Lavender

Lavender FieldWhy do we love lavender? What’s not to love about it? It grows almost effortlessly in San Benito County, where hot summer days and little water do not cause it distress. The color of lavender growing in a field is something to behold. The leaves are green gray and the blossoms range from white to pink to the darkest royal purple.

Practical Applications

And it is so useful! Essential oil of lavender has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It was used in hospitals during WWI to disinfect floors and walls. These extracts are also popular fragrances for bath, laundry and kitchen products.

An infusion of lavender is claimed to soothe and heal insect bites. Bunches of lavender are also said to ward off insects. If applied to the temples, lavender oil is said to soothe headaches. Lavender is frequently used as an aid to sleep and relaxation: Seeds and flowers of the plant are added to pillows. An infusion of three flower heads added to a cup of boiling water is recommended as a pleasant, soothing and relaxing bed-time beverage. Lavender oil (or extract of Lavender) is claimed to heal acne when used diluted 1:10 with water, rosewater, or witch hazel. It is also used in the treatment of skin burns and inflammatory conditions. Beware of topical use: It can increase photosensitivity to the sun.

Cooking with Lavender

We use lavender in cooking regularly. From scones to shortbread, from stews to salad dressings, the small buds pack a wallop of deliciousness! The only trick is not to use too much: You end up feeling like you’re eating perfume.

Bee on LavenderHoney produced from bees near lavender fields is prized throughout the world. Sugared lavender is used in decorating baked goods. And lavendered sugar is used in many fine bakeries.

Lavender lends itself to a variety of crafting ideas. Braided with ribbons, coaxed into wreaths or stuffed into lace sachets, it adds a beautiful touch to any décor and is a thoughtful hostess gift.

The strongest lavender branches can be saved to make skewers for barbecuing meats, poultry, fish and vegetables, infusing a subtle sophistication to the kebob.

In San Benito County, we have lavender almost year-round. Come visit Quicksilver Farm and pick your own. You’ll fall in love with it just as we have!