Tuesday, July 04, 2006


With long summer days lavender is peaking in bloom. We've had some questions from folks about when and how to harvest their plants.

For dried bundles, harvest when about 25% of the buds on a stem have opened -- that's the best balance between color and retention of the buds once dried. You can take scissors and cut each stem, as we've been doing in this year of drought-diminished harvest, and for a clean stem go ahead and remove whatever leaves you happened to catch. Or, as we do in more bountiful years, take a sickle, grab a handful of stems where they meet the mass of the plant, and rip the whole handful, probably catching quite a few leaves in the process. (But, we hope, not catching any appendages. Denise makes a habit of swinging the sickle away from her body; I usually cut towards my body, but then again I'm quite the wild man.)

Rubber band the bundles, which will be big enough to get your thumb and index finger around, and hang them upside down in a dark place for a week or so to dry.