Beautiful plein air painting of our farm by Christine Joy

August 2021

Happy August Friends! 


What a month July was!  Between constant harvesting (all of our lavender bloomed at once due to the heat), distilling, wreath-making, classes, yoga in the field, plein air artists, lavender festival volunteering, and stocking the shop, we've been busy around here!  But as always, all with a grateful heart and lots of love!

August will be a little slower -- we will continue to finish the harvest, though without the time pressure since this lavender will be distilled or dried for buds.  Our field is more than 3/4 harvested, so we are looking good.  We will get a small bonus bloom at the end of this month that we will leave mostly for the bees.  

Check out the article "It’s Lavender Season in Oregon; try these ideas for crafting, cleaning and mixing" found in The Oregonian! (you can find the link on our farm's facebook page) I was asked to talk about different things you can make with lavender and had a wonderful time chatting with Aliya, the author. I hope you enjoy it and that it's useful for you!

If you didn't get your fill of lavender last month, our shop and our online store​ both have lots of fragrant, natural, farm-made lavender products in stock!  And feel free to pass this newsletter along to any friends who you think might enjoy it!

Have a great month!

Something Delicious: Salt and Straw's Lavender Honey Ice Cream


Photo and Recipe Credit: Salt and Straw


• 1/4 cup wildflower honey

• 1/2 cup dried culinary lavender buds

• 3 cups Ice Cream Base (recipe below), very cold

• 10 drops natural purple food coloring, preferably India Tree brand (optional)


1. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cup water and the honey. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally, then take it off the heat. Stir in the lavender, cover the saucepan, and let steep at room temperature for at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Pour the syrup through a fine-mesh strainer into a container, pressing on the flower buds to extract as much liquid as possible. Chill until cold and use it right away, or refrigerate it in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

3. Put the lavender syrup, ice cream base, and food coloring (if you’re using it) into a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker and turn on the machine. Churn just until the mixture has the texture of soft-serve (depending on the machine).

4. Transfer the ice cream, scraping every last delicious drop from the machine, into freezer-friendly containers. Cover with parchment paper, pressing it to the surface of the ice cream so it adheres, then cover with a lid. It’s okay if the parchment hangs over the rim. Store it in the coldest part of your freezer (farthest from the door) until firm, at least 6 hours. It will keep for up to 3 months.


(Makes about 3 cups)


• 1/2 cup granulated sugar

• 2 tablespoons dry milk powder

• 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (Yes, I’m easy to find!)

• 2 tablespoons light corn syrup

• 1 1/3 cups whole milk

• 1 1/3 cups heavy cream


1. Combine the sugar, dry milk, and xanthan gum in a small bowl and stir well.

2. Pour the corn syrup into a medium pot and stir in the whole milk. Add the sugar mixture and immediately whisk vigorously until smooth. Set the pot over medium heat and cook, stirring often and adjusting the heat if necessary to prevent a simmer, until the sugar has fully dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat.

3. Add the cream and whisk until fully combined. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 6 hours, or for even better texture and flavor, 24 hours. Stir the base back together if it separates during the resting time. The base can be further stored in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months. (Just be sure to fully thaw the frozen base before using it.)

For more ice cream recipes from Salt and Straw, get their new cookbook!

A Little Bit About Lavandula x intermedia

​'Gros Bleu'

Lavandula x intermedia 'Gros Bleu'

Flower Color: Dark Violet Blue
Stem Length: 20-24 in
Plant Height: 36-40 in
Best uses: oil, sachets, fresh bouquets and dried wreaths and bouquets

​Gros Bleu is a dark blue (almost navy) colored lavandin with a clean, lavender scent.  It makes a beautiful fresh bouquet with a rather “flowy” look, and makes a beautiful wreath (though the buds do tend to shed easily, so don’t put it on a door) It also makes a beautiful dried bouquet since it holds its color really well, and is great for sachets. It also yields a very lovely essential oil.

Gros Bleu is a larger plant (36-40 inches across) with nice long stems (20-24 inches) and needs adequate spacing to allow for air flow between the plants.  It blooms in early-mid summer, with an additional small late summer/early fall bloom if you're lucky. It's one of my favorites!

Making Wreaths on a Summer Day

On a sunny Summer Sunday, I and twelve other women gathered at Duck Pond Cellars in Dundee to make lavender wreaths together.  I was honored to be asked to lead the class, so after harvesting 100 bundles of lavender to be used that day, I put on my teaching hat and offered instruction and assistance, while my friend Lanette played the perfect hostess and filled our glasses with wine, water, food, and cocktails.  Sitting at long wooden picnic tables and shaded by trees right next to the vineyard, we made more than wreaths -- we made friendships and wonderful memories.  I honestly don't know how it could have been a more perfect day! And I can't wait to do it again next year!


Lanette's Lavender Rosemary Cocktail

Part of our experience at Duck Pond was enjoying the wonderful hospitality of Lanette, who made a special lavender/rosemary drink just for us!  Below is the recipe:

1/2 oz lavender syrup

1/2 oz lemon juice

1-1/2 oz dry gin

tonic water on ice

Add all ingredients to a glass and garnish with sprig of fresh rosemary, lavender & lemon! (Add a few drops of lavender bitters if you have them.)

Make Your Own Lavender Wreath!


Perhaps you've always wanted to attend a wreath making workshops but just haven't gotten around to it yet.  Or maybe you’ve seen these wreaths in specialty gift shops -- those often expensive whispy bursts of purple sunshine that transport you to a softer, simpler existence.  Well they aren’t difficult to make and can be easily and cheaply done in a few hours using lavender or any number of plants/herbs/tree branches from your own yard. If you’re interested, here’s a step by step of how to make your own lavender wreath (or any other kind of wreath).  Maybe even call a few friends over, open a bottle of wine and make some great memories, as we did!

Step 1: Gather your supplies

  1.  A good pair of clippers
  2. A wreath form:  We used wire forms for the class, but I have used small grapevine wreaths successfully as well.  The benefit of the wire forms is their sturdiness -- they can hold a lot of lavender.
  3. Florist’s wire
  4. 7-8 Lavender Bundles: Try to time your harvest so that not too many of the buds have yet opened (maybe 1/3-1/2). If too many of the buds have already opened, the wreath will look a little browner and be more “sheddy” as the flowers die and fall off.  So it's better to cut the lavender before too many buds open so that the wreath retains it color.  (If no lavender is close by, you can gather materials from your yard or garden.  I make wreaths with all kinds of pine, spruce and cypress trees, as well as bay and rosemary.  I've also seen lavender bouquets at Trader Joes.​)   Read More...

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