We had the pleasure last summer of a visit from The Great Canadian Adventure Tour. We were not only thrilled to host them but we really had a blast showing them around the farm and being a part of the filming. Thanks guys for making us a stop!
Lavender is perhaps nature’s most alluring herb. It has been said to be the herb of love. The Queen of Egypt, Cleopatra, certainly knew this! It’s said that she used it to capture the heart of not only Julius Ceasar but Mark Antony as well. Egyptians used lavender not only as a perfume added to their waters and baths but also for embalming their dead. They knew that essential oils beautify the inside of you body as well as the outside.
We introduced the Tour to the many uses of lavender - from culinary to aromatherapy.
It looks like we got 2 thumbs up as a place to visit. As they put it “its a uniquely tranquil destination experience”, but take a look for yourself!
Come to Serenity Lavender wearing your finest hats and gloves on Saturday, June 23rd from 1-3pm to Serenity Lavender’s Victorian High Tea. Enjoy a delectable array of finger sandwiches, scones, deserts and or course our teas amidst the sereneness of teh lavender blooms. Tickets are $25.00 per person. Seating is limited so call today to reserve your tickets. 519 980-4504 Visa and Mastercard accepted
Goat Cheese and Roasted Red Pepper Pinwheel
Ham and Pickle
Lavender Onion Tartlet
Home Baked English Scones
Served with clotted crème, lavender jelly and raspberry lavender jam
Selection of Petit Fours
Choice of Serenity Lavender Teas
Lavender, Lavender Earl Grey, Lavender Green Tea, Provence Rooibos
Victorian High Tea at Serenity Lavender
This year with the unseasonably warm weather in March many people have been out and about in their gardens. Typically I don’t begin to spring prune my lavender plants until all signs of frost have past and the full moon calendar is a good indicator. The next full moon is scheduled for April 6th, which is not that far away with another on May 6th. My plants are greening up already and with temperatures expected to rise by the end of the week to seasonable temperatures again I’m thinking that pruning will start after the next full moon.
At Serenity we prune in the fall and just lightly touch up the plants in the spring. But if you have not done fall pruning I recommend a good trim to keep your plants healthy and productive. Both the top and sides of the plant need to be pruned to generate new growth and prevent legginess or splitting of the branches. Some varieties have a sprawling habitat and a nice thick bush for a lavender plant is the optimal goal.
As a general rule, the lavender plant should be pruned back by one third of the new growth. Be sure to trim only the soft green branches and not cut into the wood of the plant. Trimming promotes the branching of stems for a full thick plant.
Timing is everything with spring pruning – after the risk of frost to prevent damage to the plants but before the plant gears up into bud production to allow for a full flowering show in July and all through the summer.
6 oz /175g bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 oz/ 125 g milk chocolate, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup / 175 ml whipping cream
2 teaspoons culinary lavender
Place chocolate in fondue pot. Heat cream add lavender and steep 20 minutes. Return to stove and heat until boiling. Quickly strain lavender from the creamand pour over chocolate. Whisk until melted. Set over warmer.
Serve with seasonal fresh fruit.
We had to share this with wedding season around the corner. Don’t forget that Serenity Lavender has lots of purple bonbonniere ideas for brides at reasonable prices.
by Cara Davis
Economic woes continue to play a part in today’s weddings. Couples are opting for smaller weddings and choosing to spend their money more wisely. According to a recent study from TheWeddingReport.com, brides and grooms are paying for more of the wedding bill themselves (to the tune of $10,000 – $20,000 US), and they’re having more fun with it.
The report concluded that more couples are moving away from formal and traditional weddings to fun, romantic, simple, casual and unique weddings with a touch of formality and tradition.
Here are some more trends forecasted for 2012:
1. It’s a Small World
Couples are keeping a tight rein on guest numbers (under 150), as the overall cost of the wedding is directly affected by how many heads are in attendance.
2. Autumn Leads
While June is the reigning month for marriages, September is a close second and other months, including August and October are on the rise.
3. Rustic and Vintage Themes
Rustic themes and vintage touches continue to trend, including weddings held in barns and receptions at local farmer’s markets.
4. DIY Reigns
Brides are discovering they can create many of their wedding favours and décor – flowers, invitations and even the cake.
