"Originally brought to [Provence] by the Romans lavender took a liking to the southern slopes of the Alps with their well-drained soil, and began to grow wild in the region. At the beginning of the twentieth century, farmers cleared out almond orchards, ... and in their place, began cultivating lavender to supply perfumers in Grasse."
This history ignited thoughts about the shift from growing wholesome food (in this case almonds, a great nut both in taste and health benefits) to plant a crop with less nutritional significance, although lavender can be used as a herb in cooking and in marinades. This reminds me about what I heard someone say once, "we pay good amounts of money for things that we can survive without, like diamonds, but things we can't live without, such as water, are free." Ironic.
My beautiful husband, knowing my disappointment in missing two lavender festivals, got me a little lavender of my own. What a dear man he is :)