The Scent of Lavender is In the Air

- July 20, 2011

Culture Vulture, July 20, 2011

The Herb and Lavender Fair at El Rancho de las Golondrinas is always one of my summer favorites.

That something so elementally beautiful can thrive in our high desert climate of Northern New Mexico is always a surprise to visitors. Not so, Santa Feans – we have always prized this beautiful ornamental perennial and its appearance in our mostly earth-toned landscape. This, and its seemingly close relative, Russian Sage, are welcome additions to any garden. But I hope you know how delicious this plant can be – and I don’t mean delicious in a visual way. The culinary aspects of lavender and other herbs are on stage at Golondrinas this weekend from 10 to 4, both Saturday and Sunday. There are lots of lavender taste treats one can enjoy. My personal favorite is lavender laced gelato. For now, the lavender culinary recipes I leave to others to prepare…perhaps someday?

I must confess that I use lavender mostly for its visual impact – nestled around sculpture at my home. I do, however, like to sit in the sculpture garden on an ancient bench and have a glass of wine with the scent of lavender all around me. I was headed towards 100 plants in my garden when the -40 degree cold snap hit in February. I have been nursing most of my babies back to health this season, but I am sure I will find some varieties at Golondrinas that have to come home with me.

You can learn more about lavender’s enticements this weekend with local farmers and artisans selling lavender herb products, cooking demonstrations with lavender, a visit with a curandera (traditional healer/herbalist), tours of the Las Golondrinas Herb Gardens at Sierra Village on the Golondrinas property and finish off your visit with a glass of lavender lemonade and fresh baked bread from the horno (non-lavender).

While at the Ranch, enjoy the music of “Marimbas of the World” with Steve Chavez. See you at the Ranch!