Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lavender Holiday Celebration Recap (in pictures)

Thank you to our loyal "Farm Friends" for joining us on December 14th for our annual Holiday Celebration!! It was so nice to spend time with you in our cozy farm house while also sharing all of our lavender-ific items.

One of our sweet friends, Katie Brown, came with camera in tow and captured so many lovely lavender moments...we would like to share a few of those moments with you in this post.

Thank you again Katie for allowing us to enjoy and then share your wonderful pictures! 

Until next June 2014...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

There Is Still Time!!

The BIG day is only one week from today...

Were you able to visit our farm this past weekend during the Holiday Celebration and "load up" on lavender presents for your friends and family? If not, our Etsy store (http://www.etsy.com/shop/sunshinelavenderfarm?ref=search_shop_redirect) is up and running 24 hours a day. AND, our lavender elf is ready and waiting to ship your orders ASAP!!

Let us help you make someone's day filled with lavender love!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It was a Balmy Kind of Weekend...

And, I'm not definitely not referring to our crazy NC weather!

This time of year is always a flurry of activity in the farm house. Yes, there is Thanksgiving food, Christmas decorating, present buying and cozy family time. But right now, we are focused on making our lovely products for our much anticipated Holiday Open House on December 14th!

It is definitely a true labor of love as ALL of the things we offer to our lovely customers are created from our own personal recipes by hand! There is NO sunshine lavender farm warehouse! I (or a member of my small team) personally touch each and every item. This is why you will probably never see us offer a Black Friday special or Cyber Monday sale. 

This weekend, after our family Thanksgiving fun, I spent my time working away on MANY laverder-ific items...some part of our regular product offerings and some specialty items only offered this time of year.

Two customer favorites that I focused on were the Lavender Lip Balm...

 ...and the Lavender Lotion Balm.

Now it's time to hand label each and every balm!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Lavender Essential Oil

Lately we have received multiple lovely reviews via Etsy about one of our most popular products. We wanted to share a few with you via the blog...
Lavender Essential Oil Reviewed on October 17, 2013- Smells even better and sweeter than our old bottle of essential Lavender oil (L'Occitane). The cherry on top was that it was shipped amazingly fast and loved the packaging and informational inserts. 

Lavender Essential Oil Reviewed by on October 11, 2013- Lovely Lavender Oil with Fast Shipping from Outstanding Etsy Seller ~ Thank You! 

We have just restocked the lavender essential oil in our Etsy shop- Lavender Essential Oil. If you haven't tried it, I promise you will LOVE it!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Lavender Tid-Bit #6

Have you ever considered where in our big, beautiful world that lavender originated? Although now seen growing luxuriously in the French and English county sides, lavender did not originate in these regions. Instead lavender started in the hills of the Mediterranean. It is thought to have been spread throughout Europe by the Romans. And anyone who has ever grown lavender can attest to why. Lavender can be described in one word- WONDERFUL!

What about the word lavender? That's an easy question to answer...Lavender was given its name by the Romans. The word is derived from the Latin word lavare, which literally means "to wash." This is quite appropriate as lavender was a key ingredient in the infamous Roman baths. 

There are so many intereting and useful things to learn about lavender...

Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's a Lavender Kind of Holiday

Planning for the " Lavender Holiday Celebration" is in FULL swing on the farm...only 36 more days to go!

If you are interested in visiting us on the farm this year, please mark your calendars for December 14th between the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Plan on coming early as we are offering some exciting new limited edition items PLUS fan favorites from previous years!  

Holiday Celebration on the Farm
December 14th, 2013
9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

We have been taking our holiday inspiration from many sources this year...especially Pinterest! Are you surprised? It is one of our favorite online tools! Below are a few gorgeous yet easy Lavender Holiday ideas to inspire you as well...

Lavender filled ornaments

Lavender colored Ornaments

Tins filled with lavender cookies

Do you feel the warm fire and smell the lavender hot chocolate in the air?

We promise to keep planning if you promise to come visit...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lavender Dinner at the Farm

It's hard to believe that it's been two months since we hosted two wonderful couples who bid on (and won) a lovely lavender dinner at the farm. The weather was still warm and humid out but that definitely did not dampen our enthusiasm to cook and serve to our guests. My best friend Mary Jo flew in to assist me with the entire event...I am so grateful as I couldn't have done it without her!

Our guests Chuck and Jo garden as a hobby while Ben and Judy are Master Gardeners. So, we decided to begin our evening with a glass (or two) of wine and an early evening stroll through our gardens. We chatted about the history of our farm and shared, in words, our mutual love of lavender!

We then moved our guests to the cozy front porch. Here, Mary Jo and I offered them fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olives served skewered on fresh lavender stems. So light and yet so delicious! 

Next we moved our guests into the dining room of our farm house. The table was decorated with antique vases filled with fresh lavender....which is not only a treat to the nose but a feast for the eyes. . Our lovely couples began their dinner with a garden salad (picked directly out of our own garden) and a sunshine lavender farm Herbs de Provence dressing. For the main course, we served surf and turf- fresh salmon and filet mignon. This was accompanied with red potatoes roasted with Rosemary and olive oil and roasted green beans with fresh garlic.

Desert consisted of A trio of chocolate mouse cups with blackberries, blueberries (freshly picked that morning) and raspberries with Maple View Farms whipping cream on the side. And, of course Fresh lavender as a garnish. 

