They grow intoxicating herbs

Ida Signer is president of the “Appenzeller Bergkräuter” association and together with six other farmers grow herbs for the production of “Alpenbitter”.

‘Swiss farmer’: How many women farmers grow herbs for Alpenbitter AG?
Ida Signer: We are 7 farmers who produce for Alpenbitter AG.

How is it organized?
We started growing herbs for Alpenbitter AG in 2014. We founded the association in 2015. Alpenbitter AG says what herbs they would like to have and we will then grow them.

How much is the cultivated area?
Each company operates two Aaren. So the herbs are grown on 14 Aaren for Alpenbitter AG. Last year we delivered 126 kg of dried herbs. This varies each year depending on the weather.

How many different herbs are grown on these 14 Aars?
This year there are nine different herbs.

What are the growing challenges?
We do everything manually, and manual work takes a relatively long time. We had never planted any herbs before and first had to feel our way around and try the best way to do it. So the weather is a challenge. The first harvest of herbs is often the same time as the first harvest. Sometimes we have a double peak of work.

Is Appenzeller Land perfectly suitable for growing herbs?
Yes, in the context of how to operate it, it fits perfectly. If you want to grow on a larger scale, you will have to see how best to do it mechanically in our mountain landscapes.

What is your personal motivation for Alpenbitter AG to grow herbs?
I wanted to try something new, it’s a good side income farmer side. I love working abroad and I love taking on new challenges.

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Is the club looking for more producers?
No, we’re not looking. At the moment, there is no greater need on the part of Alpenbitter AG.

Is the union for Alpenbitter AG only growing?
Yes, at the moment we produce exclusively for Alpenbitter AG. We can also imagine working with other companies and partners.

Complete the sentence…

Cultivation of herbs…Labor intensive and exciting.
Alpenbitter is…Good and tasty.
Farming …Innovative and takes up farming.

Alpenbitter AG offers the company guided tours of its newly designed “world of herbs” for those interested. You can read more about it in “Regiofokus” in the Wednesday, August 18th issue.

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