Harvesting of raw materials
The rules for careful harvesting and procurement of mushrooms, fruits and herbs have been formed and improved for thousands of years. While planning and preparing for the harvesting of raw materials, the dynamics of accumulation of active substances, weather conditions and harvesting period (in the morning during dew time, in dry weather, after rain, etc.) are taken into account. The quality of raw materials depends on compliance with the terms of preparation, correct harvesting technology and drying mode.
For the careful use of the healing plant properties, only those parts that contain the necessary active substances are harvested: flowers (inflorescences), leaves, fruits, seeds, buds, bark, stems, roots and rhizomes. While harvesting the above-ground herbaceous plant part, sharp cutting tools are used. The roots are dug out by a special shovel.
Each type of raw materials has its own terms and features of harvesting. However, there are still general rules for individual morphological groups that have developed on the basis of long-term experience:
- The leaves are harvested when it is completely formed, usually in the budding and flowering phases; it is cut or carefully picked by hand with the petiole, without the petiole, or with part of the petiole.
- The flowers are harvested at the beginning or during full bloom: it should be fresh and just blooming.
- The fruits and seeds are harvested at full maturity, in cool and dry weather.
- The buds are harvested at the end of winter or early spring, when it has swollen, but the leaves have not yet appeared.
- The bark is cut off from young branches before the leaves open in the spring - during the period of abundant sap flow. Sometimes the harvesting is allowed at the very beginning of summer.
- The roots and rhizomes are harvested in early spring or late autumn, when the above-ground plant part withers or dries, i.e. during the dormant period.
While organizing the harvesting and procurement of raw materials, Vitaforest always pays great attention to the training of seasonal pickers, as their work also affects the quality of our product. Our training seminars include questions about:
- specific growth and harvesting sites of each plant;
- the differences between the target plant and similar weed or poisonous plants;
- the importance of raw material purity (the absence of rotten plants, dead parts, mineral impurities and fragments of other plants);
- rules and methods of drying and storage.
Vitaforest cares about the safety of employees while working at the harvesting sites, therefore each picker undergoes detailed safety instructions and is provided with the necessary protective and auxiliary work equipment.
We implement the principle of respect for nature, and always leave a sufficient number of fungi and plants in the harvesting area to renew its populations.
In our company the planning for the preparation, harvesting and processing of raw materials begins long before the start of the season. The accurate planning and control of each production stage ensures a consistently high quality of the final product.