherman, from Sherman’s Pioneer Farm Produce has joined in, too, so hopefully there will be more Whidbey farms to come.

Have a listen to the introductory interview.

 Posted by at 11:24 pm

Flood, Fire, Farming

 Farm, News  Comments Off on Flood, Fire, Farming
Apr 112016
 
Lake Lavande at Lavender Wind

Lake Lavande at Lavender Wind

Fire! Water! Earth! Air! The four elements from ancient times describe the necessities of life. This year, water was the element that came down from the sky in droves, drops, puddles, lakes, and sheets. It soaked the ground, saturated the fields, created lakes where there had been none, and caused bluffs to collapse into the sea. It flooded our fields. The earth could not contain the water, the air blew hard, but still wasn’t enough to evaporate the water. And in the end, after the waters receded fire is what came to clean up the lavenders that drowned.

Dead Lavenders April 2016

Dead Lavenders April 2016

Farming is full of risks as any farmer around the world will tell you. This year it was water. Neighbors were pumping out flooded basements and pranks were played by setting out plastic pink flamingos in one of the many lakes that were created in the saturated fields. Lavender, though, is a perennial crop. It stays planted in the ground for an average of 10 years, producing for at least 8 of those years. This year, many of our 4 year old lavender plants were drowned. The waters of the temporary lake (Lake Lavande) drowned the lavenders. Even so, in February and March one couldn’t tell they were dead. But, in April it was clear. The plants that are grey, rather than green don’t have leaves coming out, they are dead.

Pitching away dead lavenders

Sydney, pitching away dead lavenders

To keep the fields healthy we had to take out the dead plants as soon as we could get onto the field without getting the tractor stuck in mud. We dug out the plants with the bucket, shook off the dirt, and piled them up to transport them to their funeral pyre.

The green weeds you see above are horsetail. It is a deep rooted living fossil (because it has been on the earth for so long) and it loves the damper ground. It is extremely difficult to eradicate, so we will keep this part of the field brown all summer to weaken it. But, that won’t make it go away, that takes years of hard work (and chemicals if you are willing to use them, which we aren’t) and even then there is no guarantee it will be gone. Some people use it for medicinal purposes, but we haven’t pursued that option.

Drowned lavender pile

Pile of drowned lavender, not sure how many plants are in that pile yet.

There is a possibility of disease, so the plants are being burned. One night, after work, we burned 300 of them in about an hour and a half. That only made a small dent in the big pile, so we’ll be having more bonfires when the weather permits. Lavender burns hot and fast, the fire would flare up with each plant we put on top of the coals. It was beautiful and hot.

Bonfire of Lavenders

Bonfire of Lavenders

The farm had something like 14,000 lavender plants, and we probably lost about 10% to 15% of them to the floods. We are still counting. But, that means we probably have between 85% and 90% of the lavenders that are in good shape even though there are still patches here and there that we are watching closely to see if they will green up. If not, we’ll have to pull them out and burn them, too.

Luckily, last year we had a bumper harvest, this year it will be leaner. Even so, we are looking forward to fields of purple in another couple of months, and that first day of harvest when we again get to breathe the fragrance that armloads of lavender bring.

Good Looking Lavenders

Good Looking Lavenders

 Posted by at 6:23 am

Lavender Wind FESTIVAL – 2016

 Events  Comments Off on Lavender Wind FESTIVAL – 2016
Mar 112016
 

2bkmk16Web

SAVE THE DATE!

Sat. & Sun. July 30 & 31, 2016

Join us for our annual celebration of lavender and art at Lavender Wind Farm, located on Whidbey Island.  Stroll the gorgeous grounds and lavender labyrinth, browse the various booths showcasing local artisans, wander through the fragrant fields of lavender, and sit in the wine garden and enjoy live music.  Wine Garden benefits the Pacific NW Art School.  There will be activities for children and demonstrations of lavender distilling and crafting.  Free admission and on-site parking.  Two fun-filled days for the whole family!

  • Dates: Saturday & Sunday, July 30 & 31, 2015
  • Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Artist Booths: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Children’s Activity: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Lavender Demonstrations: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Wine/Beer Tent: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Music: 12:00pm to 4:30 pm

This page will be updated anytime we have new information, so keep checking back.

ARTISTS! LWF Artist application 2016

Food

Food Vendors are still being arranged. Our cookies, scones, and lavender lemonade you keep you happy.

Music

Saturday

  • Noon – 2:00 pm
  • 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm

Sunday

  • Noon – 2:00 pm
  • 2:30 – 4:30 pm

Wine & Beer Garden

This festival started years ago as an Art Festival to celebrate the amazing artists in the community as well as the art of nature. So, over the years we have supported various non-profits with Wine & Beer sales. For the last three years we have teamed with the Pacific Northwest Art School (right here in Coupeville). The sales in the garden will go to the school to support their art classes and activities.

The garden is right in front of the stage where the musicians will be playing.

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 Posted by at 12:25 am

Lemon Lavender Butter Cookies

 Recipes  Comments Off on Lemon Lavender Butter Cookies
Mar 042016
 

Butter Cookies

These are those gorgeous brown edged cookies that are delicate and so tasty.

Watch our video to see how to make them.

Preheat the oven to 3750 F.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 C Butter
  • 1/2 C Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Lavender
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp Grated Lemon Rind
  • 3/4 C Flour

Bring the butter and eggs to room temperature. Cream the butter and the sugar together until you have a fluffy consistency. Add the lavender, egg, vanilla, and lemon rind and stir. Then add the flour and stir.

Drop the cookies onto a greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper to line the sheet) and allow plenty of space between them because they spread.

Bake for about 10 minutes. They will be paper thin and have a brown edge when done.

