Founder of Herb Majesty, Charlotte

Herb Majesty: Nature's Pharmacy and Sustainable Farming

Welcome to the Love Your Local Larder Podcast! A podcast that celebrates local produce with the people who cook and grow it.

Blog written by Louise McKie.

In this episode, Suzie chats to Charlotte Blackler from Herb Majesty, a wonderful family-run farm in Perthshire. The conversation ranges from the use of plants as natural pharmaceuticals to the contribution of bees to recovery from PTSD and respiratory ailments. There is lots to learn from Charlotte’s journey with Herb Majesty.

Listen to the podcast here...

The company was founded in 2018, from Charlotte’s simple desire to feed her children meat that wasn’t packed with hormones and antibiotics, and to eat in a way that was more suited to human biology. She began her career as a pharmacist but found frustration with the Western system of treating the symptoms rather than the root causes of disease. Once her own family came along, her knowledge of how most pharmaceuticals are derived from plants led her to study herbology at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh. Her understanding that native plants contain lots of pharmaceutical properties and, when ingested regularly as part of the diet, can have a preventative effect caused her to raise her flock of chickens, turkeys, pigs and sheep on aged land that contained a plentiful amount of these native plants. A lovely side effect of this is that the meat tastes distinctly more flavourful than shop-bought produce!

Turkey

This method allows Charlotte to avoid the use of antibiotics and hormones that other farmers need to use. She explains to Suzie how the abundance of uncultured plants on their land is quite different to the grassland that the majority of other farms are working with. At Herb Majesty, they rotate their small flock around the land, making best use of what nature provides and avoiding overcrowding and poor herd nutrition.

Herb Majesty and Chickens

This small flock forms the basis of the subscription service that began as a ‘fantastic’ consequence of the Covid pandemic. Suzie is one such subscriber and describes the variety of what she receives in her box:

  • Lamb Shoulder
  • Pork Bones
  • Scrag End
  • Minced Lamb
  • Diced Chicken
  • Lamb Kidneys
  • Turkey Wings
Monthly Meat Subscription Box

Suzie raves about the comprehensive nature of the offering and loves knowing she can feed her children quality meat from this.

During Covid, the subscription service allowed Herb Majesty to form a solid customer base and was a way to avoid people over-purchasing out of panic over food shortages. This thread of community-minded ethos runs through everything that Herb Majesty do.

Charlotte works with local businesses to help them recycle waste in a way that is mutually beneficial. Strathearn Cheese whey is fantastic for the pigs, left over organic sourdough from a local bakery feeds the chickens and distillery mash can be digested by the sheep, avoiding Strathearn Distillery having to get rid of large amounts of this whisky by-product. Nearby farms and woodlands benefit from the increased number of flying insects that visit the Herb Majesty farm, thus increasing biodiversity in the area.

Herb Majesty Pigs

Perhaps one of the most important benefits of Herb Majesty’s farming is in the example it sets for an ethical and sustainable example of farming in the 21st century. Charlotte shares the example of keeping pigs outdoors all year round: in the main, pigs require antibiotics to stop them developing pneumonia although, bizarrely, this is caused by keeping them indoors! The pigs on Charlotte’s farm are evidence that this can be avoided through a varied diet and a return to more natural roaming behaviours that utilise the variety of species available to the animals.

Herb Majesty also own an apipod that is housed at Monachyle Mohr Hotel. Suzie and Charlotte have a fascinating discussion about the benefit of the air from the hives for respiratory conditions. We also learn that bees buzz in the key of C, which has therapeutic effects for people suffering from PTSD because it resets the nervous system. The apipod harnesses these benefits through 2 sleeping platforms with 3 hives under each ‘bed’. Monachyle Mohr serendipitously identified this as the therapy offering they were looking for, just as Charlotte was looking for space to house her hives.

Apipod Therapy

Suzie rounds off this enlightening conversation discussing Herb Majesty’s range designed specifically for women experiencing menopause and perimenopause. They discuss the contribution of plant oestrogen to alleviating symptoms and as an alternative to HRT. Herb Majesty’s ‘Mena’ Food range was designed in response to this and have made a significant difference to the well-being of many female customers.

Mena Bars

We loved hearing about this innovative example of a farm utilising the best that nature has to offer, in order to offer the best quality meat to customers. Explore the product range and learn more about Herb Majesty here.

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