We grow a great variety of biodynamic crops, from skin-nourishing plants and vibrant flowers to nutrient-packed cereals, here at Shire Farm. Some of these are cultivated for the multi-award winning biodynamic skincare range AEOS, the natural fragrance range Pegasus and the Aura-Soma Colour-Care-System®. Others are used in the kitchens of Dev Aura Residential Training Centre as well as on the farm to feed our animal friends. Nothing is wasted as we add composted crops back to the earth to increase soil fertility…and so the self-sustaining life-force continues.
Naturally, we only want to grow the most potent and vital ingredients. By using the annual Biodynamic Sowing and Planting Calendar to plant and cultivate at optimal times, we ensure the highest quality and quantity of crops year after year. Based on over 40 years of ongoing research into the influences of the Moon, planets and constellations on plant growth, this guide is one of the cornerstones of biodynamic farming.
In addition to spelt - the nutritious and versatile ancient cousin of wheat – we also grow the following crops:
Our barley crops provide sustenance to our farm animals over the cold winter months.
Our sweetly-scented clary sage is distilled into aromatic flower water which has superb astringent properties and is beneficial for oily skin and hair. Clary sage oil is used in the Aura-Soma Colour-Care-System®.
We plant field beans as part of our crop rotation. Their deep, nitrogen-fixing roots break up the sub-soil and release nutrients, creating a more fertile soil for the next crop. The harvested beans make a nourishing feed for our farm animals too and the remaining stalks are chopped and turned back into the soil.
Grasses and White Clover
Our grasses undersown with white clover suppress weeds and build fertility in the soil. They’re also superstars for silage: green matter that’s kept warm and dry and allowed to ferment slightly. It makes for a nutritious and tasty addition to our animals’ winter feed – they love it!
Using our own distillation equipment we extract lavender essential oil and lavender water from our plants. The wonderfully fragrant lavender water is used as a soothing skin tonic in the AEOS skincare system. Lavender flowers make a delicious addition to teas and salads and can also be used in bags to deter moths from drawers and wardrobes!
Our flaxseeds are cold-pressed and the oil bottled or encapsulated in veggie caps. Flaxseed oil makes for a wonderful supplement rich in health-boosting omega-3 fatty acid, while the fibre of the plant is used to make durable linen cloth.
Our beautiful marigolds, also known as calendula plants, have roots with a pungent smell that keeps the soil in which they grow free from pests, making them good companion plants for carrots and other crops. The oil from the flowers, collected by supercritical CO2 extraction, as well as the water-based extracts, are used in Aura-Soma and AEOS skincare formulations for their cleansing and restorative properties.
Our vibrant red poppies have multiple uses. Their seeds are tasty sprinkled onto bread or added to salads, while the cold-pressed oil rich in linoleic acid is used in AEOS Nail and Cuticle Oil for its excellent moisture-restoring properties. Finally, the water-based extract of poppies is used in Aura-Soma Equilibrium bottles.
Our nutrient-packed pumpkin seeds are cold-pressed to extract oil which is used in many regenerating skincare formulations and cosmetics.
Rosemary has excellent astringent properties and is packed with natural antioxidants, making it a purifying yet nourishing addition to skincare formulations. The beautifully fragrant rosemary water makes a rejuvenating skin tonic, while our rosemary essential oil is used in the Aura-Soma Pomanders and Quintessences and rosemary tincture in the Equilibrium range.
The delicately scented rose is a prized ingredient in beauty formulations. Fragrant rose water cleanses, soothes and hydrates skin while rose petal-infused alcohol makes the perfect base for herbal tinctures. Our rose petals are added to Aura-Soma Pomanders and in the kitchen they can be used to create relaxing tea blends and delectable treats such as ice cream, jams and even savoury Moroccan dishes.
The seeds of our bright yellow sunflowers have rich moisturising properties which are retained by carefully cold-pressing the oil. Beneficial for the keratin protein in skin, hair and nails, our sunflower seed oil is used in AEOS Nail and Cuticle Oil.