Friday, May 25, 2012

Are You Coming To Visit? Please RSVP!!

~You Are Invited~

9th Annual
Lavender Harvest Celebration
on the Farm | June 2 & 3

e of two opportunities to visit the farm!
We look forward to sharing the farm with you again.

(This is an invitation-only event, not one that is offered to the public or on our web site. Since you are on the enews list, YOU ARE INVITED!
This is THE year to visit!)

This is the official invitation please RSVP!!

Join us for our 9th annual
Lavender Harvest Celebration

Saturday, June 2 • 9 am - 5 pm
Sunday, June 3 • 11 am - 4 pm

Experience the lavender farm ~ the first of its kind in Orange County, NC.
Take a farm tour. Learn about this fragrant, soothing herb and how to care
for it in your garden or a container. Visit our kitchen garden and learn how to feed a family fresh vegetables from a small space. Stroll the gardens featuring an edible landscape.
Check out the pollinators, like our honey bees and learn how to bring them back. Get some lavender-y honey, while it lasts.
Learn how easy it is to care for a small flock of hens for
fresh eggs in the Poultry Palace.
With our friends from The Farm Fairy, discover how easy it is to cook with lavender and other fresh herbs and vegetables.
Try something tasty with lavender. Sip Lavender Lemonade.

Watch artists paint waves of lavender and garden landscapes. Create a fresh lavender craft. In our barn, learn about the lavender process and stuff your own sachet and make a grill or outdoor fire bundle to take home. Fresh Lavender or Barn Crafts: $5 each
Find a spot on the farm to spread your quilt or set up your camp chair to enjoy fresh breakfast munchies, lunch or a snack from The Picnic Basket. For a treat, have a cone of Chocolate or Vanilla Lavender ice cream from Orange County's own Maple View Farm.
Beneath our Lavender Garden Shed & Porch, find lots of lavender seedlings. Shop for farm fresh hand made gifts for body, home, and weddings. Lots of lavender-y and farm fresh specialty food items like newly harvested honey and one-of-a-kinds too.
Most of all, come breathe in the lovely lavender and relax! Please bring your own shears for cutting, sunscreen, hat, comfortable clothing, and shoes. Picnic blankets, camp chairs, and stools for your comfort, and umbrellas for shade are welcome. No pets, please and carpooling is encouraged.
Our Lavender Harvest Celebration is a private, by-invitation only event and not open or promoted to the public. Thank you.

Directions: The farm is located in the Schley Community of Orange County near the Schley Grange Hall and ball field. From the intersection of Hwy 70 and Churton Street (or Hwy 86 North in Hillsborough) At the light after the intersection of Hwys 86/70, turn right on to Hwy 57 N and drive 6 miles to the "Welcome to Schley" sign after the entrance to Echo Creek Riding Academy. Turn left on to Schley Road (Landmark: brick Payne's Chapel Church on the hill.) Drive 1.6 miles to Millstone (gravel, private) Road on your left just after the first entrance to Woods Loop.
Our farm is 1/2 mile from Schley Road and the second drive to your left at 4104 Millstone. Look for the rainbow streamers.

Just follow the parking signs or volunteer directions.
Please turn right when leaving to return to Schley Road.
4104 Millstone Road. Hurdle Mills . NC . 27541 for navigation systems.

Sure, use the "Forward to a Friend" option at the bottom of this email to pass your Celebration invitation along if you cannot make it this year.

Please RSVP!

Our goal is to share the farm and provide an experience for you that is new, pleasant, fun, and interesting. We hope to see you in June!
The farm is open just a few days each year.
Send to friends and mark your calendar!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Creamy Lavender Vinaigrette~ A Salad Essential

Along with the earlier than usual warm weather and lovely crisp evenings, our salad consumption as increased dramatically. If we aren't growing it, we are buying it fresh from our local farmers market. Although adequate fruits and vegetables can be purchased at the supermarket (and believe me, we do during the late fall and winter) ONLY the best stuff can be found at your local farmers market...or how about your own backyard?

Along with the excellent dressing recipe below, our salad last week consisted of mixed baby greens, watermelon radish, baby bell peppers, tomatoes and roasted sunflower seeds...just like a party for your taste buds!!

Creamy Lavender Vinaigrette
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (low fat or fat free)
  • 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup olive or grape seed oil
  • 1 tsp lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Herbs de Provence (Make your own blend – 1 Tablespoon of Basil, Rosemary, Thyme and Parsley to 1 teaspoon of Marjoram and Garlic to ½ teaspoon of Tarragon and Lavender.)
  • 1 ½ tsp dried culinary lavender (ground to fine power in coffee mill)
Combine all ingredients in a pint jar and shake well. Tasty over garden fresh or local salad greens or vegetables. Stores well in refrigerator for 2-3 days.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Handmade Lavender Comfort Pillow

Crafting with lavender...there are endless possibilities. Our latest endeavor came out of necessity and not just want. Our microwaveable comfort pillow developed a hole and before I could patch it up, the hole got bigger, everything spilled out, made a mess on the floor and it was eventually abandoned to the trash. Not to worry, it had been WELL USED! I decided it was time for a new one...with lavender of course.

