Gardens - Specialty Gardens

Michael Straub on biodynamic gardening

The manager of medicinal plant gardens for Weleda shares the fundamentals of this natural gardening method

biodynamic-gardening-skinfood.jpgQ: Why is it important to use biodynamic practises to grow the plants you use in your products?

A: Biodynamically cultivated soil and plants are vital and rarely prone to sickness and vermin. Since the soil is rich in topsoil, the natural storage capacity of water is high, which in turn makes it resistant against wet or dry periods. In addition, latest research shows that sustainably cultivated soil is key to CO2 neutralisation through retention.

Q: What ingredients does Weleda grow in its gardens?

A: All medicinal plants. On 23 hectares, we grow 450 different types of plants, of which 160 literally go from the field into the bottle. Among them are, for example, calendula, different fern species, bittersweet night shade, monkshood, purple coneflower, St. John’s Wort and many other traditional healing plants.

Weleda encourages organic farming and cultivation worldwide, through long-term partnerships with raw material suppliers. Through joint efforts, we were thus able to convert more than 10,000 hectares from conventional to organic farming. Weleda runs projects amongst others in Turkey (roses), Morocco (iris), Uganda (sesame oil), Hungary (sunflower seed oil) and New Caledonia (sandalwood oil).

We have our own medicinal plant gardens in Germany, Switzerland, France, England, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Argentina.

Q: How do you decide what to grow and what to outsource?

A: We always try to find the ideal surrounding for every species, for example, we ask questions such as where can we find the best natural conditions, the best soil, weather, etc.

What are the beneficial properties (i.e. anti-aging, etc.) of some of your most popular products?

A: All of our products are highly efficacious but the benefit varies depending on the product. For instance, Wild Rose Smoothing Facial Care helps decrease the appearance of fine lines and increase skin’s vitality. Sea Buckthorn Body Oil and Body Lotion are ideal after sun exposure because they are high in antioxidants that help protect the skin from environmental damage. Food is deeply moisturizing, so it’s ideal for rough hands, elbows, heels—anywhere skin is rough and dry.

Q: What is your most popular product?

Our most popular product is Skin Food!

Inset photo: Skin Food, Weleda’s most popular product, uses a host of plant-based ingredients to hydrate extremely dry skin.


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