Το αγνό τσάι από τις βουνοκορφές των Καμβουνίων
In the mountains of Kamvounia, between Larissa, Kozani and Grevena, at 1.430 altitude, Chrysovalantis Kogios and Asterios Ganas, two young people with common characteristics and goals, sensitized by the depreciation of the primary sector, decided to “invest” their love for the land and nature in a pioneering, extrovert undertaking. They started, four years ago, Corphes, the organically cultivating of mountain tea, “domesticating” the local variety of sideritis raeseri.
Herbs and spices are among the most versatile and widely used ingredients in food processing. As well as their traditional role, they have been increasingly used as natural preservatives and for their potential health-promoting properties.
The degradation by man of a particular ecosystem, the rich flora and the large volume of native and endemic plants were enough to make the two men start cultivating unique herbs and fruits in different mountain ranges and proceed to produce special dairy products.
Under the guidance of specialists, native clones of the above-mentioned herb teas were harvested, multiplied in the plant nurseries, and experimental plantings were then carried out in the micro-climates encountered under wild conditions.
One of Corphes’ priorities is the research, identification and classification of some rare endemic plants in the area they grow, for the purpose of multiplication, cultivation and conservation, due to the reduction of native populations.
For this reason, a network of collaborations with scientific sectors and specialized scientists has been developed. “A very important collaboration we have developed is with the organization” ELGO DIMITRA – Department of Pharmaceutical Aromatic Plants “. The organization, through its targeted research, produces and delivers knowledge on the development of plant production and on solving topical agricultural problems.
The basic objective of our cooperation is the scientific and technical development of actions aimed at improving production processes, certifying the quality characteristics of our products and establishing good agricultural cultivation practices. In addition, chemical analyses are carried out in the laboratories of the organization to identify wild-type varieties of aromatic and medicinal plants in our area. “
The main objective of the research is the conservation, evaluation and exploitation of plant genetic resources as well as the creation and promotion of new varieties and species with improved yield, quality and adaptability. At the same time, researches are carried out in individual fields of plant production, such as Aromatic and Native Plants of the Greek flora.
The survey of the company has focused on two types of herbal teas, “stachys iva” and “sideritis raeseri”. Following a strenuous search and effort with the scientific associates of the company, he was included on the initiative of Chrysovalantis Kogios and Asterios Ganas, on the national herbal list, called “white tea”, a rare type of tea whose Latin name is “stachys iva” and was then granted by the Ministry of Rural Development the planting permission.
“Our love for the land and natural cultivation has defined our production methods.
Applying an integrated management system with a strictly biodynamic approach, without additions and interventions, we cultivate and produce unique land products. “
Their main concern is the lack of processing, manual labor and soil improvement only by adding compost from free-range animals to the land they cultivate to increase fertility and balanced plant nourishment.
The harvesting of plants and fruits takes place without the use of mechanical means, under the most ideal conditions, with the sole purpose of “trap” their flavors and nutrients. Irrigation takes place only where necessary, selectively and drying is absolutely natural, in brick warehouses of the last century.
The packaging process is made under strict standards and starts initially by controlling macroscopically the raw materials. In the area of processing and packaging of raw materials, all modern hygiene and cleanliness methods are applied in accordance with international food regulations. With a view to protecting the environment and ecological consciousness, the consumables used are biodegradable and recyclable materials, suitable for use in food grade, certified by the competent bodies.
Herbal-spice packaging takes place after rigorous screening and “under modified atmosphere” (MAP). With this pioneering method, both natural disinfection and preservation is achieved, while the length and intensity of the organoleptic characteristics of packaged products is increased, thereby providing the consumer with the most “fresh” dried herbs and spices.
The product weighed in absolute precision, after final inspection, takes its final form in the packaging directly on the one hand with regard to herbs in a very short period of time from their drying and on the other hand with regard to raspberries, day of fruit harvest.
“The enormous biodiversity of the region, the desolation of “οur“ mountainous lands and the new outlook in Greece of the crisis have prompted us to realize our thoughts. Our idea began with the uniqueness of a magnificent microclimate, the land that passed into our hands after a century of fallow, and the knowledge and passion of the village’s people.
Our philosophy is based on the natural way of cultivating the earth and managing the resources of nature from man, as was the case with our ancestors. “
Their fields were and remain in woodland, adjacent to cedars, firs, pines and wild rose. The interaction of fauna with the planting areas has prompted them to mild fencing, while preservation of the ecosystem was and still is a priority to them.
They chose mountainous volumes that already thrive on the respective plants and re-gave “life“ to pieces of land that were skewed. With mild and prudent management, they aim to promote mountain farming as well as to rescue the varieties that tend to disappear. Applying all of this, they produce high nutritional products, aiming at their international recognition and recognition as unique in their nature.