Lavender: Harvest now also possible at the Kaiserstuhl!
Cultivation, harvest and culinary uses
When I think of lavender, I immediately think of the color purple and the pleasant scent that this plant exudes. In my mind I'm in the south of France. But you don't have to travel that far anymore, because the first lavender fields are already in Germany at the Kaiserstuhl in Baden.
As Beate Klingenmeier told me about her project "Lavender cultivation at the Kaiserstuhl" I was very taken about the idea, but wondered if it was even possible in the area. The colorful fields are originally known from Provence, where it is very warm. But that's alos the case here and where wine grows, lavender can also thrive, I thought to myself.
But is it really that simple?
Actually yes, because lavender prefers warm temperatures in spring and summer and sunny places. He likes it when the soil is not too nutrient-rich and a somewhat sandy. It doesn't like waterlogging at all. However, what does not bother him much are cold temperatures, so he can also overwinter in the region without being damaged.
It depends on the lavender variety though:
· Crested lavender, which usually grows near the coast has bracts at the end of the flowerhat, is not hardy.
· Speik's lavender can be found up to about 600 m above sea level and is hardy down to
-5 ° C. · The woolly lavender, recognizable by its floral hairs that make the plant appear almost silvery, is also only hardy down to -5°C.
· True lavender, on the other hand, can be grown at altitudes of up to 1600 m and is hardy down to -15°C.
This true lavender is also grown in the fields around Bischoffingen.
Helping with the harvest in June is a special experience. The best time is around 10 a.m. in the morning, because then the aroma in the plant has developped best. Bees and other animals fly around us while we use the sickle to cut the flower stalks so that they are about 10 cm long. It takes a little practice, but then it becomes quite easy.
You work in a stooped position, which is a bit exhausting, but the intense lavender scent is so beguiling that you feel like you're meditating.
The lavender stalks are collected in wooden boxes and transported to the farm.
There they are later tied into bunches and hung up to dry or spread out loosely on the attic of the barn to dry.
Once the plant has dried out, it can be stored for a long time and has a wide range of uses.
In cosmetics, it is processed into soap, oil or creams.
Lavender is also known as a medicinal plant. It helps with nervous conditions, restlessness, anxiety or sleep disorders. I used to put a few drops of lavender oil on a handkerchief before going to the dentist. That made me sit much more relaxed on the dental chair.
If you have trouble sleeping, you can also make a tea from the flowers and leaves.
This brings us to the next application of lavender. It also has many culinary uses in the kitchen. Both the flowers and the leaves are edible.
It is used as a spice in both savory and sweet dishes. A lamb stew flavored with lavender tastes just as delicious as a pannacotta enhanced with lavender flowers.
Beate has developed a lavender syrup that tastes fabulous on its own. Simply infuse with water to get a delicious drink.
Her refreshing summer cocktail is even more interesting. To do this, she mixes the syrup with white wine (Rivaner) and fills the glass up with some sparkling water. This is pure summer in a glass and can only be recommended.
In her lavender shop you can not only buy the syrup, but also all other things related to lavender. To do this she has teamed up with several manufacturers and offers, for example, soap, lavender sugar, salt and also decorative material with a lavender theme.
Beate says: "The taste of lavender is incomparable.
That can easily be confirmed. The longer one deal with the topic, the more possible applications you will find.
The classic lavender sachet that keeps the moths away when lying in the closet is still a nice gift for family and friends.
Do you have any ideas on what to use the lavender for? Write to me.