A letter from Areti
With this note, I want to introduce myself and my work with herbs.
My name is Areti Zacharopoulou and I am an organic farmer. Since I was young, I was taking care and loving plants and especially herbs.
My professional work started three years ago when in the mountain village of Pyrgos, situated in the foothills of Mavro Oros in the municipality of Xylokastron-Evrostini in North Peloponnese and on an altitude of 650m, I acquired almost two acres of land. In one of them, I grow herbs and in the other one olive trees, walnut trees, fruit trees and a part of it I maintain it as a forest.
My passion for natural and biological cultivation led me to choose the organic way. The seedlings are bought from a special bio-garden and the soil was weeded and tilled using mechanical means. Afterwards, the seedlings were hand-planted and since then I grow my herbs while my cultivation is certified as biological by a company named DIO (www.dionet.gr). All my plants grow without fertilizers or pesticides or weed killers. Herbs don’t generally need irrigation, except for lemon balm.
In my field Ι grow the following:
- Oregano (Origanum vulgare ssp hirtum)
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)
- Sage (Salvia officinalis)
- Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)
- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
- Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- Calendula (Calendula officinalis)
- Mint (Mentha pulegium)
- Saint John's-wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- Wild roses (Rosa canina) from which rose petals and rose hips are used
I cultivate my fields on my own. Weeding and harvesting are done by hand so the essential oils remain in the plants. The harvested herbs are then tied in bunches and hung in dark and well-ventilated room to dry naturally and maintain their colour and flavours. Dried herbs are stored in cotton sacks in a cool and dry place. Before their delivery to customers, leaves are removed from their woody stems by hand. All products are packed in airtight paper bags suitable for food and packaging is also certified by DIO.
I guarantee my customers that cultivation and handling of herbs are done with great attention and love and quality control is carried out at each stage of production. Since aromatic-medicinal plant users are always looking for the best quality to enjoy all their benefits, I must offer them only the best quality.