Over the past few months, I have been collecting some old (worn out) wool sweaters for felting. This means the wool shrinks substantially and looses all thread or stitch definition. Therefore, any wool knitted items that have been felted can be used just like won't unravel when cut! In my opinion, felting is a must try for ALL crafters. If you've ever accidentally washed a wool garment in hot water, you've felted. I am including a link with easy instructions on felting from a fellow blogger.

I collected together some of my favorite felted pieces and determined that our comfort pillow needed to be smaller in length and wider at the middle than most...more of a square piece and not so much an eye pillow size.

Once I picked out both a front and back and cut to size, I decided to hand sew this project using some "lavender" yarn I had leftover from a scarf I crocheted this past winter.

I love the way that the felted wool feels and really enjoyed sewing the two pieces together.

Now it was time to fill. I decided to fill with rice instead of dried beans. I also alternated BIG scoops of craft grade lavender buds until our comfort pack was full. Finally, I sewed the "fill hole" on the outside of the comfort pillow. This way, I can easily snip it open and refill when the time other words when the lavender needs an aromatic boost.

This project was easy and the family loves it!! I just finished the project Monday night and already our comfort pillow is on a bedtime rotation...

I definitely see making many more of these cute things for gifts in the near future. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

NEW Lavender Loving Bee's

I LOVE to share pictures of the farm with you, our farm friends! As promised, I wanted to share pictures of the exciting receipt of our NEW hive of lavender loving bees. This is the second time we have picked up a package of bee's from the post office. Good thing our post office is rural and obviously very accustomed to receiving this type of package.

The top of the package had a sealed opening which is used to hold a syrup can to feed the bees before they are placed in their new hive. This is also the opening in which the bees can be shaken into the hive. The queen is also in this opening in a small cage of her own.  

The bees were fully contained in the open air package. Bees are typically sold by the pound and a package usually contains either two or three pounds of bees. There are approximately 3,500 bees in a pound. Our shipment contained two pounds, therefore we received approximately 7,000 bees total!

Unfortunately, all the bees within a typical package will be dead within about six weeks so it was very important that we got the hive started so that the queen could start laying eggs and the hive could start raising new bees as soon as possible. Because each and every day counted in getting bees started in our hive, we did not delay once the bees arrived. Our queen was marked so that we could easily identify her later when we checked on the progress of the hive. Sadly, it is normal for a number of bees to die each day and the longer the package is in transit, the more dead bees you will have in the bottom of your cage. 

To install the new bees, we pried open the wood cover to remove the syrup can from the top of the cage and the much smaller queen cage. We then attached the queen cage to one frame using a large rubber band and then replaced the frame into the hive. Then we dumped the rest of the bees into the hive. Finally, we reassembled the boxes including the hive feeder and stood back to admire our new friends.

Several days later, we carefully checked the hive and the queen cage to make sure she had been released by the other bees. After one week, we opened your hive and checked on the progress of our new bees. We happily found that they were building new comb and we saw many new eggs in the cells. This was our indication that everything is fine!

Make sure to check out our three hives at the Lavender Harvest Celebration on June 2nd and 3rd!  

Monday, May 7, 2012

sunshine lavender farm Lavender Margarita

This past weekend, we spent time on the screened in porch enjoying the breeze and the lovely sound of nesting birds. It was a moment that was made even more perfect with a yummy batch of sunshine lavender farm lavender margarita's. I think it's a must try for our lavender friends!

Notes: Whirl in batches, pouring each batch into a pitcher. Stir the coconut milk before measuring it. You can use plain sugar or coarse salt to garnish glass rims. (Don’t have all of the ingredients handy and want easy Lavender Margaritas? With a can of frozen margarita mix, follow the recipe on the can and add lavender!)

Makes: About 7 ½ cups or 10 servings

1 cup tequila (To taste, which could mean not at all.)
½ cup blue curacao or other orange-flavored liqueur
1 cup canned coconut milk
1/3 cup lime juice
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries
2 cups fresh or frozen unsweetened blueberries
4 cups ice cubes
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh or dried culinary lavender blossoms*
Lime wedge
Lavender sprigs to make it pretty

In blender, combine tequila, curacao, coconut milk, and lime juice. Cover and turn to high speed, then gradually add raspberries, blueberries, and ice. Whirl until margarita mixture is smooth and slushy.

Put sugar and lavender blossoms in a small bowl. Rub with your fingers or mash with a spoon to release some of the lavender flavor. Rub glass rims with lime wedge to moisten. Dip rims in lavender sugar (or coarse salt), coating evenly.

Pour margaritas into sugar (or salt) -rimmed glasses. Garnish with lavender sprigs.

*If you REALLY like the lavender flavor, take a teaspoon (or more, or less, to taste) of culinary lavender florets and place in a tea ball to infuse the coconut milk – overnight or a few hours before preparing.

Prep Time: 12 minutes
(picture via-

Saturday, May 5, 2012

And the winner is...

Jenndot!!! Congratulations my dear! Please email your home address to my assistant Jennifer Terry at and she will mail your gift out Monday AM...please enjoy your bath salts!! And everyone else, please stay tuned in for another giveaway soon.