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Herb cultivation in the "Waldviertel" region

What herbs like...

Due to its geological history, the region offers ideal conditions for growing herbs. The granite ground doesn’t have a very thick layer of fertile top soil (around 10-15cm), but has the advantage of a high sand content, which contains the ability of storing the warmth and power of the sun. The silicium in the granite distributes the rays of the sun and and consequently stores the warmth better than soily ground. Herbs don’t need an over supply of nutrients, they like the sandy south facing position.

Herb cultivation – the Chance for Waldviertel
In addition to the ideal ground conditions, Waldviertel also has the advantage of a high fluctuation between day and night time temperatures; because of that the herbs get some additional moisture from dew. Daily this provides the minimum moisture supply even during long dry periodes. Another advantage are the small, traditional farms in combination with the employment opportunities. Herb cultivation is a good additional income for many farmers, and SONNENTOR endeavours to leave as much of the proceeds as possible to their suppliers.
Peppermint and other mint varieties (orangemint, applemint) along with lemon balm, sage, and thyme are examples for perennial cultures. These cultures can be left in the same spot for up to three or even four years.
Marigold, cornflowers, sunflowers, small flowered willow herb and many more are regarded as annual cultures and must be planted new each year in spring.

The drying process is one of the most important parts of herb farming. It is essential that the herbs are dried immediatly after they have been harvested. The drying plant is processed in such a way that the herbs are not getting squashed.
The herb layer is not higher than 30 cm and sufficient air flow is of great importance. The temperature streaming throught the herbs is not above 40° C. Higher temperatures would cause a loss of essential oils and consequently the natural aromas and quality.

After the drying process, the herbs are sealed in airtight packaging and stored until they reach the plant.
Here, during the preparations at the SONNENTOR main plant and on the herb farms, great emphasise is on achieving first quality herbs as much as possible. First quality means whole leaves with very little discolouring and a small amount of stems.
Responsibility and traceability are important principles of the SONNENTOR philosophy.

Organic Herb pioneers
SONNENTOR has been working together with the herb farmers from the Waldviertel region for over 20 years. Find more information in the "Our farmers" section.