Over the Labor Day holiday weekend, Mr. Foodie and I visited White Oak Lavender Farm and The Purple WOLF Winery in Harrisonburg, VA. It was a quick trip, but it did wonders for my mental health. Mr. Foodie and I cooked steak and asparagus the first night on the most dangerous grill I’ve ever seen. Luckily the steak and asparagus turned out great since the grill sucked and we were cooking the dark. One of my favorite moments was later on when we just sat on the deck at night, watching the fog in the mountains and talking about our life together.
The lavender farm was delightful. We took the tour of the lavender farm, did the wine tasting, and bought souvenirs like Lavender Lemon Scone mix. Have you ever eaten baked goods with lavender in them? It is very hard to bake with lavender without making your product taste like soap. These scones are profusely flavored with lavender, but they just barely escape from tasting like soap thanks to the sharp lemon and sweet sugar to balance them out. Suffice it to say that I learned more about lavender on this trip than I ever thought I would.
The tour of the lavender farm includes ample information on the different kinds of lavender, how to grow and harvest it in your home, how they extract essential oils from the plant, how they dry and process the little sachets that we all love to keep in our underwear drawers, and a 20 minute stint of actually harvesting some lavender sprigs to take home with you. Budget a full hour for this tour as the guide is very thorough. One of the best parts for me was getting to know all the animals on the farm–and picking the lavender at the end!
The wine tasting was super surprising. They had a fairly standard line-up of Virginia style wines, but some had versions infused with lavender so that you could taste the difference it makes. Let’s just say that it tended to improve many of the wines that we tried which surprised us all. If I remember correctly, we liked the Pardon My Purple white wine the best. The farm and the winery are separate entities, but they partner up — making for a great day trip activity. If you’re ever in Harrisonburg, VA be sure to check them out. And stop by Southern Kitchen Inc. in New Market for the best damned fried chicken (and chicken-fried steak) you’ve ever had.
Have you ever made anything with lavender? How’d it turn out?