BY SUSAN WENZEL
Whidbey Life Magazine contributor
July 18, 2013
It’s in the chocolate chip cookies, scones, lemon shortbread, quiche, and ridiculously addictive cheddar and herb cheese straws. It’s in the blackberry, raspberry, strawberry and blueberry jams and is a main ingredient in the Breakfast, Sunrise, Spirit and Twilight teas. It’s in the Bliss Bark and cocoa dusted truffles handcrafted by Michaelene McElroy, the resident chocolatier. In fact, the fragrant purple herb grown at Lavender Wind Farm’s West Beach location lends its essence to nearly every one of the gastronomical delights concocted in the kitchen of its shop at 15 Coveland Street in the heart of Coupeville.
While there isn’t a trace of lavender in any of the three types of artisan breads – pumpkin/sunflower, oat/sunflower and rosemary/garlic – the freshly baked loaves are laden with Lavender Wind Farm’s other herbs and aromatics.
“But our lavender is in the ice cream,” said Sarah Richards, owner and operator.
The small freezer in the store is regularly stocked with chocolate covered bars and pint tubs in a variety of lavender infused flavors, including vanilla, chocolate, blackberry, cardamom, chocolate-orange and more all made by Whidbey Island Ice Cream Company in Freeland.
“And in the cheese,” she added, pointing to the refrigerator.
Golden Glen Creamery in Bow incorporates Sarah’s lavender in its mild cheddar and sends the finished product back to the store in Coupeville where a wedge sells for $5-$6. Sarah noted that an aged, sharp cheddar is also in the works.
Caprine Cream Chevre from Little Brown Farm in Freeland should make its return to the shop soon too. This spreadable delight is made with 100% fresh milk from Vicky Brown’s much loved goats and Herbs de Provence comprised of 100 percent Lavender Wind Farm herbs.
Sarah and her staff are always developing new edibles using Lavender Wind Farm’s locally grown products and hope to encourage more area businesses to do the same. For example, she told this reporter, Front Street Grill sometimes features a delectable crème brûlée on its dessert menu…with lavender included, of course.
Don’t miss “Artist Invasion” next weekend at the farm near West Beach! Visit Lavender Wind Farm at 2530 Darst Road in Coupeville, where visitors can walk around the lavender fields and meet local artists at this annual festival. Enjoy fine art, drop-in music, food, lavender, view, picnic tables and a relaxing atmosphere from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28. Get more info here.
(Little Brown Farm and Golden Glen Creamery cheeses are available for purchase at the Bayview Farmer’s Market and the Coupeville Farmer’s Market, respectively, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, April to mid-October. The Coupeville market is located behind the Coupeville library which is, conveniently, only a block away from Lavender Wind’s storefront. The Bayview Market is at Bayview Corner, the corner of Bayview and Marshview Roads.)
(Pictured at top, Cheddar and Herb Cheese Straws, at Lavender Wind Farm shop in Coupeville, are “flaky to perfection.” Photo by Susan Wenzel)
Susan Wenzel, food writer, believes in the power of locally produced food to fortify the health and wellbeing of both the individual and the community as a whole.