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Pruning Lavender

Keeping lavender plants in shape is one of the best ways of maintaining a healthy and vigorous bush.  Pruning at Serenity Lavender begins when the plant is still in the greenhouse and continues once or twice a year for the whole life of the plant.  The best time to prune is in the fall after bloom.  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 may be pruned back by one third.  Be sure to trim only the soft green branches and not get into the wood of the plant.

In the springtime pruning may be required to regenerate growth after a harsh winter.  Cut back any dead wood until you see green in the stems.  If there has been a lot of winter damage it may be wise to prune in stages over a number of years to slowly bring the plant back to its vibrant self.  Although the plants sold at Serenity Lavender are suitable Zones 4-5  (we are zone 6a), winter survival is influenced by location, plant size, mulch type, plant cover and of course temperature.

Otherwise, pruning your Serenity Lavender plant in the spring should be minimal (only on the sides), if any at all, to allow for a full flowering show in July.

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Delightful Lavender Berry Crisp

Its thats time of year when the local berries are in season and so is the lavender which is a perfect complement to the raspberries and blueberries.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons dried Serenity culinary lavender buds
  • 2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 4 cups blueberries, rinsed
  • 4 cups raspberries, rinsed
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (1/4 lb.) butter, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped almonds
Preparation
  • 1. In a blender, whirl lavender and tapioca until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl. Stir in 3/4 cup sugar and the cinnamon. Add blueberries, raspberries, and lemon juice; mix gently. Pour into a shallow 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish.
  • 2. In a food processor or bowl, combine flour, remaining 1/2 cup sugar, and butter. Whirl or rub in with your fingers until coarse crumbs form. Stir in almonds. Squeeze handfuls of the nut mixture together, then crumble into about 1/2-inch chunks over fruit mixture. Set dish on a foil-lined baking pan.
  • 3. Bake in a 350° oven until juices are bubbling in the center and streusel is browned, 60 to 70 minutes. Cool on a rack at least 45 minutes.  Serve warm or cool with vanilla or lavender ice cream
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Serenity Roasted Veggies or Potatoes

Use Serenity’s Herbes de Provence on your favourite vegetables or potatoes including parsnips, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, eggplant and peppers. Prepare your vegetables and coat with olive oiland add a tablespoon of Serenity’s Herbes de Provence. Bake at 375◦ until tender – about 35 – 40 minutes.

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Lavender Research Project

Serenity Lavender is pleased to be a part of a 4 year reasearch project to identify lavender varieties suitable for Ontario growing conditions.  The project involves seven farm sites, the Ontario Ministry of  Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and the University of Guelph. Twenty two lavender varieties are being reviewed.  While the project got off to a bit of a slow start with some plants dying while being shipped,  an  interim report has now been released.  The initial results suggest that fabric mulch and sandy soils, such as those found at Serenity Lavender resulted in a larger plant size and better quality plant shape.  The French lavadin varieties also had abetter shape and size compared to the English or angustifolia varieties.  Winter survival will be assessed in the spring this year and the results across Ontario will be interesting given the large amount of snowfall and cold conditions experienced.

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Serenity Lavender Annual Plant Sale

We’re getting a jump on Spring!  The  Lavender is growing in leaps and bounds in the greenhouse.

Save the dates for our plant sale

Saturday and Sunday, May 21st and 22nd.

Saturday and Sunday May 28th and 29th.

9 am-5 pm

Come early to avoid disappointment some varieties are limited in quantity.  A availibility and price list will be posted later in the season.

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Explore the Shore 2011

Discover Historic County Road 50

July 23rd and 24th, 2011

Be sure to stop at Serenity Lavender and take part in our crafter’s  and gardening workshops, cooking demonstrations, farm tours and of course shop for your hand crafted lavender home, culinary and bath products.

We look forward to seeing you again this year!

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Lavender Lemonade

Ingredients:
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 tablespoon dried culinary lavender
– 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, strained
– 5 cups water
– Ice cubes
– Lavender springs for garnish

Preparation:
Combine sugar with 2 ½ cups water in a medium pan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar . Add the lavender blooms to the sugar water, cover, and remove
from heat. Let stand at least 20 minutes. Strain mixture and discard lavender. Pour infusion into a glass pitcher. Add lemon juice and another 2 ½ cups water. Stir well. Pour into tall glasses
half-filled with ice or refrigerate until ready to use.

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Lavender Grilled Salmon

Ingredients:
– 1 pound of Salmon Filet
– 2 Tbsp Honey
– 3 Tbsp Virgin Olive Oil 1 tsp Lavender, crushed
– 1/4 C White wine 1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
– 1 Tbsp Lime or lemon Juice

Preparation:
Place all ingredients, except salmon, in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring with a wire whisk at all times until ingredients are reduced by one-third, to create the sauce. When sauce has cooled slightly, brush on salmon filet. Grill or bake salmon until flaky (don’t overcook), about 10 minutes, brushing with sauce. Set some aside to pour on salmon before serving.

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Lavender Martini

Ingredients:
– 1 tsp dried lavender
– 1 1/2 oz vodka
– 1/2 oz Cointreau
– 1 tbsp simple syrup made from Serenity lavender sugar

Add lavender, vodka, Cointreau and simple syrup over ice in the shaker. Shake well and strain the mixture into a chilled martini glass. (Optional: Rim martini in sugar and garnish with a fresh sprig
of lavender)

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Lavender Shortbread

These rich but not too sweet shortbread cookies have just a hint of sweet lavender fragrance and flavor.

– Servings: 4 dozen

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups (3/4 pound) butter, at room temperature (no substitutes)
2/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons very finely chopped lavender florets (fresh or dried)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
2 1/3 cups flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preparation
Preheat oven to 325°F.

Cover bottoms of two baking sheets with parchment or brown paper. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, lavender, and mint with an electric mixer. Mix until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add flour, cornstarch, and salt and beat until incorporated. Divide dough
in half. Flatten into squares and wrap in plastic. Chill until firm. On a floured board, roll or pat out each square to a thickness of 1/2 inch. Cut the dough into 1 1/2 -inch squares or rounds. Transfer to baking sheets, spacing cookies about 1 inch apart. Prick each cookie several times with a fork. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until pale golden (do not brown). Cool slightly, then transfer to a rack. Sprinkle with lavender powdered sugar.

Garnish:
lavender powdered sugar: Put a 4 or 5 sprigs of lavender flowers in a sealed jar with powdered sugar for a day before using the sugar.

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