Living & Eating on Long Island's East End 

                     Health Benefits of a Lavender Bloom

My name is Monique.
I'm a 2-time Emmy Award winning TV Producer.
Having been in the business for over 15 years I've produced my share of live tv cooking segments, but never had much time to devote to cooking myself.

Last year when I got married, I moved out of New York City to the east end of Long Island, to ...wait for it...The Hamptons.

Now before you roll your eyes, there's more to the Hamptons than mansions and celebrities.

The Hamptons have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, miles of productive farmland, plus a rich clamming history that continues to this day.

When I moved out east and realized I was surrounded, not just by the bounty of the sea, but also local farms and vineyards, I couldn't wait to explore and sample my new environment.

That's what this blog is about.  Cooking, living, exploring and sharing those experiences.

You'll notice that my blog is a little of this and a little of that, kind of like a potluck meal.

Found myself in East Marion last week because I'd heard the lavender bloom was early this year.

There's a gorgeous lavender farm out towards the eastern end of the North Fork called "Lavender By the Bay", which only grows and sells lavender, as well as the products they make from their lavender crop, such as sachets, dried lavender, soap, lotions and potions and of course - lavender honey.

A lot of people who visit the North Fork of Long Island in the summer schedule their trip to coincide with the lavender bloom at this farm, which is usually in late June/early July.

Last year I brought my mom and sister to see the bloom and they loved it. The farm grows several kinds of lavender, but the two most identifiable types are English lavender and French lavender.

This year for some reason the English lavender is blooming two weeks early, meaning the full bloom will hit in mid June instead.

Not earth-shattering news by any means, except if you're scheduling a trip to see it and may miss out entirely.

The owners of the farm don't know why it's coming early this year, they only know that their honeybees are going crazy taking advantage of the opportunity.
The owners say they have never seen this much honey.

So on Wednesday I wandered out to the farm to take some pictures. The English lavender, which has shorter stems than the French, was cutting long blue-purple swaths through the rows of still green French lavender.

The farm really is a wonder to see and is especially enjoyable during the week, when there are fewer visitors. You can walk amongst the rows of lavender bushes and all you hear is the wind rustling amongst the plants.

There was something almost other-worldly about wandering the rows of lavender, as the wind gently swayed them back and forth. The noise from the traffic and people's voices faded away and I was left alone, free from distractions, to walk amongst the rows with just my thoughts as I clicked away.

It was very much like walking round a labyrinth or meditation circle. Each row is carefully lined up, so as you finish one row, you just turn and begin another.

As I walked amongst the repetitive rows of lavender, my mind was completely at ease, plus I'm sure breathing in all of that lavender, even if it was not in full bloom yet, didn't hurt.

Many health experts and websites extoll the calming benefits of lavender aromatherapy, including stress relief, as well as aiding in the relief of headaches and even migraines.

I came out of there with my mind relaxed, my thoughts clear, my mood positive. Nothing like a walk amongst the lavender to clear ones head.

For more information about Lavender By the Bay, visit

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