A Visit to Weleda Naturals
This summer, ecofabulous was invited to visit Weleda Naturals Biodynamic Garden just outside of Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany. With our love of Weleda products (we’re constant fans of the Almond facial line and have been using the Pomegranate Regenerating Body Oil since it came out last year) we jumped at the chance to visit the site where it all goes down. The garden’s 135 acres make it Europe’s largest biodynamic medicinal garden – and to think Weleda has more gardens in Switzerland, France, the U.K., the Netherlands, Argentina, Brazil and New Zealand! At that scale, witnessing first hand the cultivation of plants and herbs for Weleda’s product collection stood as witness to the company’s belief that beauty should be grown right from the earth rather than in a lab.
Left: The hike from Schwäbisch Gmünd to the gardens, Right: Entrance to Weleda Naturals
Ecofabulous’ Creative Director, Caitlin Bristol, was able to witness the calendula harvest, one of the 250 medicinal plants grown at Weleda Naturals, and learned that every year the calendula is planted on a different field in order to ensure the most rich, rested soil – one of the many examples of Biodynamic principles the gardens adhere to. Much of the calendula will be used for Weleda’s Baby Calendula Care line because of its powerful healing and anti-inflammatory properties.
Left: A field of calendula before harvest, Right: calendula heads right after harvest.
A haven for birds, bees and bugs (see the insect hotel below!), Weleda Naturals is the legacy of Dr. Rudolph Steiner, seen as the father of Biodynamic agriculture. By viewing soil as a live organism, keeping it in balance with natural resources (no chemicals or growth hormones allowed!) and taking guidance on planting, crop rotation and harvesting from the natural rhythms of the sun, moon and planets, crops are harvested with incredible purity and potency.
Left: The “insect hotel”, Right: A close-up of the “rooms” built to welcome the bugs
A meeting with Eva-Maria Walle, manager of Weleda’s Biodynamic Gardens, shed light on just how precise and time-consuming it is to grow plants in this way. She also discussed Weleda’s philosophy of “inner beauty” and how the entire gardens are based on developing collections with hand-picked ingredients designed to work with your body’s own natural vitality and ability to nurture and heal.
Photo: Eva-Marie Walle, Manager of Weleda’s Biodynamic Gardens
Simply put, our trip with Weleda reinforced the idea that pure plants make for pure products. With no toxins, additives or synthetics, the ingredients are able to be delivered in their most natural, and effective, form.
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