Friday, July 13, 2012

Lavender In the Village Festival

Living in the southwest means learning to utilize water in the most efficient way when we garden.  Obviously, desert plants that have grown in New Mexico for years are a good option, but there are lots of other plants that do well in our hot, dry climate, most especially ones that grow well in Mediterranean climates.  Among these plants is the very versatile, very useful lavender.

Lavender has had a long history as a useful plant.  It was one of the herbs found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians.  Hildegard von Bingen, the nun and herbalist, used lavender to cure migraines. Queen Victoria of England had a “lavender purveyor” who arranged fresh lavender around the castle daily.   Most recently lavender has been used in aromatherapy to cure insomnia.  It’s been used on insect bites and burns and as a disinfectant.  Fresh lavender is used in cooking, to make toiletries such as bubble bath,  and as a floral decoration.  Click here for many more ideas on how to use lavender this month.

On July 14 and July 15 Los Ranchos, Albuquerque will hold its annual Lavender in the Village Festival.  This festival, which features discussions and demonstrations, is a great way to learn more about growing and using lavender.  You can also buy or pick your own at the festival if you are not inclined to grow it yourself.  

Besides the lavender there will also be great shopping up and down Fourth Street, wine tours at Casa Rondena Winery, and the Los Ranchos Growers' Market on Saturday morning.  Parking and shuttle information is on the Los Ranchos website.  This festival offers a chance to explore Los Ranchos and discover some new stores and neighborhoods. 

If you wish to begin your education in lavender before heading off to the festival take a look at these titles from the library’s catalog:

The Lavender Cookbook by Sharon Shipley

Lavender Sweet Lavender by Judyth A. McLeod

The Unlikely Lavender Queen by Jeannie Ralston

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