The dinner that Mary Jo and I prepared from start to finish was simple, yet elegant. And, everything we offered was either locally grown/produced or directly out of our garden. And, as a final "thank you" from the farm, both couples left with large preserved lavender bouquets.

Our visitors were the most gracious of guests, as you can see by the wonderful thank you letter we received below. 

We look forward to hosting other lovely-lavender food events on the farm again in the future...well, as long as Mary-Jo agrees to fly in again and help me!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Stuffed Red Pepper Soup with Lavender

The cooler weather this past week has brought out my family's desire for soup, soup and MORE soup. Off to check my favorite lavender cookbook ('The Lavender Gourmet- Culinary Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day' by Jennifer Vasich) to find a lovely dish.

This soup was easy and delicious! Especially when enjoyed with a crunchy french banquette ..oh la la!!

Stuffed Red Pepper Soup with Lavender

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) tomato sauce
  • 2/3 cup uncooked brown rice
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tsp sunshine lavender farm Herbs de Provence

In a large soup pot, brown the ground beef over medium heat. Drain the fat from the beef with a strainer and return the meat to the pot. Add the water and bouillon and then stir over medium heat for a few minutes until the bouillon is completely dissolved. 
Add the remaining ingredients and stir until well incorporated. Bring the soup to a boil, stir and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer for 35 minutes or until the rice is tender. Makes approximately 6 to 8 servings.


(recipe adapted from page 136 of 'The Lavender Gourmet- Culinary Recipes for Entertaining and Every Day' by Jennifer Vasich)

Friday, October 18, 2013

New Delicious Item in the Works...

Although we are on a quick holiday this weekend, I am still working on a few new ideas and items for the Holiday Open House on December 14th.

One item in particular...

As the weather is starting to turn cooler and the leaves are changing colors, all we crave is a hot cup of love to warm our hands. A cup of love and lavender maybe? I just sampled some this morning with my smoked salmon bagel and all the trimmings.

Are you curious? Well, I can only say that it's NOT coffee but another favorite hot beverage...blended with our own culinary grade lavender. It is quite delicious and I'm excited to pack it up in cute little tins for the year end Celebration!
Just one more teasing picture to end this delicious post...

Friday, October 11, 2013

Time for Fall Weddings!

Over the past month we have had several brides call or email the farm to discuss using lavender in their fall weddings. At this time we don't have any fresh lavender to offer them. But, we have the next BEST thing...this years harvest of the most gorgeous lavender I think we have ever produced! I mean BEAUTIFUL!!

One of our brides, "Cory" sent us this stunning photo of her bridal portrait. If you look closely, you can see her lovely bouquet of dried lavender and babies breath.

It's a very nice combination of dried flowers. We are also partial to different colors of dried lavender...very simply tied with a bit of raffia. 

Dried Lavender Bouquet
Or this bouquet incorporating both dried lavender and wheat. I think you will agree that it is breath taking!
Lavender and Wheat Bouquet
If you or someone you love is getting married soon and longs to have lavender in the wedding, check out our dried lavender in our ETSY store. And, we have pinned TONS of ideas on our Pinterest Board- Lavender Weddings on how to incorporate that lavender into your big day. Fall is such a wonderful time for a wedding!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Summer with Too Much Rain- UPDATE

Dale and I were in the field yesterday working and we were actually very encouraged! Some of the older plants did not fare well, and perhaps they were on their way out anyway -- and the very wet, cool summer gave them that nudge on out!!! 

We are glad that the summer rains stopped when they did. Happily, the one and two year old plants are still growing strong. The Hidcote and Royal Velvet is doing great and some of those plants are actually in bloom right now!

Our hearts are full of lavender dreams for our Harvest Celebration next June 2014!!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Summer with Too Much Rain...

If you live in North Carolina like we do, then you know what an usual summer we have had this year. We are typically faced with drought like conditions and loads of heat & humidity. This year, it has been cooler and wet. I mean VERY, VERY wet.

We, as farmers in North Carolina, know how to deal with a hot summer and fortunately, an established lavender plant really likes a NC summer too. But, this year has been a challenge. 

I've mentioned to several customers that I truly wish we could just pick the entire field of lavender up and let it drain out...thoroughly. But then reality sets back in and I know we have to deal with the situation. And that situation is that plant loss is a fact of life...even plants that we have had and loved for several years. Fortunately, we only lost a few plants and obviously, it will not affect our product offerings, etc. for next year. But, it is definitely more then the usual yearly attrition due to plant age. It is more then we are use to! 

But, what can we do? Well, if you have "lavender survivors", keep the plants well weeded. When any plant has to compete with weeds, it tends to take a toll on the overall health of the plant. It is also fine to could go ahead and trim the dead wood and clean away the spent, gray foliage. Then amend with lime, bone meal, compost (our success planting mix). 

If you have lost one (or more) of your lavender plants this year, the best we can suggest is to dust yourself off and know that it's just part of a gardeners life! We have decided to look at our plant loss situation as an opportunity to redesign the field some. We will fill in with some of our old reliable favorites but we will also try out a few different varieties as well, like the pretty pink Melissa variety.

Fortunately for our beloved customers, we have several varieties of plants READY to ship via our Etsy shop (including the Melissa variety)...just in time for fall planting! 
Check our what we have to offer-