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.
Mama H asks: Are their ingredients somehow measured for potency?
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.
Mama H also asks: What’s the deal behind the biodynamic philosophy?
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?
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!
Lisa asks: What is calendula?
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.
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.