Herbfarmacy celebrates 30 year passion for growing herbs

Herbfarmacy co-founders Paul and Carol Richards are celebrating 30 years of growing herbs on their stunning small-holding in Eardisley, Herefordshire this year.

“It’s been an amazing journey, one which I could never have predicted,” Paul says.

Botanist Dr Paul Richards has been translating the healing properties of these herbs into skincare benefits in the products his team has produced for the past seven, following a journey via selling dried herbs, then herbal oils, ointments and tinctures through to the birth of herbfarmacy.

And – with perfect timing for the 30-year celebration – Paul & Carol were voted at No.2 in the 2013 Who’s Who in Natural Beauty published yearly in the Natural Beauty Yearbook.

All products are certified organic and handmade in small batches on the farm. The emollient, anti-inflammatory and cell renewal benefits of the herbs combined with the carefully formulated plant oil blends create ‘skin foods’ that are ideal for people with sensitive skin. There range also features products that can help with problem skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

herb field newThe process starts with the seeds (mostly collected on the farm) through the sowing, planting and nurturing of the herbs to their harvesting and infusing in oil and water to form the basis of the herbfarmacy range.

Paul’s love of plants began in early childhood when walking the lanes and fields of the wild Welsh border country around Knighton with his father, and was further inspired by his uncle who was a keen recorder of native plants.

One of the first herbs Paul grew commercially on the farm was comfrey – the leaves were dried for Comfrey Tea and the roots to make a powder for animals suffering from arthritis, and was also sold to Potter’s Herbal Supplies for its Comfrey Tablets.

Both leaves and roots were later used to make comfrey oil and ointment – products that were the first organic skincare products to be approved by the Soil Association. Paul also supplied many thousands of comfrey plants to gardeners through Garden Organic.

Paul went on to develop a range of healing ointments (balms) using combinations of herbal oils made on the farm, notably calendula, chickweed, marshmallow and hypericum. The continuing success and feedback of the ointments inspired the creation of the Herbfarmacy range for everyday skincare. The products harness moisturizing, anti-inflammatory and replenishing properties of key herbs to nurture and protect the skin. The range has blossomed and now includes several award-winning products.

• Visitors are invited to see the farm at the height of its summer glory over the weekend of July 27-28th when there will be guided walks. A small admission fee will be charged which will be donated to Herefordshire based charity, Concern Universal.