SUSTAINABILITY RATE: 89,16 %
Divine aromas from the herb garden
After more than 30 years of working in the hospitality industry, expert herbalist Martha Stieger’s life has been centred on her herb shop and garden in the Martelltal/Val Martello Valley. Some time ago, she decided to trade the hustle and bustle of her former profession for a much slower, labour-intensive activity. Yes, even herb gardens require plenty of care and attention, but now Martha’s energies are focused on knowledge and quality, not the finesses of multi-course meals.
As part of her work in the catering industry, Martha Stieger used to take hotel guests out on herbal treks. It was during these hikes that the experienced herbalist exchanged thoughts on nature, herbs and flowers with visitors. She soon came to realise that what most people knew about the subject was only second-hand. So, during the course of her guided treks she decided to put her knowledge of herbs into practice. After gathering some wild herbs, she asked participants to prepare simple ointments then and there, out in the open. They could see that this isn’t based on any kind of witchcraft, but simply on traditional knowledge. After all, herbs are not only used in medicines for preventive health, but also to fight diseases.
In order to enter this profession, herbalists need to have some specialised knowledge, such as a natural cosmetics consultant or Nature Life Coach. As for Martha Stieger, she’s comfortable looking after her own health according to her maxim: "Go into nature, where you’ll find the best and most simple remedies”.
Not only does she grow medicinal herbs herself, but also produces natural foods for her edification and promotes knowledge about herbs. Offering a range of herbal products made from both homegrown and wild herbs, she also makes homemade foods and various creative delights, including: salt, wild herb pesto, herbal sugar, spicy pickled zucchini, apple vinegars with herbs (such as nasturtiums), dried berries, syrups and macerated oils – to name a few.
What makes Martha Stiegers' approach to herbs rather different isn’t just the wide variety of herb-based products cultivated in her vegetable garden and her homegrown production. Her educational project is what sets her apart, enabling participants to manually harvest and process the herbs in her garden, thus gaining first-hand experience in making herbal medicines themselves.
I-39020 Martell/Martello (BZ)
call +39 339 6894903