Thursday, January 12, 2017

Lavender Drying and Bud Processing


Lavender Drying and Bud Processing

Dried lavender flowers from Pelindaba Lavender
During the summer months we harvest our lavender at the farm.  (Learn how to harvest your lavender at home.)  As we harvest, the bundles that are to be dried are hung upside down in our drying barn for 3 to 8 weeks depending on the temperature and humidity.  Drying lavender inside, in the dark, out of the direct sunlight helps retain its color.  The bundles are held together by rubber bands which helps to keep the bundles intact while the stalks shrink during drying.  The bundles are hung on wires using paper clips, making sure to allow enough spacing for good air circulation.   

The barn windows are kept open and we run large fans during the drying process to help provide adequate air circulation and prevent mold and mildew formation.

In our production fields we cultivate two intermedia (or “French”) varieties predominantly –‘Grosso’ for dried flower bundles and especially essential oil and ‘Provence’ primarily for its buds.  (Click here for additional lavender variety suggestions.)

What exactly do we mean by buds and how do we remove them from the stalks?  One lavender stalk holds approximately 100 rice-grain-sized flower buds – each one of them opens into a tiny flower about a 1/4 inch across.  One of the many interesting things about lavender is that only about 15% of those flower blooms are in bloom at any one time.  They only bloom for about two weeks or so and then the petals will wilt and the next set of flowers bloom.  It does this completely at random, not from the bottom up or the top down.  In other words, lavender is a serial bloomer – that’s why our fields of lavender are so purple for so long during the summer months.

Stripping dried lavender buds at Pelindaba Lavender FarmStripping dried lavender buds at Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Organic Lavender Buds from Pelindaba Lavender FarmOne of the characteristics of the Provence variety is that when it is fully dry, the buds come off very easily.  This is the reason that we don’t use Provence for wreaths or other dried flower arrangements.  Early in the farm’s history, when we were processing 2,500 plants, we removed the buds by hand using a series of screens and sieves – a very labor-intensive process.  After we grew to over 6,000 plants we acquired a rotating brush tool developed in Australia.  Now with well over 25,000 plants, we simply feed the dried bundles into the spinning brushes and the buds are automatically stripped and collected below.

From here we use the dried lavender buds in a wide variety of personal care, therapeutic, household care, culinary and pet care products.  Additionally, in line with our vision to operate in accordance with the highest environmental standards, the leftover lavender stalks are used to create our Lavender Fire Starters, Lavender Sticks and Lavender Algae Inhibitors.

Lavender products made from Pelindaba Lavender Farm's organic lavender

One of the beauties of growing lavender (of which there are certainly many) is that there is no plant waste!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Shop Small On Small Business Saturday


Shop Small and Local on Small Business Saturday

Shopping Small and Local Benefits Communities  

First there was Black Friday, then Cyber Monday... Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Founded by American Express in 2010, this day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

Small Business Saturday is on November 26th, 2016


When you shop small and local, more of the money you spend stays in your community to benefit your community. Just like this....
Shop Small in your local community

This Small Business Saturday on November 26th we look forward to seeing our local communities come out and support their communities by shopping small and local!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Lavender Self-Care Spa Treatment in 5 Simple Steps

Taking inspiration from the popular hashtag #SelfcareSunday we like to carve out some weekend time to relax and rejuvenate, using our handcrafted lavender products for simple at-home spa treatments.

Go ahead and pamper yourself with this simple 5-step stress relieving self-care routine:

Step 1 - PREPARATIONS - First, prepare the bathroom by dimming the lights and lighting the three wicks of your Lavender Spa Therapy Candle.  Warm your Lavender Eye Pillow in the microwave and wrap it in a towel to retain the heat for later use. While the candle is slowly melting into a blend of moisturizing oil, run a hot bath.
Lavender Spa Products made by Pelindaba Lavender using organic lavender oil
Step 2 – BATHING - For additions to the bath water, we handcraft several luxurious options, each with its own benefits.  (If you don’t have a bathtub, we would recommend creating an aromatherapy experience by using our Lavender Body Wash).

