When I moved to California eight years ago, I saw signs for cutting fresh lavender on 17 South. I dreamed of walking in a lavender field and harvest a bunch. I was always a day late and a dollar short until this year. I wised up back in May and asked to be put on email invitation list for Los Gatos Farms. When I received an email from Toni Kent last weekend, my heart sang with joy!
After putting in a full day’s work, I convinced My Man this would be a great way relax for a few minutes in the warm sunshine. We decided at the beginning of the month we wanted to do more things that made us smile and laugh together. We wanted to make sure we were living our lives one day at a time this summer. We wanted to enjoy living in California as much as possible.
The drive up to Los Gatos Farms took no more than 10 minutes. We were met up at the barn by Toni’s big smile. She explained to us how to cut the lavender properly. After a sample snip, she handed us her pruning shears and away we went.
A few minutes into it, I made my own video explaining the cutting process. I was not as well-versed as Toni, but I gave it a shot.
If My Man hadn’t told me to calm down on the snaps, I would have taken a thousand photos of the gorgeous purple flowers. Somehow we avoided bee stings by shaking the lavender a bit before we cut it.
To make it feel like more a farm, they added a cow in the middle of the field as well. My Man was a good sport about having his photo taken with it.
We walked from plant to plant, cutting little bunches along the way. Most of what we cut was French Lavender, but I wouldn’t know the difference between the different varieties. Read this article for more information on the different types.
When we were finished cutting a fat bunch, we walked back to the barn to thank Toni. She tied some rope on our bunches and explained how to care for the lavender while it dried. See this website for a lot more details from planting to harvesting and more!
We hung them near the front door. Our living room smells like heaven! I can’t wait to cook with a portion of it! I want to try to make the lemon lavender pound cake!
Why Travel, Cooking and DIY? A creative type, I have always loved painting and decorating as a hobby. Upcycling is a real passion. My mom was a Home Ec teacher when we were growing up. I learned a lot from her and because I love hosting get-togethers, I had to step up my game in the kitchen as well. And lastly, my love of travel comes from my Grandma Schmitt.
An Illinois native, I worked in the White House Communications Agency early in my career (President Reagan), prior to returning to Illinois State University to finish my undergraduate and Master's. After a couple of post-graduate internships (minor league baseball and Big Ten Conference), I then worked in college athletics full-time for more than 22 years -- first at the University of South Carolina for 15 years and then at Santa Clara University for the last seven years. We moved to Tampa, Florida in Dec., 2016 after spending 8.5 years in Northern California.