There’s nothing quite like the luscious scent of blooming lavender radiating throughout the home. Trust us, it’s a summertime phenomenon you and your family do not want to miss. Of course, Essex County isn’t exactly known for its lavender farming, but that doesn’t mean that a day trip to the lavender fields is out of reach. The lavender season kicks off near the end of June and flowering is pretty fleeting. It only lasts about three to four weeks, so you’ll want to get to a field as soon as they start blooming. Keep reading to discover four nearby lavender fields to visit this summer near Essex County.
The Benefits of Lavender
Lavender has myriad health benefits. It can be used to treat anxiety, mood swings, and of course, sleep issues. Inhaling some delicious-smelling lavender has been known to help people get to sleep faster and keep them from waking up throughout the night. But lavender isn’t just beneficial to our beauty rest. It can also fight fungal infections, repair hair loss, and treat wounds, too.
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And that’s just the cosmetic stuff. Aside from being an essential part of your beauty routine (hair, skin — you name it), consuming lavender is also beneficial. It can alleviate many digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, bloating, and more. Anecdotal evidence also suggests lavender can cure headaches and relieve pain from injuries like sprains and even toothaches.
Speaking of consuming lavender, you can also cook with culinary lavender. It can go in just about any recipe — from lavender lemon bars to tea and morning lattes. In many bread recipes, lavender can be substituted for rosemary. You can also add it to your honey (and drizzle it on toast), make lemonade, ice cream, and more. Lavender is a beautiful (and delicious) garnish in salads, desserts, and baked goods, and can even be used to top off your Sunday brunch Champagne.
Of course, if you’re going to ingest lavender, you need to make sure it’s fresh. You should never eat lavender that’s not categorized as culinary. If it’s from a florist, nursery, or garden center, it’s likely been treated with pesticides — AKA not culinary-grade. Lavender, however, found and sourced from organic lavender fields is A-OK to eat.
Lavender Farms Near Essex County
Now that we’ve established the many benefits of lavender, find out where you can visit fresh lavender farms near Essex County this summer.
Pleasant Valley Lavender Farm | 288 Pleasant Valley Road, Morganville
(Photo credit: @pleasant_valley_lavender)
Located in the Marlboro Township, The Morganville farm has over 2,000 plants — from French to English lavender. Here, you can explore the fields and even cut your own lavender bundles. Alternatively, you can grab some already-harvested bundles in the Pleasant Valley shop.
With ten acres of fragrant field, Pleasant Valley sells fresh lavender by the bundle, dried lavender, loose buds, sachets, assortments of soaps, candles, and lavender honey made on-site from Pleasant Valley’s bees. You can also go home with your own lavender plant, too, if you’d like to reap some of the benefits of lavender at home.
Hidden Springs Lavender Farm | 890 Belle Mead-Blawenburg Road, Skillman
(Photo credit: @hiddenspringlavender)
Just about an hour outside of Hoboken and Jersey City, Hidden Springs is very aptly named, tucked away in Skillman, New Jersey. Also a wedding venue, Hidden Springs also features a horse barn and trails for patrons to ride. With 25 acres of farmland, you can take pictures in the fields, buy some lavender-themed trinkets at the gift shop, take a horse for a ride, and even pet an alpaca.
Hidden Springs has four very special residents — Faerie Dust, Golden Girl, Wallace, and Corri Hoillie. Kids can get up close and personal with the alpacas in their pen, petting them and even feeding them.
Hidden Springs is open to the public every Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-4PM. Face masks are required to enter the shop — find more information on protocol here.
See More: Outdoor Spring Escapes in Essex County
Orchard View Lavender Farm | 101 Karrsville Road, Port Murray
(Photo credit: @orchardviewlavenderfarm)
An hour and 20 from town, you’ll find Orchard View, a pesticide- and herbicide-free lavender farm. Established in Warren County in May 2015, Orchard View is committed to purely organic methods of growing. Like Pleasant Valley, Orchard View guests are invited to cut their own lavender during the harvest season.
It also functions as a wedding and event venue and frequently gets bookings for artists and photographers. You can pack a picnic basket, bring a blanket, or sit in the on-site gazebo to enjoy some of the very purple sights Orchard View has to offer.
Orchard View has many items for purchase: bath and body gifts, household and culinary, teas and tea accessories, aromatherapy jewelry, essential oil, and garden décor and gifts.
This farm is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 10AM-5PM. Social distancing guidelines must be followed — find out more here.