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Visit an Organic Aromatic Herbs Farm

Organic farming

Our farmer produces organic products where all plants without the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers do not resort to the use of genetically modified organisms. Being certified by ECOCERT Portugal since 2002, they believe that through Organic Farming they can provide, the conscientious consumer, with high quality products and free of chemical residues, respecting the Environment.

In this way they implement sustainable agricultural practices using production, in order to obtain the desired results from the perspective of production and quality of the final product. Through this agro-ecological production model they obtain final products free from residues of herbicides, fungicides or insecticides and which according to many authors have better taste and greater nutrient richness when compared to other conventional products. They believe that it is possible to produce high quality and high quality food using the practices advocated by Organic Farming, while respecting the health of the Environment and Humanity and protecting, preserving and improving natural resources (such as water, air and soil), so necessary for future generations.

Through this mode of production promoted and stimulated positive impacts on the agricultural ecosystem, using various techniques such as:

  • Increased biodiversity of flora and fauna in the productive garden that affects the various different species, creating a holistic form to the complex and balanced ecosystem;
  • Improvement of soil quality and fertility through the implementation of a crop rotation system and the incorporation of organic matter in exact quantities (drastically reducing the possibility of groundwater and soil contamination) from animals (Mirandesa Cows);
  • Use of a total ground cover system using a 100% recyclable material, which allows to: reduce soil erosion, mainly protecting the upper soil layer from heavy rainfall and wind phenomena; increase microbiological activity at ground level, as we rarely mobilize it, with gas and water exchanges between the soil and the atmosphere, given the permeable nature of the screen; assist in weed control throughout the soil and not only on production lines; increase the temperature near the neck of the plants in winter by about 1 ° C, protecting them from possible frost formation phenomena;
  • Path creation and ecological habitats made up of numerous plant species, serving as a place for fixing birds, useful insects, hedgehogs, snakes, among other animals that help us fight pest attacks;
  • Production requiring more labor, particularly in the control of weeds and crops, to the detriment of mechanization and the use of herbicides, benefiting the community in terms of the amount of employment generated by our farm;
  • Non-use of Genetically Modified Organisms (prohibited in Organic Farming);

Medicinal and Aromatic Plants

Maintenance and harvesting of herbs varies by species. Factors such as where the plant is located (indoors or outdoors, in a flower box or soil), the type of pot, the life cycle of the species, the mode of harvesting and even the origin of the plant, directly influence the same behavior. In order to help keep the herbs alive and healthy, we have created a space with lots of tips, where we put explanatory links about various species of herbs and even the right way to prepare your favorite infusions.

Our farmer want to contribute so that houses, balconies and backyards have more joy and good aromas but above all, that the cultivation and application of herbs can give you pleasure! Remember that the best herbs in the world are the ones that are grown by you and the second classified…

Here is some helpful advice on some herbs. Good plantations!

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is a perennial, cultivated or spontaneous plant in Portugal that can grow up to 80 cm in height and 50 cm in diameter. It was introduced long ago in Europe from West Asia, and it is common to find it near houses, on paths, hedges, slopes, even by vineyards. Also known as melissa or citronella minor, its leaves, when handled, give off a strong and pleasant aroma of sweet lemon. Although resistant to cold, your shoot may even disappear completely during winter.

It blooms between June and September and the seeds mature between August and October. Although its flowers are very small, they come in large numbers, making it an extremely honeyy plant. It does not present great difficulty in adapting to soil pH and can be grown in acidic or alkaline, loose, slightly loamy, moist but well drained soils. It is also suitable for growing in pots and flower boxes. It usually appears in shady areas, which you prefer, although it can be cultivated in the sun, although the size and color of its leaves may vary according to exposure. Once established, it is a drought-resistant species that can be used in some areas of the garden, especially in the shade, where it is often difficult to establish other plants.

