Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Culinary Lavender Harvested and Ready for Purchase

Our English Lavender is harvested and ready for purchase.   Whether fresh or dried, this variety is wonderful for seasoning--add it to your butter, salt, sugar--and gives that special "what was put in this to make it taste so wonderful" to your dish. Grind it in a coffee grinder to add to eggs or fruit salad or roast it and put in your salsa or as a rub over your fish, fowl or meat dishes.  

Please contact us at for price and variety(ies) you would like to purchase.

Thank you.

Birds of a Feather

It started one morning while Gene and I were having coffee.  Gene, with full coffee cup in hand, gave a start and exclaimed, "What was that!"  We went to the french doors and looked out one of the window panes just in time to see an osprey hauling off one of my largest goldfish in its talons.  We watched several mornings after that and counted three osprey--two flying above the pond while the third one went into a dive and successfully caught a goldfish--visiting the pond for early morning breakfast.  Not too far from us is Highway 97 where there is a nest of ospreys.  Further to the north is another nest of ospreys.  Gene and I became watchers for the osprey:  there is nothing more thrilling than seeing them go into that dive and in a split second, before you can think "camera", have a fish on its talons, hauling it somewhere to eat.  My pond is almost empty of fish, especially the large, beautiful goldfish, but the osprey are a thrill to watch (no photos:  they are here and gone before the blink of an eye)!

As some of you may know, we had a dog wantonly kill my ducks.  Little Duck, found in the middle of a lavender field, was only 23 days old when he was killed.  I think of him often, especially when I see the little duck my son made me for Christmas and is hanging on the lamp by my chair.  This pond was created for grandsons (and one grandma) to discover together the life that water brings.  For me, ducks are a major contributor to the life of a pond.   The other morning, while Gene and I were having our morning coffee, I saw movement on the water.  Two wild ducks, a mallard and a hen, were nonchalantly swimming in the pond.  I watched them and cried.  It was one of those quiet intimate moments when God sweetly whispered in my ear, "I thought of you this morning and knew you would enjoy.  This is just for you."  

Another reason my fish vanished is because of this magnificent creature:  a blue heron.  They can stand  so perfectly still, blending in with their surroundings, that I cannot see them unless they move.  Cautiously coming closer to the pond, they stop and wait for a painstakingly long time before taking another majestically royal step.  Motionless on a power pole or the top of the tree, they watch and wait for their chance to come and have a fish filet or perhaps a frog or two.  I could learn a lot about patience from this beautiful bird.

This year, five of the six kildeer returned to our fields.  We welcomed their cries as they flew crisscross the fields of lavender, calling to one another.  Sadly, we now only count four kildeer coming into the orchard and scurrying across the rocks near the pond.  Two of them have nested, four little eggs diligently protected by mother and father.  Gene and I have not weeded in three of our rows in Block 3.  We believe there is a second nest in Block 1 but haven't found it yet but are searching to make sure they remain protected.  No photos!  We leave them alone.

And now another type of "bird":  a balloon visiting our neighborhood.  We see this balloon and a couple more quite often drifting off to view the sights from heights above.  What a view it must be!  These balloonists are wonderful to watch while they maneuver their crafts.

Gene and I watched one quiet morning as the balloonist circled over the fields, over a natural grassy area surrounded by juniper trees, and came up low in the southeast heading west.  Suddenly, we heard the "whoosh" as the flames were lit in the balloon and we watched as it quickly climbed into the sky.  Our neighbor had come out of her home to see why her horses were nervous and we watched as the balloonist climbed high above her horses and then descended once over her place.  We thank this balloonist for his courtesy!

I took this photo of one of the herons flying away.  Not too long after that, another heron flew away but, in addition to the photo of the escaping heron, I caught on camera the photo of a balloonist enjoying the morning sky as well.  Birds of a feather don't always come in the same shapes or sizes but they do seem to have in common the freedom to come and go as they wish.  Perhaps that is why I hold my breath and look to the sky when they come into view.