So busy with dry herbs!

[Original by Mariko OMURA, Cambodia Project (December 25, 2020); Translated by E. Miyazaki /A. Taguchi]

Roselle hibiscus in bright red!

Hi, this is Mariko Omura, the country director of JVC Cambodia. It is now December and the harvest season of Roselle hibiscus. The flowers look like bright red jewels, which are picked, dried, and shipped as a raw material for herb tea.

Roselle hibiscus is full of vitamins!

Harvesting. The pond at the back is one of the reservoirs JVC dug this year.

Villagers process herbs while social distancing.

Pretty pink globe amaranth

The pretty flowers are globe amaranth. It contains a lot of ingredients for enhancing beauty. We also dry and ship them to Phnom Penh as a raw material for herb tea.

Pink everywhere!

The flowers are trimmed and dried.

The farmer was a little nervous as she handled the flowers for the first time, but soon enjoyed the work.

Two neighbors who participated in the training. They are going to use their income to buy a new bicycle and food supplies.

Tangy and spicy! Turmeric and ginger

It is also the harvest season of root vegetables such as turmeric and ginger. The vitamin-rich colors are so pretty!

Turmeric gives a fruity flavor to herb tea.

Ginger is used in daily meals, but they ship and sell the surplus.

To the workshop of Demeter

These dry herbs are shipped to Demeter, Roselle Stones Khmer, a brand of organic herb tea in Phnom Penh. We started shipping lemongrass and have continued the business for more than one year. Now, we sell more than ten kinds of herbs!

Dry herbs awaiting shipment. It takes five hours by bus to the workshop in Phnom Penh.

The other day, some JVC staff visited the workshop and learned how their herbs become products. They seemed to have found many things useful for giving training in the villages.

The training on dry herb processing is facilitated by Pok and Somach, the local staff.

Checking herbs according to the manual of Demeter.

Dry herb training is popular among the villagers since they can earn money with what they make during their free time. The herbs are light in weight and the process is not difficult, so anyone regardless of age can try it.

Participants in the training. Sin Meas (right), a 77-year-old villager, is actively learning how to make dry herbs.

An article in FRaU and where we can buy the herb teas

Demeter’s activities were introduced in FRaU, a Japanese monthly magazine, as an example of circular economy. JVC Cambodia provided some pictures for the article.

The volume has a picture of Haruka Ayase on the front cover (picture from the official homepage).

Let’s go to a bookstore!

You can buy various kinds of herb teas on Demeter’s website! Although the supply is somewhat unstable due to COVID-19, they said that they still have stock. Why not try some as you relax during the New Year’s break? There are many tangy and spicy blends that will make you cozy and warm during winter. Some of the ingredients are from the JVC’s project site. Please enjoy the breeze of Cambodia in your home!

Share This: