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On the A.Vogel Farm

At this time of year, our 2-year-old echinacea plants start to grow quickly. Leaves appear around old stems, and the plant stands around 10 to 15 cm tall. However, weeds can grow more quickly and it is important that they don’t overwhelm our echinacea plants, competing with them for nutrients.

To help us control weeds, we plant our herbs in rows. This allows us to hoe in between rows of plants using simple machines. For some fields, we also hoe by hand. It is important that weeds are not around when it is time to harvest a crop – a bottle of Echinaforce should only contain Echinacea purpurea plants!

As well as overseeing things carefully with our hand weeding and daily inspections by our experienced gardeners, we carry out hundreds of tests on each batch of herbs from the moment it is harvested to the point when it is bottled up for the shelf. Even after that, ongoing stability tests are carried out. Nothing is left to chance.

Meanwhile, weeds removed from our herb fields are recycled into a special weed compost which is then used to fill in areas of fields not needed for cultivation of herbs. Dandelion, by the way, is useful to add to compost heaps to speed up decomposition – although, as Alfred Vogel would warn, make sure it doesn’t seed itself plentifully there!

So, in a way, we treat weeds in very much the same way we treat our medicinal plants: with plenty of care and attention, based on sound knowledge and an attitude of respect.

At this time of year our Echinacea fields sport purple tops as flowers start to develop. Other plants such as Valerian, Hops, Passiflora and St. John’s Wort are also thriving in the warmer weather.

Work in the gardens isn’t too difficult in June, as we are between planting and the main harvesting period of July to September. We can take a little bit more time to admire the results of the previous months’ labour, the profusion of life in our gardens and the wonders of nature.

But, only after the weeding has been done.

Bronchoforce Chesty Cough Ivy Complex oral drops
A traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of chesty coughs, mucus coughs and catarrh, exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.

Bronchosan Pine Cough Syrup
Traditional herbal medicinal product used for the relief of coughs, such as chesty coughs and dry, tickly, irritating coughs, and catarrh exclusively based on long-standing use as a traditional remedy. Always read the leaflet.

Spring is something most of us look forward to, but dragging a winter cough with us into the warmer, lighter days is not so inspiring! Firstly, it’s good to be aware that a cough that lasts for more than 3 weeks may not be due to a respiratory tract infection, and after 8 weeks you should definitely be checking with your doctor to unravel the cause. Reasons that a cough may hang about and mess with your peace of mind long-term include: acid reflux (which may be ‘silent’, so that you don’t realise it’s happening); asthma; blood pressure medications called ACE inhibitors; and a post-nasal drip. If it’s asthma or medication side effects, check with your doctor. If you suspect reflux (sometimes more noticeable at night), try eating earlier, raising the head of your bed, and using Bronchosan Cough Syrup in the evening. For a post-nasal drip, clear your sinuses with Sinuforce Nasal Spray, and consider avoiding dairy products to reduce mucus formation. Up your intake of vitamin C-rich foods to strengthen your mucous membranes, or add a supplement to your programme.

Whilst Bronchosan Cough Syrup is very soothing for a tickly, irritated throat, you can also soothe it by drinking plenty of warm water throughout the day and ensuring your mucous membranes don’t dry out. A delicious mixture of freshly-squeezed orange with a spot of honey or agave syrup can also help with an extra dose of vitamin C and a little friendly coating of the throat. If you want to tackle a chestier cough, go for Bronchoforce Chesty Cough drops, which is naturally sugar-free and suitable for diabetics. This one doesn’t coat the throat, but helps expel catarrh from the chest.

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On the A.Vogel Farm