In the Spotlight
August 2022 at the B & B on Broadway
The bees are buzzing among the blooms in our native prairie garden. Amidst our Iowa prairie, we do keep a few hints of California in pots: several succulents and our favorite herbs for cooking: rosemary and lavender. I love this statement I found online:
“Beautiful, fragrant lavender is native to hot, dry, Mediterranean climates. But this hardy small shrub adapts to the challenging growing conditions of the Midwest, too.”
I had never thought of cooking with lavender until I tasted a homemade honey-lavender granola from a local farm near our former home in California. The lavender gave the oats more umph and the nuts and seeds more zing. It was a freshness of summer missing from other granolas. I decided to make it myself and add it to the B & B on Broadway’s breakfast. Many of you have asked for the recipe so you can enjoy it at home too!
B & B on Broadway Honey-Lavender Granola
2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten-free oats work well)
½ cup roasted seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, whatever your preference)
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup shredded coconut
2/3 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp lavender
¼ tsp sea salt
¾ cup raisins
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees completely before putting in granola
- In a large bowl mix oats, seeds, almonds, coconut, and sea salt.
- In separate bowl mix together honey, vanilla, and lavender.
- Pour wet ingredients in with the dry, mixing until evenly coated.
- Spread mixture on greased baking sheet.
- Bake for 10 minutes; stir. Bake for another 10 minutes, stir.
- Lower heat to 200 degrees. Bake for another 10 minutes.
- Stir once removed from oven then let it sit until cooled. Granola will continue to harden as it cools.
Around the House
We started planting native plants all around the B & B on Broadway five years ago when we moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Decorah. I learned to plant natives in California from my boss at a technology start up. It opened a new world for me: the Mediterranean beauty and hardiness of native California plants, and the community of people who believed in restoring and revitalizing the Earth, one backyard at a time. Touring yards, sharing plants, planting alongside experts, and relaxing with friends surrounded by humming birds and butterflies brought me much joy. It’s also great fun to see new plants on hikes and think about how they might thrive in your own backyard.
Even though I grew up in a family of Iowa farmers, all my adult gardening experience was in California. My first couple of years gardening in Iowa were perplexing. OK. Annoying. First, you wonder if all that brown will ever become green. Then you wonder, in all that green, what’s a weed and what’s a plant? And if it’s a native, does it matter? Finally, winter comes, and everything is white which is great (no weeding), but will the natives return in the spring?
The native plants do return. And there is a lot less weeding once they are established. Now we— along with our friends, family, and guests—can sit in our gardens enjoying all the pollinators who come to visit, including the endangered monarch butterflies and the rusty patched bumble bees!
Enjoy pollinated goodness in Decorah this August:
- Friday or Saturday night enjoy Pizza on the Farm @ award-winning Luna Valley Farm.
- On Saturday, the Farmer’s Market is in full swing.
- Keep swinging on Sunday with live music at Convergence Cider Works.
The Farmer’s Market and Convergence Cider Works are two blocks from the B & B on Broadway. Biking, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and swimming are also just down the road from the B & B.
We have two weekends available in August at the B & B on Broadway: August 12-14 and August 26-28. Receive a 10% discount on your August 2022 stays when you mention this In the Spotlight newsletter. Book your stay today!
See you soon!
– Melissa & Matthew