The drought is bad and each day it lingers makes me fearful of what is to come. You can read from my last blog (here) how long it has been since any rain has fallen. This week I spent my time harvesting seeds and lavender from my garden. This is the first season I had any lavender in my garden.
Dried lavender is expensive and the reason is it is labor intensive to harvest, dry and process. I was lucky to spend two days with my hands in the lavender separating the steams from the precious dried flower that contain the wonderful scent.
At the end of the two days I had several of these jars filled and ready for use over the next winter.
This morning as my hubby was sleeping off a night shift he had just worked, I headed off on my bicycle to a lavender farm located in the flower bulb area of Noordwijk and very close to the ocean. The name of the farm is Lady Lavendel.
I have seen this farm several times over the last few years as I bike to the North Sea or through the Spring tulip fields. Today was going to be my first visit and I was excited to see what varieties of lavender she had for sale. Maybe she had some craft ideas? I really had no idea what to expect.
The bike ride was uncomfortably warm to almost hot. Luckily I know the route where the most shade exists and cycled along in the shade for most of the way. Once out of the shade I was able to start to feel the cooler ocean breezes floating over the natural sand dunes that protect the coastline giving me a bit of a headwind. Then suddenly, the wind started to bring whiffs of lavender scent. I was about 1km from the fields and couldn’t see it just yet but the breeze bringing the scent of lavender to my lungs made me feel very happy.
As the field came into view I stopped for pictures nearly getting hit by auto’s as they passed by at high rates of speed. Each auto passengers trying to be the first to the beach to locate the best spot to bask in the sun drenched Dutch sand with a prime ocean view. It is vacation time here and the traffic on this one road that leads to the ocean was crazy!
When I finally got across the busy rode with my life intact I was greeted by Frida the owner. The first thing I noticed was the thousands of bees and several butterflies busy at work in the blooming lavender. I quickly got my camera out and asked if I could take pictures and just look around.
“Sure, take your time and enjoy this weather.” Frida said and then she went back to talking with her friend at the outdoor sitting area.
I walked the entire length of the fields and saw that several varieties of lavender had already bloomed and looked as if they were close to be dried enough to harvest.
At each different sort I bent over and grabbed just tight enough to a bundle of lavender to place the scent in my hands. I then brought it to my nose and breathed deeply to see if I could tell the difference in the scents from each one that was in the field. It surprised me that I could tell they each had a slightly different aroma. I could feel the stress of the last few weeks melt from me as I stood there taking it all in with the fresh hint of lavender still clinging to my nose. Ahhh…
I walked back to the first part of the field where I saw all the bees and butterflies busy working over each and every lavender flower. I had noticed last week whenever I had watered my own lavender in my garden I had sudden bee activity surrounding my small garden. But, this place was really busy with bees!
After the relaxing time taking pictures I went into the retail shop and looked around. Frida has honey from the lavender fields you can taste test and all sorts of products from her field. I left with a bundle of lavender and 10 grams of dried lavender to add to my collection for the winter.
My bike ride home was with a tailwind from the sea and the hint of lavender from the bundle in my bike bag. What a perfect Sunday morning Dutch bike ride!
Do you have lavender in the areas where you live?
Can you visit a lavender farm in your local area?
I would love to hear about your experiences with lavender in my comment section.
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