A blend of camomile flowers combining the summer harvests of two small producers in central France. Flavie Lenne from Corrèze and Jonathan Ollivier and Inta Klusa in Auvergne both do not use artificial fertilisers or pesticides, and pick and process their camomile manually. The camomile is picked when the sun is overhead, increasing the concentration of essential oils in the flower, and then dried away from light at a low temperature. The average yearly production is just 12-15kg.
Round and generous on the palate, with a lovely long sweetness and soft, almost oily mouthfeel, this soothing camomile is ideal taken after a meal or in the evening. Best brewed with slightly cooled water using a small leaf/water ratio and infused for 4-5 minutes.
There is further information on this tisane and its makers on our blog here.
Flavie Lenne, Puy d’Arnac, Corrèze, France
Jonathan Ollivier & Inta Klusa, Saint-Hilaire, Livradois Forez, Auvergne, France
SIZE OF FARMS
1.7 acres & 0.6 acres
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Matricaria recutita. Harvested, hand picked and dried Summer 2019.
85-90°C, 1g per 150ml. Brew for 2-3 minutes, many infusions are possible.
After travelling in Africa and studying agronomy, Flavie decided to settle down in the South of Corrèze. With her partner and his brother, they took over the family farm and decided to develop their three productions of specialisation: livestock, vegetable farming, and aromatic and medicinal herbs. They practice organic farming not because of the label but because their priority is to take care of the natural environment they live in. Flavie is in charge of the plants and the essential oils that she plants on 1.7 acres on the hills of their land. She plans on expanding it to 3 acres as essential oils require high volumes of fresh plants. Flavie avoids using any mechanical tool and prefers to work the land together with her horses. The entire farm is managed with a strong polyculture objective, livestock bringing the necessary organic matter for the plants and vice versa: sheep are left free in the walnut trees orchards and animals are healed with the plants and essential oils.
This German Camomile (Matricaria recutita) is sown between March and April in small boxes left in nursery in a greenhouse. Once 3 to 4 leaves come out, they are planted in a field which is well exposed but cool and slightly humid. This represents more work than a quicker planting but Flavie noticed that this technique has a much better yield. Picking the flower heads starts in June and goes on until September. However this 2015, spring in France, especially in the South, was extremely hot and dry. Without any rain for two months, it became impossible to grow more camomile after June so this year’s camomile has been produced in very small quantities.
Jonathan Ollivier & Inta Klusa
Jonathan Ollivier and his partner Inta Klusa have been producing aromatic herbs and tisanes on their small farm situated at 700-750m altitude in the protected Livradois National Park in Auvergne since 2013. They uses no pesticides or artificial fertilisers on any of their plants, and apart from a tiller all the work is done by hand – from the planting through to the harvesting and packing. They practise crop rotation, to allow natural soil regeneration, and do not plough the ground deeply to maintain soil biology keeping the plants in symbiosis with the earth. Their camomile is picked by hand flower by flower during the day when the sap and essential oils are at their highest point in the plant.