Rosemary plant is an essential commodity in Agribusiness. They are used for different purposes such as hair product, preservation of foods, garden plants, flavory and cut flowers. The main challenge that is facing farming sector is preservation. Both raw and processed food get spoilt often and are thrown away, resulting in loses. But with preservatives some foodstuffs and processed foods can be preserved but many of these preservatives used in preserving food presently are chemicals which is bad for human health. That is why it is very important for entrepreneurs to engage in Rosemary farming for natural antioxidants in other to replace chemicals in food preservation.
The capital to use in raising Rosemary plantation is not much, the seeds are available locally. If you are into the production of processed drinks you need to plant some rosemary around your house. Call 080 35965 405 to buy Rosemary seeds.
Nutritionist and dietician have been looking for a way to preserve food substances with natural products. Rose extracts becomes one of the best natural products for the preservation of food.
We also have grapefruit seeds as an antioxidant for the preservation of food. But in this post our attention is on rosemary farming.
Many people see rose plant as a mere flower for decoration not knowing it is more than that, the reason we see many people cultivate them only for ornamental purposes. Most of the rose extracts we use in Nigeria are imported yet we have a climate and land that supports rose farming in Nigeria.
We need entrepreneurs who can invest into commercial Rosemary farming for oil and water extract.
Apart from food preservation Rose extracts is widely used in cosmetics industry for skin care, perfumes and other health products.
It is a natural antioxidant used for preservative.
This green herb takes 14-21 days to germinate and harvested between 3-4 months after planting. It is a very resilient and versatile herb that can remain productive for 30 years when given the best conditions. Matures between 4-5 weeks after transplant and produces 500gms for every1m2
Rosemary extract is very useful in food industry because it is very effective in slowing down deterioration of food. It a natural alternative to synthetic additives
Rosemary is very easy to grow, it has a pine like scent with pungent flavor that is one of the preferred herbs in food industries.
Some Rosemary Varieties
There are very many varieties of Rosemary so when planting choose a variety that is suitable for your desired use and climate.
You are to use only the edible varieties for the preparation of rose water. The best variety for making rose extracts are
- Pine scented
- Golden Rain
- Blue boy
- Spice island,
- dancing water,
- pink and white variety.
Scented Rosemary has soft leave and excellent flavoring is used for cooking Arp is used for ornamentals and land scaping
Pick the rose flowers when fresh and free from pesticides. This should be very early in the morning before sun comes up.
You can grow Rosemary in pots, open field or do vertical planting. It requires a well drained loamy soil with a PH between 6.0-7.5. Allow six hours of sun each day. Clear the land, remove debris and till, you can add organic manure to improve the quality of the soil.
How to Plant Rosemary
You can propagate Rosemary from seeds or cuttings. It is best grown from cuttings while seed can be less successful as the germination rate is 15%.
Cut a vigorous growing Rosemary plant, clip a 3 inch branch from the stem and trim off the lower leaves. Plant either 1 or 2, of the cuttings in a pot or field, 3 inches into the soil and Irrigate immediately.
Irrigation in Rosemary farming
Rosemary hardly needs manur, however, if growth is slow or you notice pale yellow coloration or the plant looks stunted then apply fertilizer.
Watering in Rosemary farming
Rosemary doesn’t need much water so watering should be done only in dry season or when rain refuse to fall. In that case water once a week.
Diseases and Pests in Rosemary Farming
Rosemary plants are good resistant to diseases but patches of powdery mildew have been reported in some cases. Others are; bacterial leaf spots, root rot and aerial blight.
Always monitor your farm so the disease won’t spread., use a good fungicides. To minimize the incidence of diseases always prun Rosemary when overgrown to allow good air circulation in the plant environment.
Insects attack Rosemary plant mildly examples of such insects include; mealy bugs, mites and scales. Apply appropriate insecticide.
Prune Rosemary plant to stimulate new shoots from the plant just like in hibiscus farming. And to prevent them from being lanky. Pruning will keep you Rosemary farm neat and healthy.
Inter-cropping in Rosemary farming
You can inter-plant Rosemary with any of these crops; beans, cabbage, carrots etc.
As soon as the plant grows to a desirable size you are free to cut off some small branches without harming them. After that you can continue cutting but allow them to replace their growth before cutting. The flowers can be used for salads. Dry them before processing so it can last longer.
Rosemary as a preservative
Rosemary plant has gone beyond being a flavory herbs to a preservative. Foods that can stay long and fresh example, pancakes and cereals are being preserved with Citric acid, potassium and sodium sorbate, sodium nitrite and benzoate etc. This is done to stop bacteria action or discoloration yet these chemicals are harmful to man when taken over a long period of time or taken in excess.
Rosemary has properties that helps in preserving food for weeks and months. Their antioxidants comes from bio active compounds known as polyphenols from the Rosemary plants. They contain rosmarinic acid and carmosaic acid which helps in delaying oxidation of fats, slowing down the effect of microorganism that causes food to spoil.
Since the extract work well in keeping oil from going rancid it is used in food with high fat contents such as sausage, salad dressing. And also for food processed from nuts that are intended to stay fresh in months example tiger nut milk
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