Lavender cultivation on the Mosel
June 15, 2020 By Verena Grewenig
Today I would like to introduce you to a very special project of the Lehmen Razejunge.
The Lehmen Razejunge are an association for the promotion of culture and traditional viticulture on the terraced Mosel. The name Razejung comes from the “Raz”, a woven back carrying basket. With this Raz, the young men of Lehmen (“Junge”) carried the manure into the steep vineyards in winter to fertilize the vines.
The Razejunge are particularly committed to the protection of nature and the environment. They maintain the old slate dry-stone walls and the vineyard terraces of the steep Mosel vineyards. Through various projects they promote and support the flora and fauna.
One of these projects is the lavender cultivation in the Lehmener Würzlay.
To counteract the bush encroachment of the old steep terraced vineyards, the association decided to plant lavender in 2014. Climate change has created a Mediterranean climate on the Mosel, an ideal location for the low-maintenance lavender. The amount of work required to care for and harvest the lavender is significantly less than the de-bushing and clearing measures. Already now, in mid-June, it is in full bloom and should be harvested as early as the first week of July.
Products from the lavender harvest:
- Lavender oil
- Lavender hydrolate
- Lavender liqueur
- Lavender tea
- Lavender sugar
- Lavender sachets
At the same time, the Würzlay garden was planted with over 70 different herbs.
Due to the herb plants and the lavender cultivation, the number of insects and butterflies in the vineyard has increased significantly. There are now 30 species of butterflies recorded, so their numbers have increased fivefold. Bumblebees and bees have also multiplied. The population of adders and lizards has also increased significantly.
Here the association also offers training and guided tours for school classes, in order to bring nature and biodiversity closer to children and young people. There is a very beautiful and informative vineyard – experience path.
The Lehmener Razejunge have also set up beehives, so there is also very tasty and wonderfully fragrant lavender honey and herb honey.
In November last year, the association was awarded the innogy Climate Protection Award 2019 for your great project.
A successful project all around. I can only recommend anyone who is ever on the Mosel to make a detour here and look at this beautiful fragrant purple lavender vineyard. Who still brings some wanderlust can also hike the Würzlaysteig.
Further and more detailed information can be found on the intranet site of the Lehmener Razejunge
Have fun exploring and hiking.