5. Tech Love
Today’s brides (96 per cent of them according to www.weddingwire.com) are planning, shopping and registering online and even incorporating technology into the wedding day itself. Online blogs are providing the inspiration brides are looking for to piece together their day.
6. Sweet Endings
Dessert buffets continue to take a bite out of receptions, with non-traditional choices like square mini-cakes and cupcake tiers or pies, macaroons, Whoopie Pies, cake pops, colour-coordinated candy and even ice cream sundae stations or a cookies and milk bar. The dessert choices reflect the whimsical, fun nature of today’s weddings.
7. Colour Me Vibrant
Some of the biggest colors this year are purples and green as well as jewel tones, according to TheWeddingReport.com.
8. Casually Groomed
Much to the relief of grooms everywhere, tuxedo rentals are out and suits and casual wear are in. TheWeddingReport.com states demand for tuxedo rental is down 11 per cent over 2010 numbers.
9. Candid Cameras
Formal photos are out and candid shots are in that fit with the look and feel of the wedding day. Demand for photo booths continues to rise as a fun way to capture memories.
10. Non-traditional Gifts
Non-traditional gift registries like CardAvenue.com are popping up, allowing couples to register for gift cards according to their tastes and needs, as research shows that couples are waiting longer to get married (brides are 27 on average, grooms 29).
11. Close To Home
TheWeddingReport.com predicts destination weddings will decline or remain flat in 2012 as couples are sticking close to home for the wedding day. They’re also choosing more outdoor and/or all-inclusive locations to simplify their weddings and save money.
12. Staying Put
Not only are couples staying close to home, they’re opting to host the ceremony and reception in the same location – again, to save money and simplify.
Cara Davis is the author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot and a blogger for CheapWaysTo.com.
These lavender spiced baked apples are the perfect ending to any meal.
Yield: 6 servings
6 medium baking apples (about 2 pounds),
such as Gala or MacIntosh
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon water
1 teaspoon lavender
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Core apples; peel a strip from the top of each. If necessary cut thin
slice from bottom of each apple so apple will stand upright. Place
apples upright in greased 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
In medium-size bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and
lavender pour into and around apples.
Set dish in a 13 x 9-inch pan. Set on oven rack. Carefully pour boiling
water into pan to 1-inch depth. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until apples
are tender, occasionally spooning sweetened condensed milk mixture in
bottom of dish over apples.
TIP If you don’t have sweetened condensed milk substitute a 1/4 cup of Lavender sugar or Lavender Vanilla Bean sugar in your regular baked apple recipe!
Last minute preparations for Super Bowl Sunday and of course I had to include lavender in something. So here’s my a quick creation:
2 ripe firm avocados mashed
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp Serenity culinary lavender crushed with a mortar and pestle
1 small Leamington greenhouse tomato chopped
1/8 cup black bean and corn salsa
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 small onion
pinch of ground pepper
dash of hot sauce ( I used our homemade habenaro paste made from our garden grown peppers but use whatever you like)
Mix together and serve with nachos.
Chewy, chocolately with just the right amount of lavender. My family just loves these. When I make a batch they’re gone before the next day. Truly yummyliscious!
1 cup of sugar
1/2 cup of butter
1/2 cup of flour
1/3 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried culinary lavender
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and mix until smooth. In a separate bowl sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder. Add salt and lavender. Blend dry ingredients into the egg mixture. Mix in chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour into a greased 8×8 inch pan. Bake 25-30 minutes at 350 degrees or until a toothpick comes out clean. Top with your favourite chocolate frosting for an even more decadent experience!
Just in time for the Holidays we have signed copies of the award winning Harrow Fair Cookbook available. Quantities are limited so order early to avoid disappointment!
Save the dates, November 25th, 26th and 27th! Just in time for all that holiday shopping come discover a fantastic assortment of one-of-a -kind holiday gifts from our local fine arts and fine crafts exhibitors. Serenity Lavender will be there featuring not only our culinary artistry with our culinary lavender, special spice blends including herbes de provence, barbeque, thai and curry rubs but also our every popular lavender jelly and our new line up of jams! We’ll also be offering a new line of lavender Holiday ornaments. All handcrafted and made from our locally grown lavender! Come visit us!