04 Aug2010

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Just a couple of minutes by car from the market in Ourika, the Jardin Bio-aromatique de Ourika is a wonderful 1-hectare gardent that raises some 50 different species of herbs and aromatics for use as essential oils, made into soaps, sprays, candles, perfumes, etc. We spent about 20 minutes in the garden, opting to just wander by ourselves rather than getting a guided tour. With the atlas mountains in the background, this organized organic farm was a nice pitstop…

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They had some of the healthiest rosemary plants I have EVER seen, so robust, green, sturdy and aromatic! Hedge upon hedge of rosemary guided you around the various herb plots in the gardens. Fruit trees such as pomegranates, figs, olives, etc. also dotted the gardens.

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Gourds were being dried and are apparently used by local medicine men…

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A few unripe olives.

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The Teen taking some photos of the roses in full bloom.

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And a close-up of some roses. The garden also has a small factory facility where they extract the oils and make various products, many of which end up in top hotels in Marrakech. Amanjena uses some of their products and we were able to purchase some argan oil, eau de fleurs d’orange (a pleasant smelling orange flower water), soaps, etc. from their small shop within the garden premises.

Note: some photos here taken by Mrs. MM.

 

COMMENTS:

  1. Gej says:

    Wow!!! With just 1 hectare ha. Your posts give us so many ideas.

    Rosemary usually has bluish green foliage, at least the ones here in the Philippines. But your picture showed rosemary with a more yellowish-green color. Was that just the lighting, or were the rosemary plants really more yellowish-green?

    Aug 4, 2010 | 8:58 am

     
  2. Marketman says:

    Gej, they were dark green, very vibrant, perhaps the yellow tinge is from the sunlight.

    Aug 4, 2010 | 8:59 am

     
  3. Gej says:

    Thanks. I’m curious, were you able to take pictures of the small factory? I suppose the stills they used to extract the essential oils were relatively small? Like 8 liter ones?

    I thought before that one needs a big area for aromatic plants (or a source of significant volumes of plant raw material – does this Jardin depend entirely on its own plant production for its raw material kaya? ) , as well as a relatively big factory for the viable production of essential oil, soaps, etc. Your post on Jardin Bio-aromatique de Ourika suggests it can be done successfully even in a small-scale.

    Aug 4, 2010 | 9:31 am

     
  4. Marketman says:

    Gej, tourists not allowed into the distillery area/factory. I suspect this was only part of the story, there are thousands of hectares of arable land nearby, and I suspect a lot of the raw materials come from trusted farms in the region. Things like orange blossoms have to be gathered int he hundreds of kilos to produce any essential oils, I would think.

    Aug 4, 2010 | 9:42 am

     
  5. Gej says:

    Thanks. Oo nga. Nice concept still, to have what seems like an eden of sorts in the midst of thousands of hectares of seemingly uncultivated land, as showcase for an aromatics business. And nice pictures (ha ha, my wife bought a G11 recently, inspired by your pictures)!

    Aug 4, 2010 | 9:52 am

     
  6. millet says:

    am sure this one hectare is just the “showcase” area. the smells must be intoxicating. and my favorite lokum (turkish delights) are the ones made with rose petals.

    Aug 4, 2010 | 11:52 am

     
  7. DP Travels says:

    i’ve visited a few of these botanical herb gardens, noticed they are all over the country. they also market the rare oil, ‘argan oil’ used for cosmetic and medicinal purposes that are traditionally produced by hand by women, which also doubles up as a community livelihood project for (older/poor) women.

    Aug 5, 2010 | 9:14 pm

     
  8. Risa says:

    When I went to Jerusalem, I was most impressed that rosemary was used as landscape foliage for street islands-they were everywhere growing on rocks and crevices. I spied flowering lavender in the French embassy. I think I enjoyed that more than the old churches.

    Aug 6, 2010 | 2:35 pm

     
  9. Lene says:

    this is for dp travels, would you mind telling us where in the philippines you found the argan oil? would love to know more about it as we are using the stuff but would love to know if we can actually get it from the philippines. we are an avid fun of argan oil which we use both for cosmetic and healthy purposes. hope to hear from you. regards, lene

    Aug 26, 2010 | 6:11 am

     
  10. Marketman says:

    Lene, if you bothered to read the short post above and comprehend it, you would realize the argan oil was purchased in Morocco at the above named garden.

    Aug 26, 2010 | 10:09 am

     
  11. Oushen says:

    Argan trees exist ONLY in Southwestern Morocco, nowhere near the Ourika Valley, and the oil is manually (haven’t invented a machine yet to do it properly) extracted from the trees’ nuts locally where the trees grow. So at least that product is not produced at the Jardin Bio-Aromatique.

    Feb 10, 2012 | 2:52 am

     
  12. loubna says:

    Hi,
    I’m a moroccan and im importing argan oil edible and cosmetic you can find us in salcedo market every saturday ) you can visit from 7 to 2 pm.

    Jun 14, 2012 | 9:08 am

     
 

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