Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY Lavender Salt Scrub

How easy is it to make a lavender salt scrub?? VERY easy!! With only a few ingredients (that you may already have in your home) and a few extra minutes, you can make your own jar of scrub plus a few extra for gifts. You need only four ingredients to make these moisturizing exfoliates. The base can be made from Epsom salts. Makes about 2 1/3 cups.
2 cups Epsom salts
1 cup carrier oil
8 drops essential oil(s)
Dried lavender buds
Special equipment: plastic pipette, canning jars
  1. Stir together Epsom salts and carrier oil (we chose a Burt's Bees baby oil but any body oil on hand will do) in a bowl, mixing well.
  2. Using pipette, add the essential oil, 1 drop at a time.
  3. Add the dried lavender buds.
  4. Spoon into canning jars.
  5. Add a label and pretty ribbon.

Imagine how surprised your friends will be to receive such a lovely lavender gift...
And they will think it took you hours to create!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lavender Avocado Dip

At the farm, we LOVE dips...especially in the summertime! And what could be any better then a dip using avocados AND lavender??

2 ripe avocados
lemon juice to taste
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 T culinary lavender, finely ground
1/2 cup plain yogurt or low-fat sour cream
1/2 cup of your favorite salsa

Mash avocados with lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add the lavender, yogurt or sour cream, and salsa; mix well. Serve with tortilla chips.

Happy Summer!!

(recipe via and picture via

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pinterest LOVES Lavender

Who hasn't heard of Pinterest?? If you are one of those few people, let me fill you in with the following excerpt from the Pinterest website- "Pinterest is a virtual pinboard. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes."

Sounds like a boring waste of time, huh? Well, it may be a small time consumer (I refuse to EVER say "waste of time" in regards to Pinterest) but it is NEVER boring! I love friends love family loves acquaintances love it...I don't care who you are, give me a few minutes and Ill be more then happy to fill you in on the gloriousness that is Pinterest!

If you are already a fan, guess what?? Sunshine Lavender Farm has a pinterest account and we add to it frequently! Looking for a good lavender recipe, spa idea, growing tip or just food for your mind, check us out! Make sure to add us to your Pinterest following list for immediate updates.

If you don't have an Pinterest account yet but would like one, email Jennifer and she'll make sure to email you an invite courtesy of Sunshine Lavender Farm!

For a little sneak peak into one of our Pinterest boards titled "Lavender Spa", please follow the lovely links below-

We have also added a "Follow me on Pinterest" link to the right of our blog that will take to directly to the Sunshine Lavender Farm Pinterest boards. We also plan to post frequently via this blog some of our favorite lavender loven pins...won't you join us?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Grilled Salmon with Lavender and Fresh Basil Marinade

Summer is for definitely the time for outside grilling. And, in our opinions, just another excuse for experimenting with lavender in everyday cooking!


  1. Four fresh salmon steaks or fillets
  2. For the marinade:
  3. -1 teaspoon dried lavender florets 
    -5 large fresh basil leaves, chopped 
    -2 Tablespoons soy sauce 
    -2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
    -1/3 cup olive oil
Combine all the ingredients for the marinade and place by the grill ready to use to baste the salmon while cooking. Remember that salmon cooks fast...approximately 3-5 minutes per ½ inch of thickness. Place salmon on a hot, lightly oiled grill, skin side down. Baste frequently. When salmon is done, pour remaining marinade over fish. Nice served over wild rice. Garnish with fresh lavender.
(Recipe from & picture courtesy of

Monday, July 9, 2012

Making a Lavender Wreath

As promised, this post includes the instructions on making a fresh 6" lavender wreath. These instructions were given by Annie Baggett at the Lovely Lavender Day in Pharsalia 2012.

  1. Large bundle of fresh lavender
  2. 6" wire wreath
  3. 26 gauge floral craft wire
  4. Floral shears
  5. Ribbon for finished accent
First, harvest a large bunch of fresh lavender. We harvested Hidcote Giant due to the fact that once it dries, the lavender buds DO NOT fall off easily from the stem, unlike Provence.  Also, Annie recommended harvesting early in the morning for the maximum oil content and therefore fragrance. No need to place the freshly harvested lavender in water.

Unwrap the large bundle on a flat working table and begin making several individual mini bundles. Each mini bundle consists of ~25 individual stems of lavender that are arranged neatly by size and are wrapped tightly with wire at the bottom of the flower heads. Once wrapped, trim the stems very short, leaving about 2-3 inches of bare stem. We discovered in class that it was easier to make several mini bundles at a time.

