The Autumn was sunny, warm, pleasant and dry, so now we could welcome the winter rain. The rain is definitely happening today as I write this website post for the winter season. We have collected hips, berries and dug roots like squirrels preparing for the colder months – so right. This is the season that forms our character. It is the time for comfort, warming food, a talk by the fireside with a cup of Phytofarm winter tisane gently warming your hands and heart. Does winter have a scent? For me, it is the smell of wood, warming aromatics – ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and rosehips drying on the racks.

Winter is the architect of the raindrop; the garden loves it, the plants soaking up the delicious moisture while they rest from their life cycle of growing, budding and flowering. The winter garden holds a certain dormant beauty with dried flowering stems of globe artichoke, woolly mulleins and the late bloomers of pineapple sage (red flowers) and lions ear (orange flowers). Phytofarm winter favourites to enjoy over winter months – Coco ginger paste, elderberry syrup, lavender & peppermint balm, winter tisane, spicy body butter. So cuddle up to enjoy some quiet time with the realisation that we could not enjoy spring if we had no winter.


our tisanes

seasonal tisane

An aromatic, cooling, decongestant tisane. A refreshing summer blend to enjoy hot or cold.

sleep well tisane

Drink this tisane for the benefits of all these wonderful quietening, calming and sedative plants that help empty the head and prepare you for sleep.

lung health tisane

Drink this tisane to strengthen and warm with mullein, hyssop and thyme. Marshmallow provides valuable mucilage for the lungs, especially for dry coughs.

pick me up tisane

Drink this refreshing tisane as a caffeine substitute for those low energy moments. With Kawakawa, a versatile plant pharmacy in itself.

herb of the season


Although Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)  has a place of pride in the Phytofarm garden in November we enjoyed a road trip south to gather some wild thyme from the barren hills of central Otago. This aromatic, perennial, evergreen plant of the Lamiaceae family rises from the sunbaked earth with a carpet fine purple-white haze of blossoms – the perfect time to harvest the flowering tips. The harsh conditions of this area makes these thyme plants especially robust. A plant that has a history as far back as 3000 BC, when it was considered a soothing wound dressing. During the black death plague of the 13th century thyme was used for embalming the dead and “nose gays” masks containing thyme were worn to protect from the spread of this deadly bacterium. The 16th century herbalist Nicholas Culpeper noted that thyme was “a noble strengthener of the lungs.“

Thymol is the active anti-septic ingredient of the thyme plant. Thyme is packed with vitamin C, a good source of vitamin A and has antibacterial, insecticidal, anti-fungal and anti-oxidant properties effective at reducing inflammation. A relaxant for smooth muscle spasms, such as coughing, working as an expectorant (a substance that loosens mucus) keeping the lungs and chest clear, encouraging breathing and helping dry throats. From a culinary perspective thyme shakes up your spice rack, it is a tasty addition to casseroles, wok cooked vegetables and an essential ingredient of Bouquet Garni.

Bouquet Garni
A bundle of herbs used to slowly flavour cooked dishes. Traditionally made from 3-4 sprigs of parsley, thyme and bay leaf.

Thyme Syrup

  • Honey 1 table spoon
  • Thyme leaf & flower 10gms (Dried, 5gms fresh)
  • Small Cinnamon Stick
  • Ginger (dried) 1/4 Cup
  • Water 1 Cup

Add the ginger to the cup of water and bring to the boil, turn off the heat and leave stand for 5 minutes. Add the cinnamon stick, thyme leaf and flower to the ginger water infuse for a further 5 minutes. Strain the liquid and add the table spoon of honey and mix well. Bottle while mixture is hot. Keep refrigerated after opening.

This remarkable plant has plenty to say: Do you have thyme to read this? Tea thyme; This year, next year, only thyme will tell; Better thymes are on the way; Get there in half the thyme, thyme out, thyme heals all wounds; Thyme after thyme.



Enjoy our luscious herbal body butters and creams, delightful tasting teas, infused medicinal oils, tonics and healing salves.

medicinal oils

Our signature range of rich and colourful infused medicinal oils from carefully selected plants.


Seasonal workshops and tours designed to explore the changes in the garden and use of plants to make fabulous products.


This programme offers a thorough instruction in the growing, harvesting, processing & manufacture of herbal products.

events and dates

2021 Winter Well Being Workshop INDULGE
In winter the workshop will focus on looking after yourself, it can be a vulnerable time with colds, flus and viruses. We will make products that warm and nurture you.

• Sunday 4 July
• Saturday 17 July
• Thursday 5 August
• Tuesday 17 August

2021 Spring Well Being Workshop EXPLORE

• Monday 25 October
• Saturday 6 November
• Sunday 5 December
• Saturday 11 December

In spring the workshop will focus on edible plants that grow in both our medicinal plots and wild plants from the meadow. It will highlight how medicinal plants offer you nutritionally dense food.

10am – 2pm each day. Other times for workshops and garden tours can be negotiated. Please contact Valmai or Andrea to discuss.

our favourite

the phytofarm kitchen garden book

This compendium provides you with the principles for exploring plants as food and medicine. Our book is a valuable collection of recipes and ideas. Starting with the Spring & Summer Edition, it will be extended with new sets of pages in the future, keeping you updated with the latest additions from the Phytofarm kitchen.

$ 49.00

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