Blanco County News
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Lavender Festival Guest Speakers Offer Lessons from the Best
Wednesday, May 22, 2013 • Posted May 23, 2013

Summer is in the air and so is the sweet smell of Lavender! Don’t miss it at the 9th Annual Blanco Lavender Festival, scheduled for June 7 – 9th in the heart of Blanco, on the Old Blanco County Courthouse Square. In the past eight years, the Blanco Lavender Festival has grown into one of the premiere events in the Texas Hill Country and has succeeded in bringing recognition to the beautiful community of Blanco as a destination location. Blanco is the Lavender Capital of Texas, with land and climate conditions suitable for growing this historic plant.

The festival features a speakers’ pavilion in the air-conditioned top floor of the Old Blanco Court House. The lineup this year offers exciting expertise in many topics that Hill Country lovers won’t want to miss. The following line up is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday and admission is FREE!

Saturday, June 8

11:30 am - Colleen Gardner – Bamberger Ranch – Beekeeping in the Texas Hill Country.

Colleen Gardner, Executive Director of the Bamberger Ranch Preserve, will share her knowledge of beekeeping in the Texas Hill Country. Colleen will include information about pollination and the type of plants bees prefer. Her talk will also include a live (enclosed) frame of honey bees for guests to witness up close.

2:00 pm – Melanie Van Aken – All About Lavender – History, Use and Growing Tips

In the 9th year of growing and using Lavender, Melanie Van Aken (farmer for 15 years at Heron’s Nest Herb Farm) will share Lavender’s history as well as its amazing and valuable uses. She will also be sharing her own experience with growing, harvesting and making products with Lavender Essential Oil. You will have an opportunity to make a unique Essential Oil Mister at the end of class ($5 – activity is optional )

3:30 pm – John R. Thomas – Owner and Founder of Wildseed Farms in Fredericksburg – The Secret to Growing Wildflowers

Mr. Thomas will share his experiences of planting and growing Wildflowers in Texas. He will give you the opportunity to learn about what, when, where and how to plant seeds for maximum success and also share some secrets of how to manage your Wildflower areas for years to come!

Sunday, June 9

11:30 am – Sibby Barrett – Onion Creek Kitchens at Juniper Hills Farm – Getting Lavender into your Food

Salts, Sugars, Syrups, Infusions and Steeping. Sibby will talk briefly about different ways to use both fresh and dried lavender in your kitchen. There will be foods available for sampling to see how tasty culinary lavender can be! Sibby has a wonderful selection of Onion Creek products including the popular Salsa Verde Italiano and Juniper Provence, a blend of rosemary, lavender and bay. Menu: Lavender Rubbed Pork Tenderloin Slider with Maple Bacon Marmalade; Arugula Cherry Tomato Salad with Lavender Balsamic Vinaigrette and Fresh Herb Garlic Boursin Cheese; Italian Cherry Lavender Cornmeal Tarts; Lavender Infused Sangria OR Lavender Mint Julep Sparkling Tea.

2:00 Bill Luedecke – Taming the Texas Hill Country

Bill will focus on why gardening is sometimes a bit tricky in the Texas Hill Country. Bill is just the guy to help you learn new “tricks” to making your garden a great success! He will share the basics of “Monthly Duties” and show you tools and formulas that work best in our rocky, alkaline soil. Bill can help you keep the deer away and still bring in the beauty of butterflies!

3:30 – Melanie Van Aken – All About Lavender – History, Use and Growing Tips

In the 9th year of growing and using Lavender, Melanie Van Aken (farmer for 15 years at Heron’s Nest Herb Farm) will share Lavender’s history as well as its amazing and valuable uses. She will also be sharing her own experience with growing, harvesting and making products with Lavender Essential Oil. You will have an opportunity to make a unique Essential Oil Mister at the end of class ($5 – activity is optional )

Complete information on the festival, including a list of speakers, farms, featured musical entertainment and vendors can be found at the festival website: www.blancolavenderfest.com. Make your plans now to visit Blanco during the 9th Annual Lavender Festival, June 7, 8 & 9, 2013. Seating is limited. See you there!

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