Cultivation of spices and medicinal herbs

January 3, 2008

In a five-year research and development project production of herbs and spices was investigated, with the purpose of creating a new non-traditional plant production exploiting the production facilities available on small Finnish farms.

Bertalan ja Zsuzsanna Savonlinnassa

The purposes of the project were:

  1. Training of contract growers in pilot production,
  2. Field trials to select the potential species out of 54 candidates,
  3. Extensive field experiments to develop suitable machinery for selected 22 species, centralized drying and processing methods,
  4. To study the chemical, microbiological quality aspects of products,
  5. Information and advisory activities.

The main purposes of the project have been achieved by studying of the yields of 1022 experimental plots and 13.5 ha contract field cultivation. According to the chemical analyses of 1250 samples indicated, that the composition of the herb essential oils equalled those measured in corresponding Central European studies. Additionally the crops grown in Finland contained distinctly less airborn heavy metals than crops in Central Europe. Transferring of the experimental results into practical production needs correct market analyses and continuous advisory activities of growers in this new non-traditional production area.

Collection of nettle in the forest

Galambosi, B., Kaukovirta, E., Sz-Galambosi,Zs. 1991. Cultivation of spices and medicinal herbs. Dept. of Horticulture, University of Helsinki. Publication No 18. 104. p. Helsinki

The original publication is available in Finnish, contact: