Of all of the edible flowers, lavender has to be my favourite. I jumped at the chance to head to Niagara-on-the-Lake for the 2016 NEOB Lavender Festival – a festival all about that little purple plant.
I may or may not have lavender detergent, lavender hand soap, dish soap, body wash, perfume and more. Don’t judge, I said it was my favourite.
Whether you love the look or the smell, lavender is more than just fragrance. It can help with anxiety, sleep and of course you can add it to food for a fresh, earthy taste.
The festival offered two ways to enjoy the grounds. The island hopper pass allowed attendees to scope out the festival with a couple of treats for $5 and the second option, the world traveller, was $15 for all the items.
So what exactly do you do at a Lavender Festival?
Frolic in the lavender fields
Lavender starts blooming around June or July, so the festival was placed perfectly for optimal frolicking. Run your hands through the bushes or sit and watch the bees dance around the flowers.
Eat lavender items
Have you heard of lavender flatbread? Or lavender lemongrass square? How about ice cream with lavender syrup?
That’s right, if you like looking at the flower and smelling the flower then why not eat it right?
The festival offered the aforementioned items as well as delicious lavender root beer and a lavender Japanese raindrop cake.
Haven’t heard of raindrop cake? Well, it’s made of mineral water and agar and is like eating a solid, jello-y raindrop aka: like eating nothing. My reaction: “Slimy yet satisfying” (#LionKingReference)
Rounding the day off with a lavender macaron, truffle, and cheesecake, my stomach was as happy as a lavender coloured clam.
Cut your own lavender
Before I realized I could cut my own bouquet, I had one handed to me. It now sits in a vase on my bookshelf. I got roped in by its aroma and caved to buy culinary lavender, pillow spray for better zzz’s, shea butter to lather up, and lavender honey.
The fields were open for those adventurers who wanted only the freshest of lavender.
You could also roam the vendors selling amazingly unique items, attend a lavender related workshop or join a tour of the greenhouses.
I was very impressed by the festival, which is only a couple of years old. The organizers stated there were 7,000 people in attendance during the weekend; so obviously, I’m not the only one obsessed with lavender.