Profile of the Month – Marleen Herbs of Tasmania

Marleen Herbs of Tasmania

echi field  30jan14

The Tasmanian fields.

Organic Medicinal Herbs and Extracts

Farmed with innovative ‘organic’ solar machinery

Ronald & Marleen van de Winckel relocated their business (formerly Marleen Kruiden) from the Netherlands to a 40ha mixed farm at Barrington in north-west Tasmania in 2011.

The main focus of the business is in growing and processing organic medicinal plants to produce extracts such as tinctures, essences and pressing-juices. The raw plant material is also sold fresh, frozen or dried.  The main consumers of their product are phyto-therapeutic and homeopathic companies using certified organic herbal material.

After harvesting, plants are assessed for suitability for further processing and the drying, freezing, extracting, maceration and pressing are carried out in the purpose built laboratory on the property.

As well as the herbs, the property also produces vegetables, edible flowers, fruit and nuts and runs a small herd of Hereford and Murray Grey cattle for manure and meat for local sale.

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Ronald using his modified tractor.

Ronald’s background in Agricultural Engineering has no doubt been the impetus for the very ‘organic’ conversion of farm machinery from combustion engine to solar.

The solar propelled tractor is made from a 1949 Allis Chalmers tool carrier, and does the important work of mechanical hoeing.

The herb harvester is ‘electrified’ by incorporating all the components of a redundant electrical forklift truck.

As Ronald says: “The obvious advantages for organic farming are no noise, far less stressful, no fume or oil pollution for the herbs, and of course use of renewable energy.”

Fresh plant tinctures are distributed in Australia through The Pharmaceutical Plant Company, another ACO client, however a “farm gate range” of herbal teas, essential oils, vinegars and infused oils are also available at  www.farmhousedirect.com.

 

lavender harvester marleen 27dec14

Marleen with the lavender harvester

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