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Castle organic lotions & potions

Nick Quinn, Northdown Orchard

“I am a medicinal horticulturalist, not a herbalist”, grins Nick Quinn, the creator of the Castle’s range of lotions, potions, balms, body washes and of course garden teas. Having been part of the Castle garden since the beginning, Nick has developed this organic range which started with a personal mission.

The story began when Nick dug the swale that waters the trees with grey water collected from the Castle. Here at The Castle we were at a loss trying to find biodegradable soap ensuring no chemicals entered the soil from the showers. Organic, plant based soaps supplied in industrial sizes simply did not exist. The only options out there are chemical laden products.

Instead of accepting this, we made it our goal to make our own environmentally friendly products. The Castle awarded Nick an Eco-Grant to produce the goods. Through numerous trials and tests (on you the climbers!), the end results are specialist and innovative products.

Nick built his own laboratory, drying room and distillery to make the aromatic waters that make up over 50% of the hand and shower washes.

On offer are:

  • Hyssop, sage and black pepper body wash,
  • Neroli and bergamot body wash,
  • Lemon verbena and bay hand wash,
  • The favourite calendula and chamomile hand lotion.

All herbs are grown and harvested by Nick, on land in Hampshire at Northdown Orchard. This farm has been organic for over 25 years, meaning these products are soon to receive the Soil Association approval.

Our lemon verbena hand wash is 97% organic; containing calendula, chamomile and verbena aromatic waters, all made and grown at Nick’s Hampshire site.  These distilled waters are rich in essential oils, beneficial for keeping skin nourished, supple and hydrated. Made in small batches of 20 litres at a time to ensure freshness, you can only find them in the Castle shop and the Sustainability Centre in Hampshire (Permaculture magazine HQ).

Nick, who is also trained as a therapeutic horticulturist is now head gardener at the Forest Farm Peace Garden. He drops off the goods each week to The Castle when visiting for a climb and can be found behind his botanical cocktail bar at our parties.

Sophie Lewis
Cafe Shop Assistant/Instructor/Yoga Teacher/Journalist