Lavender Bubble Bath Excellent for stress relief, drizzle into the hot bath and vigorously agitate the water to create maximum bubbles.  Luxuriate.

Lavender Silky Milk Bath – An herbal bouquet bringing all the beneficial properties of lavender essential oil to the luxury of the bath.  It is said that Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, soaked daily in lavender milk baths to keep her skin beautiful and radiant.

Lavender Bath Salts - Soothing, relaxing and detoxifying, a lavender-fragranced soaking bath to treat sore muscles and joints.

Lavender products for the bath made by Pelindaba Lavender with organic lavender oil

Step 3 - EXFOLIATE, SOAK & REJUVENATE – Apply Lavender Sugar Scrub to wet skin focusing on feet and rough areas.  Gently apply about a teaspoon to the face, lips and dĂ©colletage to remove dead skin, dirt and blockages.  Stimulate circulation by buffing skin using small circular motions until you feel the sugar melt.  The sugar’s natural glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxy acid, permeates the skin encouraging cell turnover and generating fresher, younger-looking skin

After 5-7 minutes rinse the remaining sugar from the skin and relax with your warm Lavender Eye Pillow.  The weight of the dried rice and organic lavender buds provides just the right amount of light pressure on the optic nerves to promote relaxation. Lay back, let your thoughts go and breathe deeply.

Lavender body products made by Pelindaba Lavender using organic lavender oil
Step 4 - FACIAL TREATMENT – After a final rinse, towel dry.  That steamy, pore-opening soak and exfoliating sugar scrub left your facial skin purified, soft and ready for an at-home lavender facial.

To re-balance the pH, tighten pores and prep the skin for moisturizers, apply our exclusive Organic Lavender Facial Toner and Cleanser all-natural antiseptic formulation by atomizing or use of a cotton ball to spread over skin.  The Hydrosol’s cooling effect feels great after a hot bath!
The single ingredient in Pelindaba's Facial Toner & Cleanser is our "Premium" organic lavender hydrosol, produced from our own organic lavender flowers during the initial fifteen minutes of steam distillation of essential oil - when the oil content of the hydrosol is at its highest.

Spot Treatment – Dab Organic Lavender Essential Oil onto individual breakouts at full strength, undiluted.  The natural antiseptic and antibacterial properties of lavender essential oil creates one of the most effective natural treatments for reducing redness, dark spots and scars caused by acne.

Eye Area – Not only is our Lavender Treatment Stick easy to apply for cuts and abrasions but it is an excellent all-natural soothing under eye balm for delicate skin around the eyes.  One of the key ingredients Vitamin E has long been recognized for treating dark circles, puffiness and signs of aging around the eyes.  A known emollient, the aloe vera in our recipe helps renew and hydrate.  *Because it contains pure essential oil, do use caution when applying close around the eyes.

For all over moisture, gently massage Lavender Hand and Body Lotion over your entire face, neck and chest.  Our Lavender Hand & Body Lotion blends our certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil and Hydrosol with a selection of organic plant oils and extracts to create our soothing paraben-free lotion.

Lavender Products for the Body handcrafted by Pelindaba Lavender
Step 5 - ALL OVER BODY CARE - Moving on to the rest of the body, extinguish the Lavender Spa Therapy Candle and let it cool for a couple minutes.  Focusing on tight, sore muscles and joints carefully pour the warm skin-conditioning oils onto the skin for a silky massage.  Let the anti-inflammatory and pain relieving properties of the steam distilled Organic Lavender Essential Oil take effect.

Treat areas that require a higher degree of moisturization and protection like elbows and knees with our ever-popular Lavender Body Butter.  The principle ingredient, certified organic shea butter, is an effective skin softener and is a favorite for healing cuticles, calluses and cracked heals.

Finally for the perfect after-bathing finishing touch, our fine talc-free Lavender Body Powder made exclusively with natural ingredients, and enhanced it with the natural antibacterial and disinfectant properties of our organic lavender essential oil.  These beneficial properties along with the deodorizing qualities of baking soda, provide a degree of body dusting as therapeutic as it is comforting. 

