98 5 Quality has roots As near as possible tarragon from Hessen We source our German tarragon which makes up for its scarcity with its delightfully aromatic flavour from the Krebsbachhof in Gladenbach Uplands in Hessen For more than 25 years the Heuner family has been supplying us with this sought after speciality In 1987 Peter Heuner a graduate in Agricultural Engineering converted the Krebsbachhof to cater to Demeter methods Lebensbaum founder Ulrich Walter was the first customer to whom he sold herbs Today herbs used in medicines and seasoning are farmed on around seven hectares of land including calendula blossoms St John s wort and tarragon The discerning tarragon grows in the valley where the soil is heavy and damp Farming German tarragon calls for con siderable expertise and manual work because it doesn t produce seeds and needs to be initially produced in a greenhouse What s more tarragon grows far apart This means that weeds growing between the plants need to be hoed by hand It can be harvested four times a year As soon as it s been harvested the tarragon is dried in the company s own condensa tion drying unit at a maximum temperature of 35 degrees Celsius The low drying tem perature preserves the valuable ingredients and with them the unique aroma of the Dem eter speciality In order to maintain a varied crop rotation and a healthy soil grains and grass clover leys are cultivated alongside herbs A herd of 23 Limou sin suckler cows delivers high quality fertiliser for fields and meadows The Krebsbachhof insists on closed loop farming They also have a knack for quality These two factors combined make the Krebsbach hof a perfect business partner for Lebensbaum As near as possible Black tea doesn t grow on the river Mosel nutmeg can t be found in Braunschweig and the earth is not flat Even if we purchase our raw materials from all over the world we operate on the following principle as near as possible as far as necessary Here s what we mean there are splendid apples growing by Lake Constance so we buy them there rather than in New Zealand But mate tea has to come from South Amer ica It needs the prevailing constant temperatures which lie on average between 20 and 23 degrees Cel sius Medium to high humidity is also a prerequisite So if the site lies at an altitude of between 400 and 800 metres the caffeine containing plant has found its ideal conditions for growth

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