Certified Farmers’ Markets Fresh Pick of the Week: Lavender!
This week’s Fresh Pick of the Week is Lavender. Long a favorite for its heady sweet scent, Lavender also has a variety of medicinal, as well as culinary uses. The fresh Lavender at the Certified Farmers’ Market (all locations), comes from El Dorado Lavender Farms in El Dorado, California. There, farmer Bill Reed grows high quality Lavender, harvests it with loving care, and brings it to the markets in a variety of forms – sachets, sprays, bouquets, essential oils, and more. And whether you buy Bill’s Lavender or not, you always get a free sniff of it whenever you pass by Bill’s booth. But don’t just walk by. Be sure to stop and check out the Lavender. Once you’ve gotten a whiff of its sweet and pungent scent, and seen everything Bill does with it, you sure to fall in love with El Dorado Lavender.
Lavender grows naturally in most temperate climates, but it is native to southern Europe, northern and eastern Africa, throughout the Mediterranean, and into southwest Asia, as well as southeast India. Today, there are more than 39 recognized species of Lavender, each with its own variation on the distinct Lavender scent. Some are grown primarily for oil extraction, while others are grown for their flowers. Still other Lavender species are grown as ornamental plants. But whatever the variety, all species of Lavender boast a wide variety of uses ranging from those which are purely aesthetic, to those which are culinary, medicinal, and therapeutic.
Did you know: In Medieval times, Lavender was powdered and used as a condiment, much like we use black pepper today. In Roman times, Lavender was so prized that a single pound of it cost as much as a month’s wages. Today, we have discovered that, in addition to all its other uses, Lavender can help alleviate anxiety, prevent infections, and even repel insects.
Price: Ranges from .50 to $10, depending on the particular product.