French Lemon Verbena
A fragrant blend of dried Lemon Verbena, also known as Verveine, grown on small farms averaging 2 acres in size in north and central France. Flavie Lenne in Corrèze and Isabelle Chaillou and Loïc Le Pollès in Brittany both grow their verbena without the use of artificial fertilisers and pesticides and pick and process all their tisanes manually. Their yearly production combined is just 15-20kg.
Sweet and aromatic with a strong, pure flavour reminiscent of lemon without the acidity, this is ideal drunk in the evening or cold brewed in the fridge on a hot day. Best brewed with boiling water using a small leaf/water ratio and infused for 4-5 minutes.
Flavie Lenne, Puy d’Arnac, Corrèze, France
Isabelle Chaillou and Loïc Le Pollès, Guiclan, Brittany, France
SIZE OF FARMS
1.7 acres & 2.5 acres
PLANTS AND PROCESSING
Aloysia Citrodora. Harvested, hand picked and dried Summer 2019.
100°C, A few leaves per 150ml. Brew for 2-3 minutes, many infusions are possible.
After travelling in Africa and studying agronomy, Flavie Lenne 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 specialization: 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 Lemon Verbena was, like all her other tisanes, delicately hand-picked and taken straight away to the dryers, consisting of wooden racks in the shade of a well ventilated barn so that each plant keeps its freshness. Her total annual production is about 6 kilos per year.
Isabelle Chaillou and Loïc Le Pollès
Isabelle Chaillou and Loïc Le Pollès started to produce aromatic and medicinal plants on their land in Kerlaoudet near Roscoff in Britanny in 2008. Located at only 15 kilometers away from the sea, they grow everything organically without pesticides or artificial fertilisers. On their one hectare of land, they grow around 50 different varieties of plants. The originality of their farm is the dryer they have built themselves in order to make the best of the solar energy. The heat coming from the sun helps to warm the air that dries the herbs inside their barn – an important aspect in Brittany considering the region has a similar wet climate to Cornwall.