I woke up Friday morning eager to explore a new area of Quebec. It had to be a day trip since we had the dogs on board and needed to find a destination that was close to home and dog friendly. I remember a friend mentioned she was going to visit the Lavender field in St-Lazar this weekend. Unfortunately no dogs allowed at this location. After a bit more research, I came upon another field close to St-Eustache called La Maison Lavande.

 

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La Maison Lavande is only 35 minutes north of Montreal located along Highway 640 in the Saint-Eustache countryside, in the heart of the Lower Laurentians.

 

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Not sure what to expect, we paid our dues; $8 each for adults, $4 for children and free for dogs.

 

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Lots of photographers were out taking shots of the blooming lavender.

 

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There where chairs nestled among the rows of lavender where many guests stopped to smell the flowers and “pose” for a photo or two.

 

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My partner snapped a good shot of Chelsea and I…

 

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Many visitors brought a picnic while others enjoyed the offerings from the bistro – everyone was enjoying their surroundings.

 

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In another two weeks the lavender fields will be in full bloom.

 

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In the fields at La Maison Lavande there are different varieties of lavender and lavandin. English lavender is shorter than lavandin.

Fine lavender is much more resilient. The plants need not be covered. It can be used as a cooking ingredient and its essential oil is used in perfume. English lavender usually blooms in early July for about 3 to 4 weeks. This a “Hidcote” or English lavender.

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This is lavandin.

 

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In this row, three different types of lavender grow; Hidcote, Melissa (more white in colour) and Grosso & Fred Boutin which are lavender hybrids (these are used mainly for essential oils).

 

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The workers were out in the field tending to the young flowers. Everyone Hands On!!

 

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As we were heading out, we passed by some residents who were keeping a watchful eye on everyone. We told to dogs to watch their paws and their noses!!

 

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Before heading out, we stopped at the bistro for a lavender lemonade – although it seemed refreshing, it was too “perfumé” for me. I did enjoy the oatmeal lavender cookie but decided to leave the other goodies for those who appreciated the flavour of lavender more than I did.

For more information on La Maison Lavande: http://maisonlavande.ca

It was time to continue along the Chemin du Terroir.

 

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We spotted the pickers hard at work in the strawberry field.

 

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There were lots of wineries, cheese producers, apple orchards and of course several caban a sucre restaurants along the route. We decided to pop into Les fromages du verger for a visit and possibly a sample or two.
http://www.lesfromagesduverger.com

 

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As it turns out, they produce a Bohème sheep cheese that we have purchased at the Atwater market.

The staff was so nice, not only did they let us try their cheese, they gave us a tour of their farm. The production staff was the first to greet us:

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And then we met the grounds crew who are hired to work the soil prior to planting new fruit trees each year.

 

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On our final leg of our journey, we came across a sign that we could not pass by without stopping.

 

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We love raspberries. Johanne, Matheo, Chelsea and I. We all love them. So we pulled in hoping that we could get a basket. A lady appeared on the balcony and welcomed us with open arms. I mentioned we were in search of fresh raspberries and she told me we came to the right place. She asked me what size basket I wanted and I motioned to the medium size basket. She asked for $6 dollars and then handed me the empty basket. Told me the raspberries were across the field, three rows in. We had to pick them ourselves since the season hadn’t started yet. No problem for the dogs – they joined in the fun.

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I think Chelsea ate about $3 dollars worth – she was in her glory.

 

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Just like the lavender fields, the raspberries needed another two weeks until they were ripe.

 

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After our fill of berries, we decided it was time to head home. Back on the chemin du terroir, we spotted the ferry in Oka. Perfect timing. This would save us some time in getting home.

 

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I had never taken the ferry before – $11 to cross from Oka to Como. We were home in no time. Another great adventure.

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Happy Canada Day to all.