Böttcher Gartenbau is looking back on a challenging cultivation year. "The weather conditions at the beginning of the year offered very good starting conditions for herb cultivation. Especially the absence of late frosts was very beneficial to us," says Stefan Böttcher (right), managing director of the company, based in Bürstadt.
The following summer was very warm and dry, but for many herb varieties, these were very good conditions. Böttcher: "The Mediterranean herb varieties in particular, such as rosemary, thyme, sage, and oregano, benefited from the weather conditions. These varieties have been very comfortable throughout the summer and late into the fall. In addition, all of our growing areas were able to receive targeted irrigation, but the prolonged drought still resulted in high costs and labor."
But weeds also enjoyed the summer temperatures, which is why a significantly higher level of care was also required, Böttcher adds. In addition to this increased maintenance effort, Böttcher Gartenbau is also confronted with ubiquitous cost increases, for example, in energy, fertilizer, and packaging, which is why prices had to be adjusted at the customers.
The new, climate-friendly operated foil greenhouse
Start of the winter season
Böttcher Gartenbau considers itself well-positioned for the upcoming winter season. Due to the many years of experience with fresh-cut herbs and the mild climate in Southern Hesse, goods from German cultivation can still be supplied for a long time, even during the cold season. Through investments and the construction of a modern and climate-friendly operated foil greenhouse, the cultivation period could even be extended compared to previous years. In the spring, too, the additional protected cultivation area enabled an earlier start to the season with cut herbs from Bürstadt. Teresa Böttcher: "We are now in a position to supply German goods already for the early Easter business."
In addition, Böttcher Gartenbau can also offer year-round chives from Germany, as it can draw on years of experience and know-how in the demanding cultivation of winter chives. Winter chives from Germany continue to be a big seller.
Another major advantage of the business is the long-standing and trusting cooperation with cultivation partners from southern growing countries, Teresa Böttcher reports. "We are keen to be able to offer our customers good quality and prices in line with the market, even in winter. We know the challenges in herb cultivation and therefore rely on long-term and trusting partnerships. At the same time, we are observing the possibility of finding new farms for demanding crops in other growing countries in order to position ourselves more broadly for the winter season."
Open ground production
Year-round marketing of more than 25 pre-cut herbs
Thanks to the combination of its own cultivation and partners from southern countries, Böttcher Gartenbau is now able to offer 25 different fresh, pre-cut herbs in all standard market packaging sizes and types throughout the year. Stefan Böttcher: "Especially in summer, direct routes and great flexibility enable us to react quickly and agilely to customer requests and surplus quantities. For the most part, the herbs are packaged and delivered on the same day they are harvested, which is ultimately one of the decisive factors for quality."
Images: Böttcher Horticulture
For more information:
Stefan & Teresa Böttcher
Tel.: +49 6206 70 285-15
Fax.: +49 6206 70 285-28