Lavender Festivals 

Lavender, a purple flowering plant from the mint family known for its soothing properties, has seen a notable upsurge in popularity of late. Flavoring everything from cheeses to vodkas, lavender has recently strutted its way onto the VIP list of haute herbs.

If you want to join the culinary cool kids, there are a number of ways to get your hands on some lavender this weekend. At Lakeside Lavender Farm on Lake Lowell in Nampa on Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., you can harvest your own lavender from more than 1,500 available plants. After you've gathered a sizable bouquet, be sure to grab a lavender-inspired boxed lunch from Brick 29 Bistro or a big bowl of Clark Family's lavender ice cream. Local artisans from Good Scents Herb Nursery, Hands On Health Massage Therapy and Sew Much More Idaho Purses and Aprons will hawk their homemade lavender-inspired products. Also new this year, La Belle Vie's Julie Free will offer cooking with lavender classes and Dreamerz Carriage Co. will provide horse-drawn wagon rides.

Over in Emmett, there's more lavender love going on. On Friday, July 9, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Silver Fox Farm will open up its 4-acre farm for you-cut bouquets, live music, wreath classes, lavender products and wool spinning. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. On Saturday, July 10, and Sunday, July 11, River Ridge Farm, also in Emmett, invites lavender-philes to bring a basket and a picnic to their property for you-cut bouquets, lavender products and painting lessons from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days.

Friday, July 9-Sunday, July 11, various times. Lakeside Lavender Farm, 1003 W. Locust Lane, Nampa, 208-466-0523, Silver Fox Farm, 1825 Sunset Dr., 208-365-4424. River Ridge Farm, 907 Jackson Ave., 208-631-4577,

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