Harvesting Lavender at Sunrise


I have a large lavender bush by my back door.  This time of year it’s rife with flowers, riches criminally wasted for more than a decade.  Sometimes I’ll tie up bouquets for insomniac friends or allow others to harvest for crafts, but more often the blooms are left untouched till the gardener prunes in the fall.

I’m amending my 2013 edible yard plan to make full use of the lavender this year:

  1. Bring bundles of lavender for hostess gifts, church, dentist, etc.
  2. Make lavender lemonade.  I discovered lavender lemonade in Ojai last month.  I’ll play with a recipe for a refreshing summertime drink with not too much sweetener.  (My experimenting will be based on the lavender lemonade recipe at http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2012/09/lavender-lemonade.html)
  3. Dry lavender blossoms for potpourri.  Either find inexpensive netting or use old nylon stockings.  If making gifts, I’ll NOT use the stocking version.  Found an interesting recipe at http://blog.oregonlive.com/homesandgardens/2009/07/lavender_and_potpourri.html
  4. Make a simple salad dressing by blending a teaspoon of dried lavender blossoms, six tablespoons of Temecula olive oil and two tablespoons of Taste It Bergamot Orange/Lime White Balsamic.
  5. Grind dried lavender blossoms with peppercorns in a peppermill
  6. Tie fresh lavender blossoms in a cloth for the clothes dryer
  7. Make lavender tea either in the nightly cup of chamomile or steep a teaspoon of dried lavender alone

I timeshare the plunder, so lavender harvesting time is limited to early morning hours.  An hour after dawn, bees are busy in the lavender till nightfall.  Their industry inspires–may my treasures in 2013 be as sweet.

About mlknowlden

In 2011, I left engineering to write full-time. Between the years 1992 and 2011, I’ve published 14 stories with Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine that have featured the hypochondriac detective Micky Cardex and two stories that did not. The 1998 story “No, Thank You, John” was nominated for a Shamus award. Many of these stories have been included in anthologies and translated in multiple languages. With Neal Shusterman, I’ve also published a science fiction story for the More Amazing Stories anthology (Tor) published in 1998 and co-authored with Neal Shusterman an X-Files Young Adult novel (DARK MATTER) for HarperCollins in 1999 under the name Easton Royce. For Simon & Schuster in July 2012, we published an e-novella UNSTRUNG in Neal's UNWIND world. I have graduate degrees in English and Electrical Engineering.
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5 Responses to Harvesting Lavender at Sunrise

  1. Rebecca Ifland says:

    Hi Michelle!
    Maybe someday my lavender bushes will be big like yours. They like the Northwest, though if I had to harvest before dawn, that would be near 4am in June.
    If you like lavender lemonade, you might like Mint Sun Tea, from a sprig of fresh mint in a large jar of Water left a day in the sun. It wants no sweetening, and it is what I have always served at my barn dances. And if it should spill, it is not sticky as it has no sugar.

    • mlknowlden says:

      I love mint tea so I’d surely enjoy iced mint tea–sounds very refreshing. The mint I planted passed too quickly; I’ll plant some more and give the sun tea a try. Thanks!

  2. dayya says:

    I’ve bookmarked both those sites; I’ve got a jar of dried lavender to make use of, and I’m definitely making lavender lemonade! Love the post; great ideas! d:)

  3. Rebecca Lang says:

    Lots of interesting ideas. Never knew lavender was so versatile. Several of these suggestions call for dried lavender. Is lavender easy to dry? Do you just stick it in the sun for a couple days? Just curious.

    • mlknowlden says:

      I haven’t studied drying techniques, but I enjoyed seeing swaths of lavender drying in the rafters of English cottages. Personally I hang ’em by the fireplace where they look pretty and smell lovely as they dry. Hey–I think you inspired me to do some research.

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