If it meets the ideal conditions, it can become invasive, so it is very important in this situation to prevent it from developing seeds by cutting off the aerial part of the plant. This operation also allows to renew stems and leaves, which will produce in abundance, interesting for those who like to use it at home. Aerial pruning is also critical when the plant is attacked by pests or diseases, to which it is particularly sensitive. By removing the affected parts, clean the surrounding of dry and dead parts, thus preventing the onset of symptoms that often manifest, such as necrotic spots, rust, yellowing of the plant, etc. Pests also regularly settle, especially aphids and the whitefly, being preferable on many occasions to cut the plant, which should always be close to the ground.

Easy to grow, it is essential in a garden of aromatic plants, due to the diversity of characteristics it has. It also represents a great option in association, especially with all types of cabbages, for its beneficial effects on these plants. It propagates by sowing in spring. Germination can sometimes be slow. It is essential that the seeds, which are very small, be little buried, otherwise they may not germinate. We can also easily split the tufts it forms in spring or autumn or propagate by pile all spring / summer.

The aerial part of the plant is used in the preparation of infusions, with the plant fresh or dried, although many people report using it fresh, since most commercial preparations circulating in the market are of very poor quality, with total absence of aromas. . It can also be used as a spice plant. The leaves are used to flavor vegetable or fruit salads.

With numerous medicinal properties, it is considered anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, digestive, soothing and sedative, associated with the treatment of nervous problems, sleep disorders and gastrointestinal problems of nervous origin such as spasms, heart attacks and anorexia and also in the treatment of fevers. and colds. In the little known Portuguese herbal tradition, it is considered a kind of panacea, It remember the words of the great-grandmother, who said: “if the boy is sick, give him a lemon balm tea…” In fact, the properties of the plant are quite studied, the pharmaceutical industry being marketed with various preparations having no known side effects, toxicity or interactions.

Externally, it can be rubbed on the skin to relieve insect bites or even to prevent insect bites, as its essential oil is an excellent repellent. Essential oil is widely used in aromatherapy. Demand for the dried plant has been increasing throughout Europe, so its price has been rising. It is therefore an excellent option for commercial cultivation at the moment.

lemon balm in organic tour

Lemongrass

The lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) arises spontaneously in the savannas of southern India, Indonesia and Malaysia, and is widely cultivated in Africa and Brazil as a medicinal and flavoring plant, providing the cosmetic, pharmaceutical and food industry.

Being a grass, it forms robust agglomerations (cups) that exude a strong and pleasant lemon aroma. It is extremely rustic and easy to grow, representing an excellent option to form, along with other plants, informal borders in irrigated gardens. If grown in organic production it may, according to our experience, represent an interesting source of income, as its dried leaves are much sought after in Europe by many industries, albeit always in large quantities and of good quality.

Unfortunately it does not tolerate temperatures below 0 ° C and may even die. When in cold climates, it can be easily grown in pots, so that it can be collected later in the most unfavorable times. In Asian cooking, fresh stems are used as seasoning, especially with fish and meat. It’s fresh or dried leaves are infused with a fantastic lemon scent, which is one of the most pleasant surprises of the plant and can be taken regularly for its recognized digestive properties. Leaves should be picked 3 to 4 fingers above the insertion point on the stem so that it can burst again and handled with care as they cut the skin with some ease. Be careful to carefully filter the infusions to prevent the passage of microfilaments on the leaves.

In the last 2 years, the demand for this plant in Portugal has increased a lot, especially by dog ​​breeders who have been using it as insect repellent, transmitters of a terrible deadly disease, lesmaniosis, planting it in massifs, around the kennel. This demand is due to the popularity of the plant’s essential oil repellent properties on these insects, also sometimes referred to as citronella oil. It is also used in the manufacture of perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and as a flavoring in the food industry.

Its propagation is only by division of stems, in spring or autumn, since in our climate this plant does not produce seeds.

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Mint that is pepper

Hybrid of Mentha aquatica (Moorish Mint) and Mentha spicata (Spearmint), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) originates from the Mediterranean region of Europe. Its scientific name, “Mentha”, is associated with the story of the nymph Menta, Greek mythology, and the god Pluto, who, because they loved each other so much, aroused Persephone’s jealousy. Feeling betrayed, Mint turned into a plant destined to grow in the cave entrances that gave access to hell. The word “piperita” has been attributed to its spicy flavor. It has been used for thousands of years for its strong and diverse aromatic and medicinal characteristics, which make it one of the most versatile and sought after plants on the planet today.

