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Lavender: It’s not just for soap anymore

Posted 7/15/2013 3:49:00 PM

I have occasionally thought I could “hear” purple, you know the sound an orchestra makes while tuning up, beautiful, but everyone doing their own thing.

Well, recently, I got the chance to taste purple, not the grape flavor so common in juices, jellies, jams and (my personal favorite) wine.

I tasted not blue cheese, but lavender cheese at the weekly Soda City Farmers Market on Columbia’s Main Street.

The cheese, a creation from Trail Ridge Farm and Goat Dairy in Aiken, is smooth and delicious. 

For all other things lavender, you can check out the appropriately named Lavender Farm in York. "La Bastide des Lavandes" is the first official lavender farm in South Carolina, and its products are Certified S.C. Grown by the S.C. Department of Agriculture.

The team harvested its first lavender just two years ago and now have more than a thousand plants of lavandins and culinary lavender.

There are more than a dozen varieties of lavender grown at the farm as well as 19 varieties of rosemary plants.

The owners make products on their farm using natural ingredients. You can find them at local markets in Columbia and Rock Hill.

Farm tours are offered in June and July (lavender blooming season). In August, you can buy fresh bouquets of lavender, and you can shop online anytime.