Fonte Penedo started with the idea to cultivate the existing fallow land in a sustainable and ecological way. Different plant types were discussed until Mediterranean herbs were “distilled” from our conversations. The advantage of growing Mediterranean herbs is less water consumption and lower maintenance.
We began in 2013 on the first field with Lavender, Rosemary and Thyme. We bought a copper alembique by which we can distill around 8 – 10kg fresh plant material. First results were positive and encouraged us to rent another field and since 2015 Fonte Penedo has been certified by Ecocert Portugal according to EU legislation nº 834/2007.
At the moment we cultivate Lavender, Louro, Rosemary, Sage, Lemongras, Thyme, Lemon Verbena and more, we also distill essential oils from wild harvesting like Immortelle and Rock Rose. The essential oils are steam distilled in a traditional way in a copper alembique. We collect the plants by hand around midday to obtain a high level of essential oils.
2013 - 2016
In 2013 we started with a little test field on our first terrace, in 2014 we already distilled our first essential oils in 2014. We rented another field in the neighbourhood in 2015, we needed more space and a cultivation on the terraces was not economical. We planted lemongras and sage from our own production. The plants developed well, we have had a good harvest.
In the beginning of 2017 we found our actual and definitive location. The new land is bigger than our previous land and flat, which makes it a lot easier to cultivate. The integration of the land into our certificate was easy because it wasn´t used for a long time and without any productive neighbours. The existing herbs were dried or distilled, a small amount werde safed by replanting. We started with seeding at the same time to reduce our loss.