Small fields of rosemary dot the landscape within Spain's Sierra Mariola National Park, a beloved natural landmark just off the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The rosemary fields, protected from chemical drift and synthetic fertilizers, sit among the park's pine forests and patches of yew, teak, maple, ash, and oak. Farmers use sustainable farming practices on the land within the park to peacefully coexist with the natural plants and wildlife. Techniques such as terracing to avoid soil erosion and using the trees as natural windbreaks allow for the non-intrusive coexistence of agricultural commerce and natural, protected beauty.
This is where Frontier's organic rosemary grows. Our Well Earth Sourcing Program partner cultivates this arid land that forces the plants it sustains to use the sparse water efficiently -- creating rosemary high in essential oil and full of flavor.
Farmers like Victor Pascual have been working in harmony with nature in the Sierra Mariola National Park for decades. For Victor, it only seems logical that such beauty is preserved through the use of organic farming practices. "Man and nature have coexisted for many years together, at peace with one another. Through our techniques, we help and grow with nature, not against it." Mr. Victor grows other crops as well, but believes that rosemary, which is indigenous to the area, does the best — especially with a little help from mankind. Finding areas where the rosemary can be exposed to full sun while the wind is kept at bay allows the plants to grow to their full potential. The rosemary is still wild-harvested, but Victor feels the little added human intervention yields rosemary that has a little bolder flavor — more in keeping with the striking beauty of its environment.
Victor's rosemary is harvested twice a year, with the stems hand-trimmed and the leaves mechanically removed. Plants can last up to 30 years — though they get very woody stems and produce less and less quality leaves as they age. The drought resistant plants flourish in the rolling hillsides of Mariola, and its attractiveness to both bees and birds makes it a welcome presence in the area.
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