There’s a lot that goes on at our farm in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. No ordinary farm, it’s where we plant, grow, harvest and extract most of the botanicals that go into our skin care products at Jurlique. It’s also a biodynamic* farm, following holistic and sustainable farming practices that naturally look after plant health and the soil, ensuring nothing harmful goes into the earth or into our products.
It’s a small operation, with just 14 members of staff doing most of the work by hand - and at the heart of it all is our Farm Manager, Cherie Hutchinson.
“Between everyone on the team, we’ve got over 100 years’ experience if you add it all up,” says Cherie. “The one thing I love more than anything…I love people and I love this team in particular. I’m actually getting goose bumps talking about it because it’s a very unique team and it’s almost like a little family.
“The farm is quite complex in everything we’re trying to achieve here,” says Cherie. “Not only are we trying to grow, plant and harvest all the different botanicals, but we also do extractions [through our Bio-Intrinsic™ method] here on the property. Then there’s maintaining the tractors, ensuring the lights are working, the internet’s switched on…all those little things. The main priority for us though is the forecast, we’re always focusing on how much herb we need and ensuring that we do it at the right time of day as well.”
One of the most unique aspects of our farm is that it’s biodynamic*. You won’t find many other skin care brands growing their ingredients following these methods – but that’s just one of the many things that makes Jurlique so unique.
“Biodynamic* farming is a natural, holistic way of farming,” says Cherie. “We’re introducing our own herbal remedies to address all sorts of plant health matters, feeding the soil and ensuring that we’ve got a healthy property. Ultimately what we’re trying to achieve is not having to leave the farm gate but producing everything we need right here. We produce all these wonderful homeopathic recipes using a biodynamic* approach to address the needs for our plants and our soil.
“What biodynamic* farming is all about is not only using all these natural herbal remedies for your plants but it’s also doing this using all the cosmic influences and the moon cycle. Just like the moon cycle draws the ocean tides, it also draws moisture to the soil and back down to the root structure. When that’s happening, it’s a beautiful time to plant your plants.
“As the different cosmic energies are coming about, when the moon is circling around the earth, it draws about different star sign influences. Just like you have a star sign, so does your plant. When a moon is passing through a particular constellation, whether it be a leaf type of plant or flower, we actually do things aligned with that. On a flower day – which is when the moon is passing through Gemini – we could be harvesting that plant or planting that plant or weeding that plant.”
It might sound a bit out there but for the sceptics, Cherie says: “There was a really interesting thing that happened last season. We use Marjoram for our skin care range, and we planted the Marjoram accidentally on a flower day and lo and behold, it flowered all through the summer period and we didn’t get any of the leaf that we wanted. That’s the type of thing that will happen to your plant if you don’t plant them with that right influence.”
* Certified biodynamic by the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia. Jurlique’s products and farm are not certified or affiliated with Demeter® USA or Demeter International.