Lavender Body Products made by Pelindaba Lavender with organic lavender essential oil

We hope you enjoyed our suggestions for a relaxing lavender spa treatment.  Have additional self-care tips utilizing lavender to share?  Please leave them in the comments below.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Keeping the bugs at bay naturally

Keeping the bugs at bay naturally

With summer here we are all spending more and more time outdoors.  Indispensable for outdoor activities, summer evenings, picnics, camping, hiking or while in the garden, our Lavender Insect Repellant is a safe and gentle formula that takes advantage of lavender's long recognized insect repellant qualities.  

Lavender Insect Repellant handcrafted with organic lavender by Pelindaba Lavender
Our natural Lavender Insect Repellant contains zero harmful chemicals, petroleum products, DEET or artificial fragrances.  Instead one experiences the pleasant aroma and natural insect repelling attributes of our farm-distilled, certified Organic Lavender Essential Oil and Organic Lavender Hydrosol during outdoor activities - camping, hiking, gardening, picnics, sporting events, etc.  While it helps to ward off mosquitoes, black flies, gnats and fleas it may also provide protection against ticks and mosquito borne illnesses like the Zika Virus.

Lavender Insect Repellant handcrafted with organic lavender by Pelindaba LavenderLavender Insect Repellant handcrafted with organic lavender by Pelindaba Lavender
The number one question we get from customers about our Lavender Insect Repellant is: “Does it really work?  It's one of the most reviewed products on our website.  Keep reading to find out about our customers’ experiences after using it.

Laurie from Santa Rosa California says: I love this product!  This is a great alternative for those people who want to avoid spraying chemical compounds all over themselves.  I've purchased it for my sister-in-law who is a cancer survivor and cannot tolerate non-natural products.  She swears by it, too!”  And Jan from Seattle also attests to its all-natural ingredients in her review: What a relief to know I am not using chemicals on my skin.  The idea of DEET being an ingredient in over the counter insect repellents bothered me.  It is nice to know there is a more natural alternative to keeping mosquitoes from chewing on me.  I am a magnet to these critters and appreciate this repellent very much.  Besides, I smell of lavender, not chemicals!”

Lavender Insect Repellant handcrafted with organic lavender by Pelindaba Lavender
In many reviews, customers appreciate that our all-natural formula is gentle enough to be used on young children and the elderly.  Jessica from Casper, WY shared this experience from a recent hiking trip: I used this on my 18 month old last summer and she didn't have a single bug bite while we were hiking, however I didn't think to spray it on myself and I was eaten it definitely works!”  Amanda from Friday Harbor, WA adds : “This is the best bug repellant out there!  I appreciate that there are no chemicals in it.  I can spray it on my skin and hair with no worry.  My friends with kinds also love it. It smells so much better than DEET or any of the other OFF equivalents.” 
Lavender Insect Repellant handcrafted with organic lavender by Pelindaba Lavender
Pelindaba’s Lavender Insect Repellant has received many 5-star reviews from customers living in areas with high concentrations of mosquitoes.  For example, Brenda from Palmetto Florida wrote: “Throw your industrial insect repellant away right now and start using this product.  I was skeptical as I live on a canal in Florida and have constant problems with biting insects, but this stuff actually works better and is far more pleasant than the chemicals that you buy at the grocery store.  I liked it so much that I bought some for all of my neighbors!”

Do you have a review of Pelindaba’s Lavender Insect Repellant to share?  Leave it in the comments below. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Trend is Toast, Lavender Toast

Recipe for Lavender Toast

A quick and easy snack to enjoy in the comfort of home or paired with a cup of coffee as a light brunch or served as an appetizer.  You’ve probably seen more and more toast on cafĂ© menus or even entire menus dedicated to artisan toast with various toppings.  As the The New Yorker puts it, ‘The Trend is Toast’.

