Kräuterey – regional herbal products from Trins
Especially in winter, a soothing and warming herbal tea is just the thing to boost your own well-being again on a cold day. Those who do not want to do this without regionality and quality in their tea will not only find a great alternative to conventional tea in the Kräuterey in Trins in Gschnitztal, but also natural cosmetics, incense or herbal salt.
“Die Kräuterey” has been run by Brigitte and Josef Hofer for about 20 years and is located in Trins in the Gschnitztal at the “Erbhof Altwirt”. The farm, which before 2000 was a farm with cattle breeding, is now a farm with herb cultivation. Brigitte “the herbalist” has attended the technical school for fruit and viticulture and trained in the field of medicinal and aromatic plants. The herbs for the wide range of products are grown in a large garden behind the house and in a sunny field a little outside the village. These are certified BIO Austria from seed to plant and then to the finished end product.
Plant processing requires a lot of time, patience and observation.
The cultivation, care, harvesting and processing of the herbs as well as the filling, packaging and labeling of the end products is mainly done by hand. The whole family often helps out.
The Kräuterey grows a variety of herbs and flowers in Trins. Some of them are: Melissa, mallow, cornflowers, mullein, milk thistle, rose petals, mint, chamomile, marigold, lady’s mantle, yarrow, ribwort, nettle, basil, rosemary, sage, thyme, tarragon and lavender.
When harvesting, there are certain basic rules, which should be taken into account. For example, the herbs have the best availability of essential oils on the third sunny day, in the period when the most bees fly, is from 11:00 am – 3:00 pm. In fact, on this day the plant looks to evaporate as little as possible. So it closes the oil cells on the underside of the leaves and/or stems. Likewise, the herbs should not be completely damp when harvested, because this would be a breeding ground for mold. The harvest period is from May to October, with the main harvest time in July to August.
Care should also be taken when drying the herbs. The main component of herbs are essential oils, so do not exceed a drying temperature of 38 degrees. A natural drying process takes up to 15 days, depending on where it takes place. For an ideal final result, a dehydrator is suitable for drying the high-quality herbs. The Kräuterey itself dries its herbs in a drying room.
The development of this skill and the handling of the herbal knowledge was a real adventure and “learning by doing”, says Brigitte. The exciting thing about it is that you never quite stop learning, and as time goes on, you always learn something new. Even though the herbs contain many good nutrients and active ingredients, the Kräuterey’s products are foodstuffs and not medicines like those sold in pharmacies. Therefore, the company must adhere to certain guidelines. The various teas therefore have creative fantasy names. Thus a tea which is suitable against throat complaints is not called “cough tea” but “throat cleaner”, another tea which has a calming effect on the stomach nerves is not called “stomach tea” but “joie de vivre”.
Whether fresh herbs in summer, frozen in winter, decorated food with flowers, herbal teas, herbal salt and spices, fresh pesto and much more, herbs offer endless possibilities to incorporate them into everyday life and enhance their own diet so.
Farm sales and small specialty shops
The products of the Kräuterey are not to be found in wholesale. They can be purchased in Trins at the Kräuterey – Erbhof Altwirt by appointment, in the Bauernladele in Steinach, in the Vinothek Nagele, at the Bauernkiste and in selected specialty stores. Direct shipping with an online order list at www.kräuterey.at is also possible.
In addition to the delicious herbal teas, the Kräuterey also has syrups, spice herbs, herbal salt, herbal pillows, incense and even natural cosmetics in its range.
Anyone who would like to get to know the business better and immerse themselves in the world of herbs can also book a group tour with Brigitte on request.