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See What’s Cooking for Summer

See What’s Cooking for Summer

Nothing says summer quite like the color yellow! This summer we’ll be adding several new products including this one…a Lavender Calendula and Oatmeal exfoliating bar of Goat’s milk soap. You’re skin will love it!

Marigolds by Robert Graves
With a fork drive Nature out,
She will ever yet return;
Hedge the flowerbed all about,
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
She will ever yet return.Look: the constant marigold
Springs again from hidden roots.
Baffled gardener, you behold
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
They will ever yet return.

Gardener, cursing at the weed,
Ere you curse it further, say:
Who but you planted the seed
In my fertile heart, one day?
Ere you curse me further, say!
New beginnings and new shoots
Spring again from hidden roots.
Pull or stab or cut or burn,
Love must ever yet return.

USLGA Conference 2017

USLGA Conference 2017

You know you’re in good company when you attend the US Lavender Growers Conference! This weekend I was able to attend the conference along with over 200 other lavender enthusiasts in Mesa, Arizona, each with their own story and beginning. Men and women from all walks of life with lavender farms scattered throughout the states and overseas. Entrepreneurs, gardeners, herbalists, culinary artists, masterful producers of so many lavender products all very familiar with the labor intensive work of farming lavender.

Highlights include

  • An 8 hr. workshop tasting and smelling lavender with Mesha Munyan, an award winning designer of natural perfumes, and Chris Mulder, the creator of an extensive line of delicious lavender goodies.
  • Purchasing the very last signed copy of the popular cookbook “The Art of Cooking with Lavender” by Nancy Baggett.
  • Talking with the creator of the microwave distiller, David Hackleman. (I hope some of that inventive spirit will rub off!)
  • Classes on propagating lavender, phytophthora, agritourism, marketing strategies for farms, all taught by industry gurus.
  • Securing lavender plugs straight from New Zealand. (I can’t wait to bring some of New Zealand to Wisconsin!)

Best of all, catching up with our ‘lavender growing’ friends in Michigan and making connections with so many new friends! Lavender Season 2017 here we come!

Weeded!

Weeded!

What does it take to weed 3/4 of an acre of lavender by hand?
150 Hours of manual labor
8 Hand held weeding tools, 2 rakes, 2 large buckets
7 Helping hands–mom, dad, kids.
5 Days straight weeding
4 Tubs of Cedar Crest ice cream
2 Large drink jugs of lemonade
1 Costco sized box of popsicles
Pandora music, sweat, patience, tears, patience, more patience!
18 days till Rowley Creek Farm officially opens June 25 2016! Check out the size of those plants!!

Weeded1

Great Lakes Lavender Conference

What do you do when you are charting new territory growing lavender in the midwest? Two words…Lavender Conference! Meet Wynne Wright, an Associate Professor & Extension Specialist at MSU and Colleen Matts, an up’n coming chef and organic farm to kitchen guru. These amazing ladies are innovators in the world of lavender. In addition to the extremely valuable networking connections made (shout out to you–my Hawaiian friend Amy), highlights of the conference included a visit and tour of the Allen Market Place in Lansing and a very tasty lavender lunch catered by Colleen Matts. On the menu…a vibrant farm fresh salad with butternut squash and lavender pecans, a peppered lavender beef tenderloin sandwich, and for dessert, chocolate lavender cupcakes and lavender profiteroles. I like lavender…but I never knew it could TASTE SO GOOD!

Try it!

Lavender Vanilla Sugar

2 cups granulated sugar

1 TBS dried culinary lavender buds

In a spice grinder, pulse the lavender with 1 TBS of the sugar until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the remaining sugar. Transfer to a jar, cover tightly and let stand for at least 3 days before using.

Time to order for spring.

Pull out those seed catalogs because spring is right around the corner. This year, new to the farm we will be adding three ‘Contender’ peach trees–hardy to zone 4! Can peaches grow in Wisconsin? Can’t wait to find out. Fresh peaches, peach pie, peach cobbler and ice cream… yummy! How about peach lavender, could be good!!

Free at last!

Free at last!

After being cooped up for the last couple of months, Betty and her sister hens Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, Betty, and Betty were free at last!

They’ve been laying anywhere between seven to ten eggs a day. That’s a lot of eggs in a week. Speaking of eggs, ever tried duck eggs? We were given a dozen fresh duck eggs from another friendly ‘farmer type’ and got to meet Rosco the raccoon; the fattest raccoon you ever did see! He was eating, ever so politely, chocolate m&m’s from the kids’ hands. Very cute, I wish my phone hadn’t run out of battery!

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