When and how to harvest German Chamomile
Harvesting the flowers is the most difficult and expensive operation when growing professionally German Chamomile. Unfortunately, not all the flowers are ready for picking at the same time. Consequently, most farmers employ small groups of workers that pick flowers every 2-4 days, in 3 or more harvesting sessions, within a period of 15-20 days. Flowers are clipped or collected with special rakes.
The chamomile flowers can bloom between spring and autumn, but in most cases they bloom from late spring to early summer. As it happens in nearly all herbs that are intended for distillation and essential oil extraction, knowing when exactly to harvest requires experience, sampling and a lot of “trial and error” effort. Harvesting at the early flowering phase, during or just before full boom and then drying in shaded places is common. However, the client often dictates post-harvest and pre-distillation handling of the plant material. We must choose sunny days with mild weather and no wind in order to harvest. A potential rainfall at the day of the harvest will decrease the quality of the final product. Extreme heat and strong winds will also favor the evaporation of essential oil, so a portion of our product will be lost if it is too hot or windy.
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German Chamomile Harvest
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