June 19, 2018

The Purple Flower With Power

lavender-header-for-the-blog

We have been growing lavender on our Capay Organic farm for several years now, so we know about lavender’s reputation for relaxation and its ability to help with a good night's sleep. More recently we've come to know some of its lesser known qualities including its ability to disinfect, its anti-inflammatory effects and even some of its healing properties. Below are a few quick and helpful recipes for using dried lavender in your cooking, cleaning and home remedies.

lavender-vinegar

For Cleaning: Lavender Vinegar

Because of its antibacterial qualities, lavender works great in your household cleaners. However, you don't have to stop there, this infused vinegar can also be used as fabric softner, flea spray, hair rinse and more.

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup of lavender buds
1 cup of vinegar

DIRECTIONS
1) Gather lavender buds and place in jar with vinegar.

2) Let sit for a few days-weeks.

3) When ready to use, strain out the buds.

Use lavender vinegar as:

*Fabric Softener- Use a 1/4 cup of the vinegar plus enough water to fill the fabric softener dispenser and let the fragrance add a natural lavender scent to your clothes.

*Glass and Surface Cleaner--- Mix one-part vinegar, 1-part water and add a small pinch of cornstarch. The cornstarch will help boost the cleaning mixture. Apply to windows and hard surfaces to add a lavender scent.

lavender-air-freshner

For Aromatherapy: Lavender Air Freshener

Enjoy a little aromatherapy while creating a relaxing environment for your family. Just a handful of dried lavender buds and citrus peels are all you need for this recipe.

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons of dried lavender
Citrus peel (we used lemon)
2-3 cups of water

DIRECTIONS
1) Put lavender and citrus peel into pan with water.

2) Let simmer for about 5 minutes.

3) Let the fresh aroma fill the air.

*Once cooled, you can place in a jar and allow the all natural scent to fill the air in another room.

lavender-mint-tea

For Relaxing: Lavender Tea

Curl up on the couch and relax with your favorite book and a cup of this lavender mint tea known for its mood-boosting qualities. Lavender can be a little overpowering on its own but works great when paired with another herb such as mint or chamomile. 

INGREDIENTS
1/2 cup mint leaves
2 tablespoons lavender

DIRECTIONS
1) Combine mint and lavender.

2) Add 1-2 teaspoons of the mint lavender combination per cup of hot or cold water.

lavender-infused-honey

For Natural Remedies: Lavender-Infused Honey

Lavender infused honey can be used in multiple ways, from sweetening up your favorite drinks or baked goods to helping soothe a sore throat.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup of honey
1 tablespoon of dried Lavender

DIRECTIONS
1) Pour honey into a small sauce pan and warm over low heat. Once warmed through, add herbs and stir to distribute.

2) Leave Honey mixture over low heat for 15-20 minutes.

3) Strain out the herbs or leave them in.

lavender-simple-syrup

For Cooking: Lavender Simple Syrup

Lavender buds are immersed in sugar and water to create a sweet floral flavor. Use this syrup to add a hint of lavender to your yogurt, ice cream, cocktails and more.

INGREDIENTS
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
4 tablespoons of dried lavender

DIRECTIONS
1) Bring sugar, water, and lavender to a boil.

2) Simmer a few minutes until sugar is dissolved.

3) Remove from heat let sit 30 minutes.

4) Strain lavender buds out and transfer to a jar.

lavender-oatmeal-face-scrub

For Your Skin: Lavender Oatmeal Face Scrub

This face scrub can help to soothe and calm skin while gently exfoliating it. A good solution for those with sensitive skin, but can be good for all skin types!

INGREDIENTS
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 tablespoon of dried lavender buds
1 tablespoon baking soda
2 tablespoon sea salt

1) Place the rolled oats and lavender buds into a coffee grinder and pulse until ground, about 45-60 seconds. A blender can also be used, but a coffee grinder is the preferred option here.

2) Transfer to a bowl and stir in the baking soda and sea salt.

3) Store the face scrub in a glass jar. To use, combine 2 teaspoons of the scrub with 1 ½ tsp water or milk, then gently scrub across the face with the fingers.

lavender-hair-rinse

For Your Hair: Lavender Hair and Scalp Rinse

Here is a quick recipe to beautify your hair. This is a fabulous way to remove build up in your hair from daily hair product usage and return it to luxurious and super shiny hair. It is also known to balance the scalp and your hair's natural PH.

INGREDIENTS
4 cups of water
1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup of dried lavender
4-5 drops of essential oils (tea tree oil, rosemary, thyme or cedarwood - you can use one or all three if you would like), optional

DIRECTIONS
1) Bring the water to a boil, then add the apple cider vinegar and the lavender flower.

