Broad Hill Lavender Farm – A Treat for the Senses

From Conal Robinson

At sunrise, Carrie Marsh Loscocco can be found brandishing her scythe among her rows of fragrant flowers. Only a handful of plants can fare well through our cold New England winters. These hardy variants include edible-English lavender and floral-French lavender. Both kinds are hand-reared on the Broad Hill Lavender Farm.

Just beyond the gilded gates, visitors behold the lovely herb as their noses are met with a powdery smell. Studying the simple visual beauty of sprigs forming bushes along cleanly manicured rows, a visitor will see perfectly formed purple flowers emerging from grinning green stalks—stalks that stand tall and rustle gently with the wind. The plants are receptive to the filtering sunlight. The hard work dedicated to cultivating these effortless beauties soon becomes evident. 

Perennials require good drainage.  Small stones in the soil allow the flowers to root deeply. The lavender loves pea gravel beneath them.

The main initiative behind this farm is sustainability. Solar panels power the farmhouse abutting the farm. The air is charged with the energy of numerous organisms pollinating the flowers.  

Beside the lavender lanes are apiaries from Tony’s Little Beehive Farm. A sense of community collaboration is kindled here. Pollinators frequent the flowers and do much good work as they zip between the rows. The property teems with insects. Hundreds of local bees and butterflies come to visit. They can be heard buzzing among the buds.

Western honeybees bring back pollen granules on their hind legs to the larvae at home. Worker bees regurgitate nectar to the Queen, who monitors homeostasis in the hive. When the honeycomb is provided with consistent conditions, the honey condenses into a succinct sweetness.

A natural anxiolytic (anxiety reliever), the aroma of French lavender has been praised for its relaxing properties. English lavender is great for cooking. A local French pastry chef, Marie Simeoni, shares her culinary secret concerning baking with lavender: it is important to soak the herbs in hot milk to obtain the simple flavor of lavender for pastries like madeleines and tarts. Savory dishes like baked chicken and fish pair well with whole lavender.

The fairy folk are drawn to the beauty of lavender. It is possible to make smudge sticks with lavender and other herbs emanating essential oils. Friendly fæ are enchanted with human life and offer kindness. If a person uses fairy sticks, these sweet little creatures may bring gifts and play sweet tricks.

Miss Loscocco’s Lavender makes a great herb to add to your garden, as it won’t acquire stray animal bite marks. Creatures detest it!  The gooseberries, next to the scenic archway bordering—les champs—may not be as safe from wild animals. And just possibly naughty little hands get to them before a jam can be made! 

Note:  For more on the Broad Hill Lavender Farm

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