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1/7/2010 10:09:10 AM
A Vineyard in Balance
Over my New Year’s vacation, I took a trip to Napa Valley, where I toured a certified Biodynamic vineyard called Grgich Hills Estate. It’s tucked away in the middle of the valley. The day I visited the sun was bright, the air was crisp, and the mustard flowers were in full bloom, covering the hills in bright yellow. It was the perfect day for tasting…and touring! Given my background at Weleda, I was excited to learn firsthand how Grgich uses Biodynamic agriculture to grow its grapes. I know the quality of Weleda’s products is unsurpassed because we grow our plant ingredients in our own Biodynamic gardens. So you can bet I had high expectations for...
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5/6/2009 2:31:00 PM
5 Reasons why we love weeds...and more
The atmosphere in the garden in May is beautiful. The greens are bright, and many plants are flowering. This is when my favorite plant flowers: Iris germanica—used in Iris Facial Care. The plant's color and shape fascinate me. We are planting Bryophyllum—used in Weleda medicines—in the greenhouses, and for the first time we're using biodegradable foil. The foil prevents weeds and dirt from getting on the delicate leaves. Previously we needed to clean and dry each leaf at harvest time — very time consuming! Although weeds contribute positive things to the environment and increase biodiversity, weeding is important here in the garden, since weeds...
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10/8/2009 2:56:04 PM
Harvesting Beauty
In October it turns cold again. This is the last month of the year that our workers are outside in the medicinal garden, mostly preparing for winter and bringing inside the plants that are sensitive to the cold. Of the plants that stay outside, we cover some with leaves and other natural materials to protect them against the frigid temperatures and, later, the snow. Even though October can be cold, it’s the month with the least amount of rain, and it can be so beautiful, too. The garden often looks very pretty, although in a way that’s considerably different from the summertime. The loveliness now comes from the colorful leaves, delicate seed pods and...
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8/31/2009 5:42:00 PM
Glorious Green Manure
Do you know what green manure is and why we seed it in our gardens? Green manure is any crop planted with the sole purpose of enriching the soil with nutrients and organic matter. Commonly used in organic agriculture, green manure serves many beneficial functions. In our gardens, we use clover, a plant from the legume family, as our green manure, and it has many benefits. First, as a reliable source of nitrogen-rich organic matter, the clover acts as fertilizer. Second, it covers the soil, serving as a simple weed-prevention method. Two years of green manure in the ground reduces weeds for the next few years. Third, as it flowers, the green manure...
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7/25/2009 6:06:48 PM
The Itty-Bitty Insect Hotel
This month I would like to show you around our hotel — our insect hotel, that is! Our miniature hotel provides a suitable habitat for the insects we keep, which are so very important for cultivating our gardens. Keeping insects is a natural method of plant protection that is particularly effective in closed buildings such as greenhouses. They control the bad insects in various ways and pollinate the plants. The “hotel” demonstrates how easy it is to create situations that support insects. I enjoy observing how the different yet valuable little critters bring food and housing materials into each of the hotel’s little rooms. My colleague Heike,...
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3/20/2009 3:11:00 PM
The Time for Nature to Awaken
March always feels like an in-between month, not winter but not yet spring. The days are gray and cold, and the trees are still bare. But you can sense that nature soon will burst forth. Already the birds tell us so with their songs. In March the gardeners return from winter break, full of hope for a good season with all growing factors in harmony. Here in the medicinal garden it’s the month for root harvesting. The soil remains wet and cold, while the plants’ exposed parts bear traces of the long winter. It’s difficult to imagine that strong, beautiful plants will emerge in a few weeks. But when you take the root, brush off any soil and look...
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