I am in a purple haze right now. My house, my car and my clothes all smell of lavender - and I love it!
It's mid-July, and we're at the peak of lavender season. Farms throughout the Pacific Northwest are in full bloom. I had the pleasure of visiting the U-Pick Woodinville Lavender farm last weekend for the annual Lavender Festival and it was all things lavender, from soaps to oils to food and drinks. As they do all year around, visitors have the option of picking their own lavender from the farm's lush landscape.
But before you head out to one of our area farms to pick your own bundles of lavender, there are some things you should know:
1. Pick The Small Bundle Option
Unless you're planning to use the lavender for crafts at home, purchase the small ties for your "u-pick" experience. While fun, picking lavender is hard work and it will take you a while to cut the amount it takes to fill the small bundle. It took me three hours to cut enough for a small and a large lavender bundle.
2. Beware of Bees
Let's face it, bees have a job to do. They're busy right now collecting pollen and nectar and they love getting it from lavender. With that said, they're busy doing their jobs and won't bother you unless you bother them. So tread lightly through the lavender fields.
3. Try It ALL
Most lavender farms either sell merchandise or have vendors on hand selling goods. If you happen to spot food or other goodies infused with lavender try them! I had the pleasure of trying lavender lemonade and a lavender and chocolate ice cream bar. Yum!
4. Bring A Camera
The lavender fields are a beautiful sight to see, especially during sun set. Bring a high quality camera with you - the backdrop won't disappoint.
5. Pick (At The Right Time)
These days just about any time of day is hot, but there are certain times of the day you DO NOT want to stand in a field cutting lavender. I'll tell you from experience, on a clear sunny day noon to 4 p.m. is brutal. If you must visit during those hours bring a sunhat, water and plenty of sunscreen.
Most of all, have fun. All of the farms in our area offer classes and tips on how to cook with lavender or make an array of sweet smelling sachets and other treats! Lavender also has a whole host of medicinal attributes, it's known for easing insomina and some say depression! Enjoy!