From dirt to diapers: A Weleda journey

I’m back from Germany, and I’ve got jet lag, chocolate, and answers to your questions regarding Weleda‘s biodynamic farm. I’ve also got stories about canceled credit cards, hairy men in capri pants, blood sausage, and homeless hedgehogs wearing soccer shoes.

But that’s not why you’re here. First, you want to know more about calendula and unicorns.

Making bath milk at Weleda

Mama H asks: Are their ingredients somehow measured for potency?

The answer:
It’s true that no two harvests are alike, which affects the ingredients, but I learned that Weleda ingredients have to undergo strict tests in order to meet European laws and certification standards. They test them the way they test pharmaceuticals, which really impressed me. But they have to pass the personal test, too.

Weleda’s head gardener, Eva-Maria Walle (yes they have a head gardener!) oversees each harvest, to make sure ingredients are used when they are at their most potent. They’re then processed right on site. An entire field of calendula for the Baby Care line was harvested and processed by hand in one day while I was there — totally cool.

Bees and echinacea at the Weleda gardens

Mama H also asks: What’s the deal behind the biodynamic philosophy?

The answer:
The biodynamic farm goes beyond organic. Actually, it’s the way farming used to be hundreds of years ago, turning the farm as a whole into a self-sustaining organism instead of relying on outside fertilizers and pest controls. Visiting the Weleda gardens, I saw an insect hotel, natural and man-made beehives, lots of healthy dirt, toad houses, and sewage-control ponds. And, yeah, the wrong breeze proved that manure was around. But we don’t have to think about that.

To clarify: Some of Weleda’s ingredients are organic, but all of them are biodynamic.

Grazi asks: Any plans to open US stores?

The answer:
Not at this time, but Weleda products are available at a host of natural food stores and even my local SuperTarget. There is one store in Palisades, NY (not far from the GW Bridge) which also has a holistic spa if you need an excuse to take a trip. If you’re ever there, I highly recommend a personalized facial from their estheticians. I had one using their Wild Rose and Almond products and my skin is glowing, and the blackheads around my nose are totally gone. Hopefully it lasts!

weleda calendula baby cream

Lisa asks: What is calendula?

The answer:
It’s that bright orange flower in the first picture, and it’s also called a pot of marigold, but it’s not a marigold as we know it. I also learned that calendula tastes good, if a little buggy, and has been known for decades to have excellent soothing properties–that’s why it’s in baby products.

What else did I learn? That I wish I lived in a medieval city in Germany with cool public art and friendly people. That my cell phone doesn’t work in Europe. That if you ask a German waitress for a restroom, she’ll lead you to a dark room where you can rest. And that, oddly, the unicorn is the emblem for Schwabisch Gmund, the very town where we had our adventures.

Synchronicity, flowers, and clear skin. Thanks for enlightening me, Weleda. -Delilah

Delilah was flown to Germany on a press trip courtesy of Weleda for the purposes of learning more about them.

You can purchase Weleda products through the US Weleda website or via our affiliate, Amazon.

And starting August 1, you can connect with other moms, access exclusive deals and giveaways, and learn more about baby tips on their new Weleda microsite.

Delilah

Senior Associate Editor Delilah S. Dawson puts the chic in geek. Ask her anything about Star Wars. Really.

6 Comments

  • Reply July 24, 2010

    Carrie D.

    I’ve seen their products but never tried them before. Now I’m very intrigued…

    Also, where can I find more information about hairy men in capri pants?

  • Reply July 24, 2010

    Nicol W.

    Love their diaper cream!

  • Reply July 25, 2010

    Margaret McGillivray

    I love, love, love Weleda products. I currently live in Germany (not terribly far from Schwaebisch Gmuend) and will be so sad when I move, not only because Weleda products are so much more expensive across the pond. I will be stocking up in serious way before I leave this Fall.

  • Reply July 27, 2010

    Alex T

    Agreed-their diaper cream is fantastic,as is the baby soap/shampoo. And the skin products for mom are wonderful! And I too just got back from Germany and should have brought some back with me. And yes, ask for a toilet!

  • Reply July 28, 2010

    Ira S.

    I think its amazing that the company flew you out there, not all companies are willing to do that let alone show you their proud work. And thank you for giving us more insight into the company. I’ve used some of their products before and I love it!

  • Reply August 10, 2010

    Heather

    I have VERY sensitive skin and use Weleda’s Wild Rose facial products (eye & night cream, moisturizer and toner) and am very pleased with the results. I have used Clinique in the past, but now I am totally sold on Weleda. What a great article. It gave me great insight into a wonderful company.

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