φωτ. αρχείο: Κτήμα Βίωμα
Satureja thymbra, winter savory of the Labiatae family is a wild species growing in tuffs or heads as many other Labiatae. It attains a height of 30-40 cm and grows spontaneously around the Mediterranean basin. In Crete it is widespread and a common plant in the typical marquis. The plants growing at low altitudes are softer both in appearance and in aroma than the plants growing at higher altitudes. The leaves and flowers of Satureja have been used since antiquity to combat infections and to preserve foods due to their anti bacterial activity.
We collect Satureja in June when the plants are in full bloom from several populations growing in the southwestern part of Crete (Sfakia), along riverbeds and near to the sea. The new branches with leaves and flowers are clipped leaving the main body and a few new branches to regenerate, and distilled immediately. Collecting Saturejameans to share the plants with the bees, which are collecting vigorously. Cretan plants have a high essential oil content, and the yield we achieve from a 3-hour distillation can be as high as 2.5%. The oil has a hot and burning scent. As always, we collect by hand, cutting just about half of the flowering tops off each plant, leaving enough for the bees.