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Fragrant Isle Culinary Lavender Feature ~ Home and Away Magazine

Posted on August 13, 2017 by Fragrant Isle | 0 comments



Lavender-infused Dining
Wisconsin’s Washington Island finds commonality with Provence at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm.
By Elizabeth Hey

Lavender has traditionally been used for soothing massages and as an antidote for sleepless nights. But it’s quickly becoming a culinary star. On Washington Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Door County, Wis., diners are discovering how lavender enhances foods. At Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm, Shop & Le Petit Bistro's cafe, sweet and savory dishes incorporate this popular herb. 

“Lavender is supposed to be an undertone when you cook with it and not the main flavor,” said Martine Anderson, who co-owns and operates the farm with her husband, Edgar, both former business executives. “I want people to say this is delicious. What’s in it?”

Born and raised in southern France, Martine Anderson dreamed of owning a lavender farm. Upon retirement, the Andersons moved to pastoral Washington Island and soon realized it shared similarities of weather and soil with Provence. In 2012, her dream became reality when 6,000 lavender plants were planted to start Fragrant Isle. In July, 14,000 lavender plants flaunted row upon row of purple blooms—just in time for the farm’s three-day Lavender Festival.

Lavender Good Enough to Eat
For most visitors, their first stop at Fragrant Isle's Washington Island location is the Main Store. It features Fragrant Isle's complete line of hundreds of luxurious lavender products and culinary specialties, from food to body butters, lotions and pure essential oil. All Fragrant Isle products are made with lavender grown at the farm. Food items include culinary lavender, lavender-cherry jam, lavender syrup and lavender scone mixes. There are also cookbooks.

The cafe menu invites adventure: lavender-glazed sugar cookies, lavender macaroons and muffins, and lavender desserts. An assortment of lavender truffles and vanilla ice cream are prepared with Fragrant Isle's culinary lavender oil. Beverages range from coffees, teas and a rosé wine slushy flavored with lavender syrup.




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Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm and Shop opens Fish Creek Location

Posted on May 28, 2017 by Fragrant Isle | 0 comments

Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm and Shop is excited to announce the opening of our 2nd. location! You may now shop for our luxurious products at THE TOP OF THE HILL SHOPS in Fish Creek! Our new shop is located at 9341 Spring Road, Fish Creek, WI 54212.

Our farm on Washington Island remains our "flagship" location. When visiting the Fish Creek Store we hope to pique your curiosity and entice you to visit beautiful Washington Island and our lavender farm. Come visit our true, working lavender farm. Only there, can you enjoy thousands of lavender plants in full bloom and experience our harvest and processing operation. For essential oil enthusiasts words cannot describe witnessing the abundantly fragrant essential oil distillation process which occurs late summer/early fall.

Our Fish Creek Location is open Sunday thru Saturday 10 am - 5 pm.


Fragrant Isle Fish Creek ~ 1-920-868-4332

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Lavender Hydrosol

Posted on March 13, 2017 by Fragrant Isle | 0 comments

Lavender Hydrosol by Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm

The What and Why for Using



At Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm producing high quality lavender essential oil and hydrosol begins in the lavender field; which means growing healthy, pesticide/herbicide free lavender plants. After harvest our lavender plants are processed using a centuries old, steam distillation method; a practice that has been around for nearly 5000 years. A prominent feature of our big, red working barn is the Copper Alembic Still we use for the production of lavender essential oil and the wonderful byproduct hydrosol. It is a labor intensive endeavor, but truly worth the effort!

So, what is a hydrosol? The term hydrosol was coined in the 1990’s by noted herbalist and aroma therapist Jeanne Rose. It means simply, “hydro” for water and “sol” for solution. Steam distillation is a process whereby the constituents of the lavender plant are separated. As steam fills the distiller pot, it rises and causes the plant’s glands to burst which in turn, releases the oils and essence from the fibrous material of the plants. The steam travels through a series of copper tubing to a condenser. As the steam cools it reverts back to its liquid state. From the condenser the liquid flows through a filter and into a separator. Water is of higher density than oil therefore, the lavender hydrosol is easily drained from the bottom. It is important to note that lavender hydrosol contains all the same properties as lavender essential oil at lesser concentrations. Lavender hydrosol also contains water soluble components of the lavender plant that may not be present in the lavender essential oil. Hydrosols cannot be synthetically manufactured.

