Summer 2020: Making Lemonade
This summer did not turn out like we were expecting! Indoor events were canceled, masks were required, many of our plants died, what a mess! It seemed like a mess on the surface, but really, things worked out wonderfully
Some of the largest events we had signed up for were canceled, so that left us spots to fill on our schedule. We signed up for a Sunday Farmer's Market and it has been awesome. Our booth does well there each week, we have met some great people and made some contacts that will be helpful in the future.
We also attended our first ever Junkstock, which is a fantastic 3-day event near us. It was a great experience. There are tons of vendors, food, and music. We are doing 2 more of these in October and can't wait for them.
Our local community has been very supportive and our online shop is doing well. We weren't able to open our shop in the house or have the Lavender Festival we had planned due to Covid, but we did get to have a farm tour day with an outdoor booth and tours of the blooming lavender field. People really enjoyed this event. We served lavender treats, including Lavender Lemonade & Lavender Iced Tea, Lavender Brownies, and Lavender Shortbread. We had multiple requests for recipes, so here is the shortbread recipe. It is in NO way healthy, but OMGoodness is it good!!!
2 1/2 tsp ground lavender buds 3 sticks of butter, softened
1 C Sugar (this little bit of sugar makes up for butter, right?)
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
Mix the butter, sugar, and lavender buds (grind with spice grinder until very fine) with mixer until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until incorporated. Add the flour and mix until the dough all comes together into a ball.
Roll out onto a well-floured surface to 1/2- 3/4 inch thick. Use cookie cutters or knife to cut into shapes. I sometimes just roll into a circle and use a pizza cutter to make triangles. Put your cookies on a baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1 hour up to 8 hours. This will make your cookies come out nice and crispy around the edges. Bake for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown around edges. Cool and enjoy!
These are fabulous with hot tea or lemonade!
The 6 new varieties of lavender that we planted last spring did not love the winter. We planted around 1000 and ended up with 14 surviving the winter. Instead of getting too discouraged, we are taking cuttings from those 14 survivors and growing them in the basement over the winter. We want to get them to at least quart-size by spring and start replanting. A wonderful person in Minnesota sent us some cuttings of the lavender she grows there, and if it can survive Minnesota winters, it should be able to handle Nebraska! We are also going to try some new things with the soil before replanting, so hopefully, we will have better luck in 2021 with our plants. We'll just keep trying until we get it right! We are super stubborn ;)
The farm welcomed 3 baby kittens in May and baby chicks in July. Fingers crossed that next summer we can add a couple of goats!
If you have been following this blog you already know that a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with Stage IV Melanoma. Almost exactly 1 year later I had a PET scan that was clear. No more cancer (knock on wood). The immunotherapy was a great success! Thanks to my family, friends, my wonderful generous sister, and my VERY patient and supportive husband, and of course God, I am cancer-free. I also thank everyone at the Cancer Center who have been amazing all the way through. I'll have to keep doing treatments for several years, but I am ok with that!
All in all, when the beginning of the summer seemed to be giving us lemons one after another, we have actually ended up with a big ole pitcher of lemonade!
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