Royal Velvet, ready for harvest

July 2021

Happy July Friends! 

Our lavender harvest is in full swing right now at Little Lavender Farm! The angustifolia is all harvested (except for a small section I am leaving for the bees and my Sunday Yoga friends) and the intermedia is being harvested this week and next.  We've had several plein air artists out for the Willamette Valley Lavender Festival Plein Air Paint Out and I'm hoping a few more will make it out while the lavender is still at its peak. This is such a fun time in lavender world -- with artists, photographers, yoga peeps, and lavender lovers all enjoying the beauty of this wonderful plant along with me! 

In case you're curious, we made it through the horrible Pacific Northwest heatwave relatively unscathed.  I watered everything really well in the days before the heat and had a sprinkler going outside for the animals and crossed my fingers and toes. Thankfully all of the animals made it through just fine and other than a few crispy leaves, the plants made it through as well. We hit 115 on Monday. This may be normal for Phoenix, or for Ridgecrest, the small California desert town I grew up in, but not here. Not in beautiful green, lush Oregon.   Hopefully this won't become a regular thing...

In case you don't make it out to a lavender farm this month but are in need of a lavender fix, our shop and our online store​ both have lots of fragrant, natural, farm-made lavender products in stock! 

Wishing you all a reasonably toasty July and lots of lavender love!

Something Beautiful:

Scenes from Lavender Harvest


Something Delicious: Deep Dish French Toast with Blueberries and Lavender


Photo and Recipe Credit: Taste of Home

Looking for a special breakfast or brunch recipe?  This oven-baked French toast combines bread, eggs, milk, and sugar with cream cheese, blueberries and nuts.  The secret ingredient -- lavender -- makes all the ingredients taste even better.  


  • 1 teaspoon butter for coating the baking dish
  • 1 large (1 ½ - 1 ¼ pound) brioche loaf cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, cut into 18 cubes
  • ¼ cup pecans, chopped
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon culinary lavender buds​, ground into powder
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

Serve with 

Powdered sugar

Pure maple syrup, warmed


  1. Butter a 9x13-inch baking dish.  Place half the bread cubes in a single layer, covering the bottom of the dish.  Scatter the cream cheese cubes, nuts, and blueberries on top.  Cover with the remaining bread cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, brown sugar, vanilla, lavender, nutmeg and cloves.  Pour this mixture evenly over the bread cubes.  Press down on the bread cubes to make sure they absorb the egg mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for four hours or overnight.  To ensure bread absorbs the egg mixture, put a heavy item (e.g., two pounds of butter) on top of the plastic wrap to weigh down the bread.
  3. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the dish from the refrigerator and let it sit for 20 minutes at room temperature.  Remove the plastic wrap.
  4. Bake the French toast covered with foil for 20 minutes, then uncover it and bake 15 to 20 minutes longer, or until the cubes are nicely toasted.
  5. Place the dish on a cooling rack, then drizzle the melted butter over the French toast.  Let sit for 5 minutes. Cut into square.
  6. Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top and serve with warm maple syrup. 

(From Discover Cooking with Lavender by Kathy Gehrt)

A Little Bit About Lavandula x intermedia


Lavandula x intermedia 'Grosso'

Flower Color: Medium Violet Blue
Stem Length: 20-24 in
Plant Height: 32-36 in
Best uses: oil, fresh and dried bouquets, sachets

Grosso is a workhorse.  It is a hardy lavender with grey/green foliage, nice long stems, and medium purple blooms, which arrive in abundance from early to mid summer.   Grosso originated in France in 1972 and is a very popular choice for commercial growers due to its high oil yield and wonderful scent. In fact, most of the lavender oil produced in the world comes from Grosso.

It is the main lavender we use for oil distillation because it smells so good and produces more oil than other varieties.  In addition to oil, its stems make beautiful fresh or dried bouquets and its buds are great for sachets.

Adventures in Beekeeping


Last year, we decided to try our hand at beekeeping.  We thought we'd start with two hives, so we went to a beekeeping class, bought all of the supplies and then, of course, purchased a nuc of bees.  But soon after last Fall's fires, we realized one of our hives had swarmed.  And then a month after that, the other one disappeared as well. There was no sign of them. 

So over the winter, we started the process of cleaning out the hive boxes, and questioned whether we would continue our beekeeping adventure.  And then in April, before we had cleaned out the second box, we caught a swarm of bees.  Well “caught” isn’t the right word actually. They just moved in.  So our beekeeping adventures were destined to continue.  We realized, however, that as busy as our lives were at the moment, we needed help to get going again.  Enter Matt the beekeeper at ORE Beekeeper.  He will be managing our hives and teaching me at the same time so that I can take over the beekeeping duties eventually (after harvest).  Thank goodness for Matt!

However, this isn’t the first time we’ve had help with our beekeeping aspirations.  Back in San Diego, we were lucky enough to be part of the “host-a-hive” program that Hilary Kearney (The Girl Next Door Honey) had implemented.   It was a great introduction to beekeeping -- we were able to provide a safe space for a few colonies and observe and learn, but we weren't responsible for the care of the hives. As lovely as that sounds (and it was), we did get off to a quite exciting start!

On the evening of the bees arrival,, Hilary drove up in her white Prius, filled with bee supplies and two bee hives, and the first thing she said as she walked up was…”we have a bit of a problem.”   Read More...

I hope you've enjoyed our July newsletter! Please feel free to forward our newsletter to any lavender-loving friends who you think might be interested!