Weleda Garden - Seed sowing in Spring time and for the future...
For this time, the Gardening news is not produced by Claire, but by me, Laura, at the moment garden volunteer at Weleda. Actually from Germany, I wanted to learn more about ecological sustainability and agriculture and also to get a bit more in the English language before studying a Master in Sustainability Sciences. The biodynamic cultivated garden of Weleda UK is quite the perfect place for it: Biodynamic cultivation is one of the most sustainable forms of agriculture and I’m happy to gain more eco-gardening experience in this lovely place and to get new inputs from the Weleda Company and the staff.
But now to the garden:
In this time of the year The Field is not yet a busy place. Most of the plants, trees and flowers are just getting ready for the spring and summer season. There is a lot of work going on in the soil, a life-energy is coming from the earth, and it springs and sprouts already in some places. On sunny days even the bees dare to go out of their hives to sniff some spring air.
Also the gardener has to get ready for the season, the garden needs to be prepared for all the new coming life: weeding and digging the plant beds, cleaning and preparing the green houses, and, of course, starting the seed sowing. Seed sowing is one of my favourite tasks because it is in some way a very creative act.
Besides sowing the first seeds (the unusually shaped calendula ones and broad beans, tomatoes, and peppers – yes they are all medicinal plants!) for the spring time we also sowed some seeds for the future by inviting some future Pharmacists. Two groups of Pharmacy Students from Nottingham University came to learn more about our anthroposophical, herbal and homoeopathic medicines and about the Weleda bodycare products. They started with a tour in the Weleda Garden to discover where most of the Weleda products have their origins: in the healing plants.
While showing them around our cultivated and our wildlife plant areas, Claire, the head gardener gave them information about biodynamic gardening’s role in growing healthy plants useful for pharmaceutical use. Due to the non-use of fertilizer and artificial chemicals the soil stays healthy and fertile in a natural way (which is a wonderful analogy to our skin by the way…). By adding our great biodynamic compost to the soil we provide the best environment to grow pure, effective and good-quality plants, be it for our pharmaceutical products, or our natural cosmetic products.
To get some practical experience of how to produce a plant-based medicine, we harvested some leaves of Thuja occidentalis and made a demonstration tincture with it. Thuja is a traditional healing plant, originally from North-East America and used by the Native Americans against respiratory diseases and rheumatism. Weleda uses the plant extracts in homeopathic and herbal form for many ailments. It’s a popular traditional treatment for warts.
The students spent the rest of the day at Weleda HQ learning more about our medicinal products, the manufacturing practice, quality control and a lot more. We hope they had a great and informative time in The Field and at Weleda UK and hope we sowed some seeds for the future of natural and organic herbal medicine!