Toast with Organic Culinary Lavender and Lavender Honey
We love toast at the farm too and are delighted to share our go-to lavender toast combinations using a few of our farm-made lavender culinary ingredients. While toast is very simple to make, lavender adds an herbal, aromatic complexity to the flavor and the sweet drizzle of our lavender condiments, a visual elegance.

Start with your favorite bread - maybe a seeded multi-grain or a thick slice of a crusty baguette from your local bakery or even a gluten-free option.  

To assemble the toasts, let the bread cool and then spread a generous amount of Organic Lavender Honey and your choice of nut butter onto the toast.  Lay the sliced bananas on top, drizzle with a little more Organic Lavender Honey and finish with a sprinkling of Organic Culinary Lavender.

Toast with Organic Culinary Lavender and Lavender Chocolate SauceAs a variant, spread Lavender Bittersweet Chocolate Sauce on top of the sliced banana before finishing with a sprinkling of Organic Culinary Lavender.

When cooking with lavender it's important to use culinary lavender that has relatively low levels of essential oil. Lavender Essential Oil, although it’s fragrance is wonderful, can be paradoxically bitter to the taste when used in excess.  When used in small amounts, it lends a delightfully delicate yet distinctive flavor to a wide variety of food and beverages.  Too much and the bitterness can drown everything else out.

The lavender we use in all our culinary products and recipes comes from "our culinary harvest" which is harvested early in the summer when the first blossoms begin to appear and the build-up of essential oil in the buds is still in its early stages.

Lavender harvested later in the season will contain more essential oil than is desirable for cooking, and lead to a less enjoyable culinary experience.  Used properly, however, it can work extraordinarily well — interestingly on both the savory and sweet sides of the palate.

So, if you have a lavender plant at home be sure to harvest for cooking early in the season when just a couple of the buds have bloomed. If you want to make sachets or other fragrant crafts, wait to harvest until the end of the summer when all the buds have flowered.

What are your favorite toast dressings?

Friday, February 5, 2016

Lavender Cocktail Anyone?


A Lavender Cocktail Anyone?


Pelindaba Lavender Farm - Lavender for Valentine's Day
It's quite possible that you have recently seen lavender as an ingredient on the cocktail menus of some of the more adventurous watering holes.

Perhaps a Lavender Cosmo or a Lavender Martini? With Valentine's Day right around the corner, why not create your own lavender cocktail to share with your special someone?

To introduce the flavor of lavender to your favorite cocktail all you need is water, sugar and Organic Culinary Lavender. With these 3 ingredients you'll make a lavender simple syrup that can mixed with whatever your palette likes. Time to experiment!

Lavender Simple Syrup
1 cup water
3 tsp Organic Culinary Lavender (add more if you prefer a stronger flavor)
2 cups sugar

Bring water and lavender to boil. Stir in sugar until fully dissolved. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Strain out the lavender and store refrigerated for 1 week.

It's worth noting that Lavender Simple Syrup is not naturally purple or lavender in color. A food dye is always used to create a lavender colored cocktail.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Giving A Gift That Gives More


Giving A Gift That Gives More


At Pelindaba Lavender, it is always the season of giving…of gifts that also reflect our core values…  

Giving a lavender gift from Pelindaba Lavender FarmGIVE LOCAL - We grow over 25,000 lavender plants, harvest them by hand, distill the essential oil, hang the bundles for drying and strip the buds off the stems — all on our San Juan Island farm.

GIVE ORGANIC - We use only our own organically certified lavender essential oils and flowers in our products.

GIVE HANDCRAFTED - All Pelindaba Lavender products are handcrafted by local artisans. When we say handcrafted, we really mean it! All the ingredients are assembled or blended by hand, products are all labeled by hand, and every one of the tiny bows are tied by hand!

GIVE LAVENDER - With the widest range of farm-based lavender products we know of anywhere, we have the perfect lavender gift for everyone on your list.

Here are some suggestions... Lavender Gifts for Her, Lavender Culinary Gifts, Organic Lavender Gifts and lots of Stocking Stuffers under $10!