Lavender is not just for aromatherapy! Culinary leanings

English Lavender, Culinary
English Lavender, Culinary

Let’s face it. It is hard to find a gentleman who is amazed by lavender. A chef-friend and her guy pal came out for dinner a week or two ago. I took him to the lavender, you know, to show him what it looked like, to stick some under his nose and to make me feel good about tending it all through the winter, spring, summer, fall, winter, spring…you get the picture. And I quote the guy pal, here, who said in amazement, “That smells really good. There’s more than one kind? I didn’t know there was more than one kind of lavender!” I gave a short discourse, talk of bees ensued and the amazement was brief but very gratifying, and yes, there are hundreds of types of lavenders.

Academic lavender confusion is so great that mystical musings and new cultivars constantly cloud the academic texts. What I mean to say is that lavender loves to morph on its own and folks love, well, morphing it, so there are always new breeds. One breed is better because it has long spikes, one because it has precious esters, and so on.

Sometimes an ugly ducking, but always a winner in my culinary garden, is English Lavender. It is, officially, the sweetest cooking lavender. I grow several English cultivars, and not unlike wine grapes, each brings its own bouquet to cooking.

We sell it, when we find someone knowledgeable enough to know the difference in our hand grown and the two-year-old stuff you can order in bags, online. I have nothing against the two-year-old European stuff (as a throwaway at weddings). But, seriously, no REAL culinary venture with lavender is as satisfying as including newly dried, just popped off the stem, lusciously purple Angustifolia bursting buds in your scones!

It can surely be said, scouts honor, there is nothing like it. Yes, you can. Yes, you should. Cook with newly harvested English buds. Lavender sugar, peaches, strawberries, jams! Stay tuned. Recipes coming this week.

Our culinary lavender is now for sale.

Find us online at Augusta Locally Grown or email us at whitehillsfarm@gmail.com to purchase new culinary lavender!

Lavender Newsflash!

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English Lavender Making Its Debut
English Lavender Making Its Debut

We are very happy to be recently placed onsite with “Everything Lavender” under US Farms to See, National Listing!! Come out and smell the lavender….

The lavenders currently blooming for us are:

Stoechas types: The aromatherapy “Butterflies”
Dentata types: Elegant single wands, interesting dentate leaves
Angustafolia types: Dainty, brilliantly colored and sweet — the English, culinary “best” varieties
Heterophylla: Strong, waving, single wands — Glamorous

Glowing starts!
Glowing starts!

Using Wild Garlic

lemon lavender 001

SOMEONE who grows cultivated garlic recently challenged me with his sulfite content. Okay, I admit, his garlic IS bigger. HOWEVER, in reliable studies, wild garlic has been shown to have nearly five times the beneficial sulphurous compounds that cultivated garlic habits. Wild garlic takes on the attributes of the environment in which it is raised. Terroir. It is all that the land, climate and weather naturally bring to the art and science of growing things. In Georgia, we have the base elements for perfect onion “terroir”. Just look at those gorgeous Vidalias. People hankering after them by the bag! I’m just saying….

Perhaps the greatest challenge is what to do with so much wild garlic! As the locavores would suggest, when in season, use it.

A great “wild and green” chef shared a secret recipe, suggesting that the key to wild garlic is slicing it whole, like an onion, in thin little slices. For dressing or marinade, place 3-6 sliced wild garlic cloves in 2 T. of cider or White Hills Farm Herb Vinegar and allow to “marry” for 5 minutes. Then, whisk in 3 T. of good olive oil and, Voila! Dress salads, vegetables and marinate meats with a healthful, seasonal punch. Go wild!