In November, the cold, wet and gray days start to set in, as the last of the fallen leaves are blown away by the wind. But we still have lots of work to do in our biodynamic gardens!
We put most of the fallen leaves to good use as a cover on certain plants to protect them against the cold. We also create a typical forest soil using humus—organic material produced by the leaves that helps feed the soil.
In November we start to trim the hedges that surround all of our fields. We have more than 14,000(m) of hedges around the entire garden. They are an important element in a biodynamic garden; they serve as a valuable habitat for necessary birds and insects, helping create a healthy ecosystem. Hedges also protect the field against wind and erosion.
We also cut the branches of the different Salix (willow) species in the garden, which are used in many of our specialty medicines. For the harvest of healthy Salix leaves, it’s important to have one-year-old branches every year. Salix is a plant that is vital. Nearly every piece of wood or branch can produce roots for immediate growing.
This is also the time of year when we start to plough our fields. It’s an important component of organic farming because it can reduce the weeds. It also brings any organic matter that was growing on the field into the soil. Later the organic matter mineralizes in the soil and provides nutrients for the coming plants.
In November we also plant trees and shrubs. We have a handsome collection of permanent crops, which we plant and harvest for medicinal purposes. These include: Crategus (hawthorn berries), pictured here and found in our Hawthorn Tablets
; Salix alba; and Prunus spinosa
(blackthorn), which is used in our Almond Facial Oil
I would like to introduce you one very nice plant: Hamamelis Virginiana
(witch hazel), pictured here. It boasts a beautiful shrub, and is one of the few plants that flower in late autumn. We harvest the leaves of this plant and also its flowering branches. It’s called witch hazel because of its outstanding benefits. Weleda uses it in many medicines and body care products, such as Wild Rose Body Lotion
Midway through this month, I will start a big trip to visit several of our projects in Venezuela, Peru and Chile. It’s growing season there now and an ideal time for me to travel. Plus I get to escape the cold weather in Germany. Most of our gardeners here leave mid-November to rest for four months until the next season starts.
When I travel, I like to take our multifunctional cream Skin Food
along with me. It’s wonderfully caring, repairing, and healing for the skin. You never know what you may need it for!