Nature and Wellbeing are at the heart of everything we do at Brookside Farm!
Back in 2012 we were delighted to discover (through reading Culpeper’s Complete Herbal) that all the wild herbs growing in our ancient ridge and furrow meadow, had been harvested by our ancestors for centuries for their health and mood boosting properties.
When we found that many of them were being used in commercial herbal tea blends, we thought about doing the same ourselves, and we began to grow and manage the meadow to maximise the biodiversity of herbs growing there, and then harvested and dried them to be drunk as teas.
Some were delicious, but others very bitter!
Through a happy experiment with distilling them, we discovered a whole new way of using them as aromatic waters or alcohol free spirits.
The taste difference was a eureka moment, when the bitter notes of almondy meadowsweet, vervain and motherwort were transformed into delicate sweetness, from the copper in the stills we distilled them in.
Every herb we tried in this way became a delicious addition to our water jug on the table, or in hot water instead of a herbal tea bag, or to bring a subtle twist to a summery mocktail. Moreover, we loved the way they made us feel.
We got our land certified organic and focussed on perfecting the art of distillation in copper alembic stills, picking herbs fresh from the land and processing it immediately to bottle all the precious plant waters.
The fresh spring herbs brought a sharp focus and clarity.
The summer flowers ranged from calming relaxing moods to emboldening confidence boosting ones.
We had fun discovering the properties of each plant within its season of availability, and based our blends on this.
Soon we had requests for more, and we had anyway made far too much for just our family and friends to enjoy.
This is how Brookside Botanicals was born. We are delighted to be sharing the bursting joy of the meadow and hedgerow herbs with you today.