By Danielle French

Three things to do with lavender

Lavender is an herb and we grow it here on the farm. It’s in the kitchen garden with other herbs but it is also in all the flower gardens all around the property, particularly at the edges forming a lovely border. Our bees love it and I’m sure it’s one of the reason our honey is so delicious! Lavender has culinary uses but I prefer its fragrance for lotions, oils, or simply to keep dried in my bedroom.

If you are lucky to have your own garden, you will no doubt have your own favourite uses – it may be simply to let it grow and give pleasure as you go out and look at your garden. There are many ways to enjoy lavender – purchasing essential oils, soaps and lotions. Here are few of my favourites.

Lavender harvest

Dried bundle

I like to use a dried bundle simply bound with twine and leave it next to my bed, hanging in my closet or in my office. I love catching the scent and I find it calming. Lavender does have essential properties to help with insomnia, depression and just having it nearby eases restlessness.

Lavender syrup

This is a great all purpose syrup that keeps for a month in the refrigerator. Use it as a basis for cocktails or lemonade. Lavender is strong! So do not overdo this – less is more.

1 tablespoon dried lavender or 3 sprigs fresh
1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Bring water and sugar to a boil and add lavender. Let boil for 2 minutes and remove from heat. Let the mixture steep for 3-4 hours and strain. Keep in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

Lavender gin fiz

1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) lavender syrup
1 1/2 ounce good quality gin
soda water
mint leaf for garnish

Fill a glass with ice. Pour the syrup over the ice add gin and fill with soda water. Add a mint leaf for garnish.

Cookies or tea

Add 1 sprig or 1 teaspoon of dried lavender to a cup of boiling water and let steep for tea or add 2 teaspoons crushed lavender to your favourite shortbread recipe.

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