Unfortunately, this blog cannot share the scent of lavender on the breeze, the subtle aroma that surrounds the farm as the breezes sweep across the lavender fields.
To experience that, you should go yourself to a lavender farm. I went to the Deep Creek Lavender Farm, located in the rolling countryside of western Maryland, just a few days ago. The farm is as the quote suggests -- a magical place, tucked in the countryside, and feels magically removed from the outside world!
A visit to the farm offers a lovely place to enjoy a picnic -- either one that you packed yourself, or you can order one from a local business (the farm's website offers suggestions). There's pick your own lavender, so you can make your own bundles, and you can shop at the farm's store, which offers a variety of lavender products -- from essential oil to lavender chocolate bars (yum!), lavender jam, and sachets, among many other items. The farm also offers a variety of lavender-related events throughout the summer.
Lavender is best known for its fragrant, delicate appearance in soaps, sachets, essential oil and other body care products. But have you tried adding it to your cooking? Lavender is particularly compatible with the flavors of honey and lemon, and in fact, at the lavender farm, they offered samples of lavender lemonade. Lavender is a perfect summertime herb to brighten seasonal dishes!
Lavender can be used to add flavor and color to culinary recipes in either fresh or dried form. Some sites recommend that to prepare dry lavender for culinary use, snip the stems off the plant just after the flowers have opened and hang the stems upside down or lay them flat to dry. Wash the buds well, then dry-roast them to remove some of the floral taste or grind them in a coffee grinder to improve the texture.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a bowl, mix a tablespoon or two of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, and 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons dried culinary lavender.
- Prepare 2 lbs of red potatoes as you would for regular roasted potatoes, cutting in half or quartering.
- Place potatoes in a plastic bag, drizzling the olive oil mixture over. Shake to coat evenly.
- Spread potatoes evenly on a baking sheet; bake at 350 degrees for approximately 30 minutes, or until a fork goes into the potatoes easily.
Deep Creek Lavender Farm is owned by Anne and Scott Davidson, who run the lavender farm more or less as their hobby, or rather, as Anne recently noted, "although it isn't our full time job it is far bigger than a hobby, but [I] do not know what the word would be between hobby farm and big farm business." What a wonderful extra-curricular activity (for lack of a better phrase), and how nice of them to share this with everyone!
Getting there: 625 Doerr Road, Accident, MD 21520
Hours: Memorial Day through Labor Day, Saturday, Sundays and Mondays, 10-5 each day.
Dogs: Yes, but check the website for details.
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