Why is lavender hydrosol used and what are the major benefits of its use? Let us count the ways! Lavender hydrosol is a refreshing, relaxing, multipurpose gem.  Lavender hydrosol’s acidic pH closely matches that of the human skin (pH around 5.0) making it a great antifungal and antibacterial solution and promoter of a healthy skin flora. Lavender hydrosol may have a regenerative effect on skin irritations making it a great alternative to soothe and cool acne inflammation. It may provide relief from skin rashes, eczema and dryness. Combined with witch hazel it makes a refreshing toner for skin and will provide relief from mild sunburn. A drop or two of sage and peppermint essential oils added to lavender hydrosol are said to aid those suffering menopausal hot flashes. A spritz of lavender hydrosol will set your makeup and add shine to your hair. Apply to hair as a rinse after shampooing to help curb dandruff. Use it as a mid-afternoon makeup refresher. Feeling overheated or stressed? Calm yourself with spray of lavender hydrosol. It is safe to use on children. Use during diaper changes to clean and protect from diaper rash. There is also anecdotal evidence that it makes a fantastic “monster spray” for those needing to vanquish the “stuff of bad dreams,” from under the bed! It is also safe to use on the family dog to soothe hotspots from scratching. It has also been said that lavender hydrosol will remove pine tar from hands.

When we called lavender hydrosol multipurpose, we weren’t kidding. It can be used as a safe, non-toxic air freshener to deodorize your house and car. Lavender hydrosol makes a fantastic linen spray. Spritz on pillows before bedtime to promote a good night’s rest. Lavender hydrosol is also great to use as ironing water. Devoid of hard chemicals it will not harm your iron. This subtly fragrant spray is a great household cleaner too. Use it on counters in the kitchen and bath. It is effective for cleaning mirrors and windows leaving nothing but streak-free glass.

We hope those of you who visit Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm during the harvest season will visit our working barn and witness first-hand how we process our lavender plants. Demonstrations will take place during our “All Things Lavender” Festival July 21, 22, and 23, 2017 and are on-going until the harvest is completed. You may also visit our store where you will find a comprehensive line of our lavender products. Sample a spritz of one of the many different hydrosol products made from our lavender. See for yourself just how versatile this amazing solution can be!


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Take Pause and Give Thanks

Posted on January 17, 2017 by Fragrant Isle | 8 comments



As each year ends we, at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm, take a few moments to reflect on the year that has passed. It is important to give pause, to give thanks and to reevaluate before moving forward into the great unknown of a brand new year.

Giving pause is sometimes difficult for us to do! As soon as our busy season draws to a close we typically switch gears and begin working immediately, on the upcoming season. This year however, we came to a screeching halt due to an unforeseen circumstance. In late December our founders/owners, Edgar and Martine Anderson were forced to drop everything to meet the challenge of a critical, medical circumstance. Martine Anderson, the force behind Fragrant Isle’s retail operation was told that the time had come to have an Aortic Valve Replacement. Despite knowing that “someday” this issue would need to be addressed; it came as a shocking surprise to learn “someday” had come and gone!

With their usual vigor and precision planning our fearless, (maybe not quite so fearless in this circumstance,) leaders attacked this problem as they typically do, facing it head on.  From the moment it became apparent that the surgery must take place the, “Get ‘Er Done” mentality set in.  And get it done she did! Not one to ever veer far from her business, Martine’s parting words as they wheeled her away to surgery were, “Edgar, remember to plant more roses!” Safe to say, Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm will very likely be boasting more roses this summer! Edgar has been the steady hand thru this crisis and Martine would tell you that she could not have done this without him. Those of us close to the situation have witnessed Edgar’s compassion, attentiveness and profound love for his wife. They are quite a team.

It comes as no surprise that a “purple aura” follows Martine wherever she goes. From day one, the very talented, caring staff at Edwards Hospital referred to her as the “Lavender Lady.” Edgar and Martine made lots of new friends and it’s safe to presume that at some point this summer we will be hosting a cardiac reunion. The lengths our feisty friend will go to, to support tourism in Wisconsin!

Throw down the gauntlet and our Martine will rise to the challenge. Cardiac Rehab is in for a big surprise at the end of this month! This writer nearly fell off her chair when five days post op, Martine said, “I think this Cardia Rehab was designed for the elderly.” I did not have the heart to tell her that there are some who may already view us, as something other than spring chickens! A bout with bronchitis has slowed her down a bit, but she is healing and received a huge high five from her cardiologist this week!

Now, we come to the part where we give thanks. First, we are very thankful for having had another wonderful year at Fragrant Isle Lavender Farm.  We thank our customers, our staff and our community for supporting our business. Your support means a great deal to us and we never take for granted your patronage.  We praise the medical personnel for the excellent care they gave to Martine and we are ever so thankful, that Martine will be at the helm this summer, a healthy new version of herself! We all hope we can keep up! We also want to thank all of the people who have reached out to Martine extending their well wishes and hopes for her quick recovery.

Finally, we reevaluate all that was accomplished this past summer and begin building on those successes. Our All Things Lavender Festival 2017 is still on, July 21st., 22nd., and 23rd. There are many new, exciting things planned for this coming season and we will be making announcements accordingly. We move forward with renewed vigor and excitement for this summer. We have a dynamic staff eager to get started. This summer we will work hard to give all of you the goods, services and experiences you have come to expect from us. We are going to remember to have fun along the way.  Without sounding too cliché, we are all going to take some time to smell the lavender!



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