Town of Palisade Hosts First Annual Colorado Lavender Festival July 15-17; Grand Junction Area Provides Optimal Lavender Growing Conditions

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The first annual Colorado Lavender Festival will take place July 15-17 in the western Colorado town of Palisade. Hosted by the Lavender Association of Western Colorado, the event will include self-guided and guided lavender farm tours to visit area growers in peak bloom season. The July 16 Festival in the Park will feature workshops, seminars and question-and-answer sessions on topics ranging from starting a lavender farm to lavender growing tips, history, uses and cooking. An expert from Colorado State University Extension will present lavender research project highlights and a lecture on local growing information.

Palisade hosts 1st annual Lavender Festival, July 15-17.

The first annual Colorado Lavender Festival will take place July 15-17 in the western Colorado town of Palisade.

Hosted by the Lavender Association of Western Colorado, the event will include self-guided and guided lavender farm tours to visit area growers in peak bloom season. The July 16 Festival in the Park will feature workshops, seminars and question-and-answer sessions on topics ranging from starting a lavender farm to lavender growing tips, history, uses and cooking. An expert from Colorado State University Extension will present lavender research project highlights and a lecture on local growing information.

Attendees can take part in a hands-on demonstration in lavender aromatherapy, essential oil usage and crafts. The event also will include activities for children, live entertainment, music, food and retail vendors with lavender-inspired merchandise.

The climate in western Colorado provides optimal growing conditions for lavender, according to the Lavender Association of Western Colorado. Two types of lavender – English lavender and lavandin – grow particularly well in the state.

Tickets for the event are available at http://www.coloradolavender.org. The full-day guided farm tour tickets are $49/person. Seminar tickets are $60/person. Palisade is located just east of Grand Junction in far western Colorado, along the I-70 corridor. Grand Junction is situated 244 miles from Denver and 284 miles from Salt Lake City.

Grand Junction
Nestled near 11,000-foot Grand Mesa and the 7,500-foot Book Cliffs, Grand Junction is the largest city in western Colorado. At an altitude of 4,586 feet, warm summers and moderate spring, fall and winter seasons allow for year-round golf, hiking and biking. Boasting more than 275 days of sunshine annually, Grand Junction recently was named one of the eight sunniest cities in the United States by TourismReview.com.

Among Grand Junction’s spectacular red cliffs and winding canyons are the Grand Mesa, the world’s largest flat-topped mountain, the Colorado National Monument, Bookcliff Wild Horse Area, two national scenic byways and five golf courses. Grand Junction lies in the heart of the Colorado-Utah Dinosaur Diamond. The area also is home to Colorado’s wine country, with nearly 30 vineyards and wineries.

Lavender Chocolate Shortbread Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  •     2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
  •     1 cup confectioners' sugar
  •     2 Tb lavender honey
  •     1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  •     2/3 cup cocoa powder
  •     1 Tb fresh or dried lavender
  •     1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  •     1 teaspoon kosher salt

DIRECTIONS
1)    In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle, beat the butter and honey until creamy. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy. Add the vanilla, then beat in the cocoa on low speed. Beat in the flour, lavender and salt; the dough will be very soft.
2)    Divide the dough in half and place each half between 2 large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap. Roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick and transfer to 2 baking sheets. Refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.
3)    Preheat the oven to 350°. Working with one piece of dough at a time, remove the top sheet of parchment and invert the dough onto a lightly floured work surface; remove the second sheet of parchment. Using a floured 3-inch cookie cutter, stamp out cookies as close together as possible. Transfer the cookies to parchment paper–lined baking sheets and bake for about 14 minutes, or until firm. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then, using a metal spatula, transfer the cookies to a rack to cool completely. Reroll the scraps, and stamp out more cookies, chilling the scraps between batches.

MAKE AHEAD

The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or freeze up to one month.

By Paola Legarre, Owner
Sage Creations Organic Farm

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