Monday, June 18, 2012

For the Love of Lavender

I can't believe it's already time to harvest our lavender!

Lavender is one of the most pleasant smelling perennials in existence. From the mint family, this amazing plant is mostly used for essential oils or cooking. But...did you know that it has disinfecting abilities? Did you know that Lavender honey is considered a 'premium' product? Did you know that lavender repels insects? Or that it heals acne? It is soo great! And that is why we planted it in our yard years ago. Now, those of you that visit my Etsy shop know I also use our homegrown Lavender for drawer sachets. I'm proud to say that no fertilizers or pesticides are used in our garden EVER! And that is why, I can honestly dry them & place the buds in foods, sugar, and cotton sachets for our clothing drawers. It's because it's just natural & clean. So today I start my love o'lavender by sharing my drying techniques as well as making Lavender sugar:)

I tie my lavender in clumps smaller than the circle one of my hands can make.
If you place them in larger clumps, the center portion will not dry as fast as the surrounding. Use a soft thread or twine so that you do not snap the stems. If you tie them too tight, as they dry, they will break. Then, just hang them upside down.

I love to add the bouquets in the girls bedrooms.

And then in our nook.... Our kitchen becomes the master drying grounds. I use some string and tie it from one end of the nook to the other using the window hardware. I use clothing pins to secure the lavender to the string. The aroma is breathtaking. When I start to find buds decorating our floor, it's a sign that they're dry. I take a paper bag & place the bouquets inside. I give it a good shake until all the buds fall off. This is a great way to gather the most from your crop. You will be pleasantly surprised how many buds one lavender plant can create. the unused buds in the paper bag or a glass jar. Avoiding plastic is essential for prolonging bud life & scent.

And now........

~Lavender Sugar~

This sugar is wonderful in tea & as a replacement in your cookie recipes. There's a couple different ways people can make lavender sugar. We simply take a canning jar & fill it half way with the sweetness. Then, arrange the flowers throughout. I continue to add more sugar leaving about a centimeter from the top. This space allows me to mix & shake it for a couple days. After, I will remove my stems & keep my sugar. It's simple & smells wonderful.

To Happy Lavandula!

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