All posts tagged: gardener

Wandering the Weleda garden of Bouxwiller, France

If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener. Seems to be the case for Pierre Kappler, Head Gardener for Weleda France and Switzerland. He has worked in the 1.5 hectare biodynamic gardens in Bouxwiller, France for over 17 years. Pierre grew up in gardens. As a third-generation gardener, he grew up in a greenhouse operation and was even born in the farmhouse on the private garden he manages today. He completed his apprenticeship in biodynamic agriculture 17 years ago in collaboration with Weleda and the Goetheanum. 4 gardeners assist Pierre to tend the gardens where over 40-60 medicinal plants are grown. These are harvested in the morning then delivered to Weleda where the production laboratories process the plants by the afternoon. This is why Weleda has its own gardens. To make sure high quality raw materials are close to their production sites to guarantee the quality of the products. As we walked through the gardens I interviewed Pierre for a green gardening book that is in the pipeline. I enjoyed talking …

Busy hands. Big conversations.

Harvesting Primula with Jan Graafland, Garden Manager in Zoetermeer, NL. The European chapter of Global Garden has begun and the Netherlands has put on such a great show. It wasn’t meant to be a harvest day today but when nature calls, Jan the ‘Nature Manager’ of Weleda Zoetermeer and I came running. When the bees are buzzing around the small yellow Primula flowers it means it prime to get picking. Things run on nature’s calendar here. Here the bees are the boss. Busy hands made for big conversations as together Jan and I picked the 700 grams the in-house pharmacists needed to turn the flowers into natural medicines for the heart. There is a Dutch saying, that goes along the lines : ‘Talking and knitting go hand and hand, but one mustn’t forget about the knitting.’ That might have been a gentle reminder that I was getting too enthralled in the conversation and I needed up the pace on my picking. The harvesting to processing happened in Zoetermeer with-in an hour and a half… that’s fast …

The ‘Care Crops’ of Chacara Garden

There’s ‘Cash Crops’ and then there is ‘Care Crops’. W hen you see Moacyr Copani, Gardener at Chacara Garden, Weleda Brazil tending his gardens of over 40 of medicinal plants it’s easy to spot the difference. This level of care doesn’t stem from greed… but something much deeper and personal than that. This garden is his life – from the very moment he was born, in the simple brick house on the property. Moacyr tends to the land with his brother Paulo with as much care as their father – the first gardener who planted these very gardens himself. Even though Moacyr Snr is now in this 80’s, the three men still harvest together, it’s tradition. How it all began. As you know, I love ‘meaningful coincidences’. This garden has another great story that will give you goose-bumps for sure. Weleda Brazil was founded in 1959 by Dr. Gudrun Burkard and her husband Pedro Schmidt. They moved to the now famous wine region on San Roque, São Paulo and laid down their roots with a …