 Posted by at 12:53 am

Yummy Skin Bar Survey

 Surveys  Comments Off on Yummy Skin Bar Survey
Oct 242015
 

Sneak Preview!

Yummy Skin Bar Samples

Yummy Skin Bar Samples

Our new Lemongrass & Lavender Yummy Skin Bar Soap is being developed.

Ingredients: Avocado Oil, Coconut Oil, Jojoba Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Shea Butter, Castor Oil, Lavender and Lemongrass Essential oils

If you’d like to be part of helping us improve our products and test new ones we’d love to have your help.

This is a survey on test batches of our new soap. We are now out of the samples, and are developing the next version. Thank you!

 Posted by at 5:42 pm

How to Make Lavender Bundles

 Coupeville Shop, Farm, Tidbits & Facts  Comments Off on How to Make Lavender Bundles
Sep 132015
 

You have grown your lavender, picked it, and dried it. Now what?

Making attractive lavender bundles is easy if you are just making one or two, but how about if you are making 20 or 200? This video shows how we make them at Lavender Wind Farm.

 Posted by at 8:56 pm

Harvest to Oil

 Farm  Comments Off on Harvest to Oil
Sep 072015
 

It was a fabulous season at the farm this year. We had a cracker jack crew harvesting and distilling.

Have fun watching these two very short videos from this summer’s work.

 

The first is the staff harvesting some Lavendula Angustifolia “Hidcote Pink”.

The second is the wonderful sight and sound of distillate coming out of the condenser.

 

 Posted by at 6:24 am

Provence

 Farm, Tidbits & Facts  Comments Off on Provence
Jul 192015
 

 

Provence Bush

Provence Bush

Lavandula x-intermedia is a hybrid cross between Lav. Angustifolia and Lav. Latifolia. The Lavandula Angustifolias tend to have a high quality but low yielding oil, whereas the Lavandula Latifolias have a poor quality but high yielding oil. So there are quite a lot of hybrid crosses of various varieties of these two lavandulas and Provence is one such cross.

Provence is not typically found in that French province, rather, it is a cultivar that was hybridized in Canada. Nevertheless, it has found its way throughout North America, the United Kingdom, and other countries.

It has a sweeter, less camphorous scent compared to most of the other x-intermedia hybrids. The oil is also sweeter, but it does not have a larger yield than the angustifolias, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to other x-intermedias. Therefore, many growers don’t distill Provence, they tend to use it for both crafting and culinary applications.

At Lavender Wind we use it for all three, and we do distill it. The Provence Essential Oil is very nice. Our Culinary Lavender is a blend of Provence and Folgate.

Provence Flower

Provence Flower

Provence is susceptible to root rot due to overly wet conditions. The flowers dry well and the bud is easily taken off the stem. Too easily, in fact, and it is well known to be useless as a dried flower because the blossoms shatter off the stem once they are dried.

Zone: 5 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Description: Light lavender
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant
 Posted by at 5:46 am

Lavender Wind Festival – 2015

 Events  Comments Off on Lavender Wind Festival – 2015
Jul 182015
 

Poster-Festival2015

Join us for our annual celebration of lavender and art at Lavender Wind Farm, located on Whidbey Island.  Stroll the gorgeous grounds and lavender labyrinth, browse the various booths showcasing local artisans, wander through the fragrant fields of lavender, and sit in the wine garden and enjoy live music.  Wine Garden benefits the Pacific NW Art School.  There will be activities for children and demonstrations of lavender distilling and crafting.  Free admission and on-site parking.  Two fun-filled days for the whole family!

  • Dates: Saturday & Sunday, July 25 & 26, 2015
  • Time: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Artist Booths: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Children’s Activity: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Lavender Demonstrations: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
  • Wine/Beer Tent: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
  • Music: 12:00pm to 4:30 pm

This page will be updated anytime we have new information, so keep checking back.

Hot Rock Pizza

Food

We are delighted to announce that Hot Rock Pizza will have their awesome pizzas at the festival. Between their wide variety of pizzas and our cookies, scones, and lavender lemonade you will be happy.

Music

Saturday

Sunday

Wine & Beer Garden

This festival started years ago as an Art Festival to celebrate the amazing artists in the community as well as the art of nature. So, over the years we have supported various non-profits with Wine & Beer sales. This year we are teaming with the Pacific Northwest Art School (right here in Coupeville). The sales in the garden will go to the school to support their art classes and activities.

The garden is right in front of the stage where the musicians will be playing.

 Posted by at 4:28 pm

Purple Bouquet

 Farm, Tidbits & Facts  Comments Off on Purple Bouquet
Jul 102015
 

Purple Bouquet is AWESOME! It is the variety on the right. Next to it is Hidcote Pink, and to the left of that is Folgate. Purple Bouquet blooms a bit later than the other two so it isn’t quite in its full bloom in this picture.

Three Varieties

Three Varieties

The plant is not very large. This plant is in its 4th summer.

Purple Bouquet Bush

Purple Bouquet Bush

Purple Bouquet lives up to its name. It produces a longer stemmed flower than many other Angustifolias and it holds up well when dried. The fragrance is strong and pleasing.

 

Purple Bouquet Flower

Purple Bouquet Flower

  • Zone: 5a to 8b
  • Height: 18″ – 20″
  • Spread: 24″ – 30″
  • Sun: Full
  • Soil: Well-drained, dry
  • Bloom: Early summer, produces 2nd bloom
  • Leaves: Vibrant green
  • Flowers: Brilliant dark purple

We like this variety for making lovely dried bouquets. Because we have so much wind at our farm, our stem length tends to be a bit shorter than stem lengths on farms more protected or inland.

For Comparison here is an image taken June 30, 2015 of six varieties in our field. The Grosso and Provence weren’t yet in bloom in this image.

Six Varieties

Six Varieties

 Posted by at 4:06 pm