2) Lower the heat and simmer for about 25 minutes, until the buds have mostly sunk to the bottom.

3) Remove the mixture from the heat, add essential oils if you would like.

4) Let it cool and then strain the buds.  Store in a large mason jar in the refrigerator for about 3 weeks and use a smaller mason jar to have about a week's worth of hair rinse in the shower. If you notice the mixture getting cloudy, it is time to throw it out.

capay-organic-lavender

How To Add Lavender To Your Delivery: CSA members - head on over to our online Farm Stand Market to customize your upcoming delivery. The Market is open from noon on Thursday until 10 am, 2 days before your scheduled delivery day. After you confirm your produce items, click the orange button "Confirm and Continue To Other Farm Products" to add the products to your delivery.

Not part of our farm family? Find out if we deliver to your neighborhood.

June 1, 2018

COMING TO MY SENSES BOOK GIVEAWAY

Coming_To_My_Senses_Cover

If you’re anything like the crew around here, you’re in love with food - the freshness, the seasons, the flavor and the traditions that encompass it. And when we aren’t cooking food or eating food, we like to read about it.

Growing up in California, I have long heard about Alice Waters’ seasonally inspired restaurant Chez Panisse and have considered The Art of Simple Food a culinary bible. So upon hearing that this cultural icon’s long-awaited memoir Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook was being released, we decided to offer it as a giveaway to our farm family. Below is a little bit of information about the author and a snippet from the publisher about the book. We haven't read it yet, but we are hoping you will read along with us and let us know your thoughts. For a chance to win a copy of the book, simply answer the question below:

(Giveaway is now closed)

What/Who Inspires You To Cook and Why?

We've chosen a winner! Thank you to everyone who participated. Congratulations to Susan who commented: 

"I have recently rediscovered my kitchen with the advent of my weekly boxes from Farm Fresh to You. My juicers and blender now live back on the counter, not in the back of the cupboard. I have discovered new foods I hadn't met yet and am in love with fennel! Baby Bok Choy is another favorite. These are 2 foods I would have never picked up at the market, even the farmers market, because I didn't know what they were. Farm Fresh to You is my inspiration!!"


No purchase required. Limit one entry per person, please. Entries will close at noon on Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Winners are chosen by Random Number Generator and will be announced on our blog, Wednesday June 20th.


Photos Reprinted from Coming to My Senses. Copyright © 2017 by Alice Waters. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.


Alice_Waters_Chez_Panisse

About Alice Waters
Alice Waters was born on April, 28, 1944, in Chatham, New Jersey. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1967 with a degree in French cultural studies before training at the International Montessori School in London. Her daughter, Fanny, was born in 1983.Chez Panisse Restaurant opened in 1971, serving a single fixed-price menu that changed daily. The set menu format remains at the heart of Alice’s philosophy of serving the most delicious organic products only when they are in season. Over the course of three decades, Chez Panisse has developed a network of local farmers and ranchers whose dedication to sustainable agriculture assures Chez Panisse a steady supply of pure and fresh ingredients. In 1996, in celebration of the restaurant’s twenty-fifth anniversary, Alice created the Chez Panisse Foundation. The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King Jr Middle School is the foundation’s primary beneficiary.


Provided by Publisher:
The long-awaited memoir from cultural icon and culinary standard bearer Alice Waters recalls the circuitous road and tumultuous times leading to the opening of what is arguably America’s most influential restaurant.When Alice Waters opened the doors of her “little French restaurant” in Berkeley, California in 1971 at the age of 27, no one ever anticipated the indelible mark it would leave on the culinary landscape—Alice least of all. Fueled in equal parts by naiveté and a relentless pursuit of beauty and pure flavor, she turned her passion project into an iconic institution that redefined American cuisine for generations of chefs and food lovers. In Coming to My Senses Alice retraces the events that led her to 1517 Shattuck Avenue and the tumultuous times that emboldened her to find her own voice as a cook when the prevailing food culture was embracing convenience and uniformity. Moving from a repressive suburban upbringing to Berkeley in 1964 at the height of the Free Speech Movement and campus unrest, she was drawn into a bohemian circle of charismatic figures whose views on design, politics, film, and food would ultimately inform the unique culture on which Chez Panisse was founded. Dotted with stories, recipes, photographs, and letters, Coming to My Senses is at once deeply personal and modestly understated, a quietly revealing look at one woman’s evolution from a rebellious yet impressionable follower to a respected activist who effects social and political change on a global level through the common bond of food.