Friday, April 25, 2008

The long awaited sign of spring

Each year in April while weeding I begin a quiet search for the very first bud. Yesterday while working in the Munstead section of the field, I spotted the first tiny spikes of the season. It felt so good to see those little guys that I called Chris over just to show them off. It may seem a bit strange, because after all this is what lavender does every year, but I always feel a bit of panic until it happens. Every farmer and gardener probably has the same anticipation waiting on seeds to germinate or plants to flower and set fruit.

Munstead, the cultivar we use in our culinary products, blooms in May. Generally it blooms in May I should say, because last year it was very late in the season before we saw spikes - all due to the wicked April freeze of 2007. We're selling Munstead again this year during plant season. If you're interested in cooking with lavender I highly recommend this plant over the more fragrant, long-stemmed variety. Its flavor is mild and can be used sweet or savory. Our Fat Spike and Provence lavenders are beautiful and fragrant but add a slight soapy taste when used for cooking. Not what cooks usually intend - unless they've got someone who needs their mouth washed out.

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