Once you have collected several mini bundles, it's time to begin arranging your wreath. Lay your wreath base flat and begin attaching your first wrapped mini bundle to the base securely by wrapping it tightly with the floral wire around the wreath base. Next lay your second wrapped mini bundle (facing the same direction as the first bundle) overlapping the bear stem remaining from your first wrapped bundle. Make sure that only flower heads are showing...NO bare stem. Begin attaching your second wrapped mini bundle to the base securely by wrapping it tightly with the floral wire around the wreath base.

Continue this process of making several mini bundles and then attaching those bundles tightly to the wreath base until the entire wreath is covered. If desired, attach a ribbon bow to your wreath while fresh as it is easier to manipulate the fresh lavender around the bow. Lay the finished wreath flat to dry. If the wreath is hanging while it dries, the lavender may sag as it dries. You may add some lavender essential oil to the wreath as needed for fragrance. Your newly constructed wreath will last for years!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pharsalia Lovely Lavender Day 2012 Review

What a beautifully HOT day in Nelson County, VA at the Pharsalia Historic Home. Temperatures officially reached 98 degrees even though we were so close to the foot of a mountain. Pharsalia is quite lovely...inside and out. The Pharsalia website contains many excellent pictures and other information including the following:

"The history at Pharsalia is truly fascinating. Hospitality has been a Pharsalia hallmark for nearly two centuries...
Built in 1814 at the foot of dePriest Mountain in Nelson County, Virginia, by William Massie, Pharsalia commands stunning views and is surrounded by original outbuildings and lovely gardens. Pharsalia's grace and elegance remind all who visit here of a time when there was more time... time to connect with the land, time to connect with family and friends, even time perhaps to reconnect with oneself.
Pharsalia is rich in history with a picturesque setting like no other. Our desire is to continue to preserve the past of our great-great-grandfather, and to share its uniqueness by opening our doors to you."

SO much to look forward to...the road trip from the farm to Pharsalia was quick and quite easy. Once we unloaded our products and the supplies needed for the next day, we settled in to visit with Foxie, the enchanting women who owns and operates Pharsalia. The buildings and land have been in her family for generations.

The next morning, Annie cut fresh lavender at her parents farm for our afternoon of crafting. Their farm is located approximately 10 minutes from Pharsalia. This is a sweet picture of Annie's mothers vegetable garden which is located to the right side of their lovely log cabin.

First order of business once at Pharsalia was to set-up our products table. Foxie had 15 lovely farm tables built for wedding buffets, etc. and we were fortunate to have one right outside the old smokehouse (which is now a nice bar with restrooms). The products and plant display was lovely and fit in very well with the overall old farm look and feel.

This was the last bit of work for the day and it was only 10:00 AM! Now the fun could begin as the entire class gathered under a large shade tree to the left of the main house. Here, Foxie and her staff had placed comfortable chairs so that everyone could sit and listen to a very informative discourse on lavender and it's overall care by Annie. For example, did you know that the #1 killer of lavender plants is root rot due to over watering? And, that a lavender plant matures and peaks at 3 years old? Or finally, that there are over 400 varieties of lavender but only ~15 varieties that grow well in the south? Many in attendance asked great questions and everyone feverishly took notes as Annie spoke.

At one point, Annie had us all move to the teaching garden located just below the beautiful swimming pool. Foxie and her team had kindly arranged tents and seating here for us as well...did I mention how VERY hot it was? It was here that Annie showed the entire class how to effectively harvest lavender and how to correctly prune a lavender bush (which we learned is best done end of October or if forgotten then, in middle of February).

Now came my favorite part of the day...LUNCH! We escaped the worst heat of the day by joining Foxie and her team for lunch in the main house. In this beautifully restored home, we were treated to delicious asparagus quiche, chilled cucumber soup, fresh rolls with creamy lavender butter and a mixed salad with a raspberry and lavender vinaigrette... 

And, to top it off, an excellent array of lavender inspired deserts such as lavender shortbread, chocolate brownies with chocolate lavender glaze, cheesecake with a blueberry and lavender drizzle and our favorite, the chocolate lavender ice cream! We washed it all done with sweet tea and Annie's famous lavender lemonade...

Once our bellies were nice and full, we once again ventured outside beneath the large shade trees and leisurely watched Annie demonstrate the art of making a lavender wand and basket.

Then, the bulk of students moved to the next crafting station and eagerly awaited Annie to teach us how to make a lavender wreath (check back later this week for a blog post with easy step by step instructions). We crafted and enjoyed our second helping of chocolate lavender ice cream (shh don't tell anyone).


Although it may not be a traditional work of art, I am quite satisfied with my little wreath...such a nice memento from a truly memory filled journey to lavender-topia!

If you weren't able to make it this year, please consider joining us in the summer of 2013? We would LOVE to spend time with you, enjoying lavender together! Please take a moment to check out the Pharsalia facebook page for another nice picture of Annie teaching the morning class.