It exudes a fantastic aroma, making it indispensable in any garden, as ornamental, medicinal, aromatic and spicy. You can keep us company in a single vase or flowerbed, in any nook, regardless of the size of the garden. Ideal to captivate children’s attention to plants, as it is very associated with various food products, with its strong and minty aroma. This vivacious plant does not always produce flowers. Provides some cuts during the year. They should not be propagated by seed, as they may give rise to individuals other than mother feet. It likes nutrient-rich, moist but well-drained soil in the sun or partial shade. Ideally, it can become invasive, so growth should often be controlled. The planting compass used can be 30×30 cm.

Some insects can wreak havoc, such as the whitefly and certain beetles, which appear specifically in the mint. A potassium soap solution can help fight some of these pests. It is also susceptible to some diseases such as powdery mildew, root rot and rust. Avoid soaked soils and prune plants often. It has numerous properties, including the prevention and combat of flatulence, diarrhea, vomiting, indigestion, cramps, and fatigue in general. Comes in the composition of various pharmaceutical preparations of conventional and alternative medicine.

Used to spice up meat dishes, butters, potatoes, salads and some sweets, such as cold desserts, chocolate mousse and fruit punch. It is also used as a flavoring in various industries, such as chocolate, chewing gum, toothpaste, detergents, etc. And why not stir the coffee with a fresh sprig of peppermint? !!! Give it a try, it’s delicious !!!

Strong peppermint infusion is great as a flea repellent for animals and their premises. It also repels mice. Attracts many butterflies and other useful insects to the garden. Its infusion, when fresh, is one of the few drinks that refresh me on hot summer days. Your connection with any type of chocolate is perfect.

Widely cultivated in North Africa, it is part of the local traditions of some countries to infuse visitors. We remember a phrase from a priest friend who, some years ago, referring to the properties of this plant, said: – My people make with this plant a liqueur they call “raises the stick”. It works!!!

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Lemon thyme

A variable hybrid between the thyme (Thymus pulegioides) and the thyme (Thymus vulgaris), the thyme (Thymus x citriodorus) has green leaves or, in the case of some varieties, yellow or white and green, which delight those grow them.

Excellent for use in pots and flower boxes and for bordering garden borders, with a long and spectacular flowering period, attracting various pollinating insects. It is essential presence in any scent garden.

With a height of 25-30 cm and a diameter of up to 60 cm, it is a perennial, semi-woody shrub with small white or slightly pink flowers that appear during the summer.

It likes well-drained soils with good sun exposure, adapting even in very dry soils. Very rainy winters and soggy terrain can help them rot and die early. It should be pruned immediately after flowering to prevent lignification at the base, remaining vigorous and healthy for much longer. It is a great companion plant for the other plants in the garden.

It becomes sensitive to powdery mildew and root rot when excess water occurs during irrigation, avoiding watering in the hottest hours and not wetting the leaves of the plant during this time. Prune often if growth is very vigorous. As it is a hybrid, its sowing can give rise to plants with heterogeneous characteristics, so it is preferable to propagate by cuttings.

The whole plant can be harvested at any time of the year, preferably before flowering and used, fresh or dry, producing a great infusion, little used in our country. When discovered, it becomes a must for its fantastic aroma. Essential oil is considered less irritating than other thymes and is widely used in aromatherapy to combat asthma and other breathing problems, especially in children.

The leaves are used to spice up fish dishes, poultry and salads. They can be dried and mixed with other plants in poutpourri. It is a very popular culinary plant with a strong lemon scent, which is why it is grown all over the world.

An interesting feature to note is that, after drying, the leaves easily detach from the stems, which makes their commercial export value superior when sold in this way. We have a few thousand feet planted in 30x30x30 cm (one meter wide ridges) measures that provide about four cuts per year. These can be mechanized, but the sensitivity to cut by the operator must be high, as very close cuts cause the plant to die.

The international market is currently looking for large quantities of this dried plant, especially the leaf, certified in organic production, which makes it an excellent alternative for those who want to produce new and competitive products in national agriculture.

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