The healing Power of Herbs

Explained by Herbalist Antje Rickowski 

“My passion is connecting and co-creating with nature intelligence for healing and balancing”


Antje has worked with plants and people for over 20 years

Antje Rickowski in her own words

I studied Botany at Berlin University and completed a 4 year full-time course in Naturopathy: Herbalism, Homeopathy, Iridology, Nutrition, etc.

I have lived in The Findhorn community since 1998.

I have also run workshops on natural health. Since 1997 I have my private Naturaphaty practice in Findhorn and Forres in Moray/Scotland.

Naturopathy is a multi-disciplinary therapy which uses various approaches: Iridology, Homeopathy, Herbalism, Flower Essences and Nutritional Therapy.

Check on the video;


To find out more about her work visit:

To contact Antje directly:

*Video courtesy of Olina Lorencova

‘What the kitchen means to me’ BY TURIYA WARMAN


In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance.


Though originally from Newcastle, Turiya has spent the last 10 years either living in Scotland or travelling the world. After offering service in the kitchens of yoga centres and ashrams, reverence and devotion became key to her cooking. She is influenced by Ayurveda, Microbiotics and the natural healing properties of food. Expect to eat hearty, healthy and beautiful dishes cooked with love and attention.     


The kitchen is the place I feel most alive. It is both the comforting warmth of a freshly made soup and the blazing fire of the oven. It is life and death dancing together in the pot. When I’m cooking I can feel the pulse of life/death/life moving through me from my heart and I burn wild. When I say I cook with love, it’s literally all I can do, as I feel my heart exhilarated by the creation, the assimilation of all my life force, with the vegetables, the water and the fire, all of nature joining together to feed health.

I remember as a child finding the kitchen to be my friend. I loved to spend time making cakes, bread and especially a family Sunday roast, which is a weekly fixture here at Newbold. My special job was to make the gravy, it was me the fire and some idea of gravy perfection that I had in my mind. Over the years I have had to face the demon of perfectionism (and many others!) and I find the most powerful place to do so is in the kitchen. 

For a time I was managing a kitchen in an Ashram in Guatemala, where work/life/service merge into one breath. My life was standing in the fire and having Mother Kali burn my vasanas (tendencies). When I realised the power of this sadhana (spiritual practice) I knew this was what I have to do, this was my swadharma (action in accordance with nature). I made a vow to serve and the greatest gift I can give others is food. People often ask me if I can write a recipe book and I honestly don’t know where to begin. My cooking comes from somewhere else, when I surrender and let go of the ‘me’ in the cooking, when I flow and dance with the ingredients, I create something beautiful, but it is realising there is no ‘I’ in that creation that makes it beautiful.


My current passion is Ayurveda, having studied philosophy, yoga and then cooking healthy, vegetarian food, it’s no surprise India’s holistic system of health would spark my imagination! Everyday my understanding grows deeper, as I see the world in energy, interconnecting and constantly flowing. It is divine perfection. What I love the most is that we each take responsibility for our state of being, and with that we can regain balance of our system. In the garden, we need sun, water and the earth to grow plants, it is the same for our body/mind, we need to balance our energies (doshas) so we can flourish. 

The kitchen is my place of worship, where I can encounter God in creation. For me this means using organic ingredients and a strictly vegetarian kitchen. When I think about the desperate state of our oceans, our woodland and our dependency on agriculture, I feel privileged to be in a position where I can ignite change and bring awareness to the need for a radical shift in our perception about consumption of food. At Newbold we have a stunning organic, walled garden, producing incredible abundance of sweet fruits and fresh vegetables. In times where we have to fight to keep organic food organic, I feel so blessed to walk out to the garden and take fresh spinach and duck eggs, with no added chemicals, a rare thing indeed. With this in mind I see it as my duty to regift our abundance and create food from my heart, I do this with absolute respect and humbleness, that any moment it could be taken from us. Here we hang in the cycle of life/death/life, without reverence for Mother Natures gifts, there might not be another harvest.


For all those coming to Newbold my wish for you is that you walk in the garden and feel the love growing, hear the wind in the trees and a distant buzz from the bee hives, and find that moment of stillness in the peace garden. Then come into the house for your supper and taste the same love, for it truely is the greatest gift, life giving, health giving, love.  







The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book By Jake

At 22 years old, our new kitchen volunteer has developed an important path as a cook. 

Born and raised in Brighton, Jake shares with us his experience at Newbold and gives away this brief but very emotional testimony of his daily encounter with the kitchen.

He started as dishwasher when he was 14 and got his first chance as a chef at the age of 18. Since then, he has been working and travelling around places such as England, New Zealand, Uganda, Thailand & Vietnam. This has created a great impact on his life and of course in his cooking style.

His aim? To create community through food…. to bring people together.

We are grateful for Jake and his wonderful collaboration and hard work and hope you enjoy his blog post:  

Every time I sit to eat; it is an act of worship.

The garden is my church, the kitchen my altar and pantry a prayer book from which I can, with luxurious will, draw on flavours like a chorus of hymns.

Food for me is a direct connection to creation, to the source of our nourishment, the bubbling spring of natural abundance and expession of nature in tangibly tasty form.

We depend upon the myriad miracles of nature that align (maybe with a little assistance from the gardeners shadow) along a transformative process from sun to soil, seed to fruit, to eventually meet us, yet another integral contributor to the cycle of life.

And so it seems a great dis-justice for these precious jewels of divinity to so often be asphyxiated in lifeless plastic.

In stark contrast I find myself taking a stroll from the bubbling alchemical environment of the kitchen to take some time in communion within the Newbold gardens, harvesting with a grateful whistle, a prayer of sorts, parsley, sorrel, spinach, lettuce and other april offerings. These first enthusiastic arrivals setting the scene for a season of sensual theatrics as vines twine and pods pop.

It is at this threshold, between garden and kitchen where I thrive most. Knowing that the instant a stem snaps there is an obligation to honour in its freshest form the days harvest. I have been known to be found on all fours in the polytunnel grazing hands free to maximise the ‘freshness experience’. It is here that my native self is proven. As I play my part in this sacred cycle i acknowledge I am holding sunlight, condensed into a leaf or berry, lifegiving, planet sustaining sunlight.

Whereas a tree or plant can largely gather information directly from the sun, we as humans must depend upon a far more intricate and longer process of concentrating that energy into be it leaves or flesh. As we have not yet evolved photosynthetic powers, we seek from other organisms. Therefore as a necessary harvest this becomes an act of sacrifice that in turn should rightfully be worshipped. It is with this truth that I cook. 

By Jake

Litha/Summer Solstice at Newbold by Allan Gray

Litha/Summer Solstice has had spiritual significance for thousands of years as communities have been blessed by the power of the sun. The day where the Sun reaches its highest point in the sky.
Solstice translates as ‘When the sun stands still’ with origins in two Latin-language morphemes, sol, “sun”, and -stitium, “stoppage

IMG_4801The Celts celebrated with bonfires that would add to the sun’s energy, Christians celebrate the feast of St John the Baptist and celebrate abundance many also celebrate the festival of Li, the Chinese Goddess of light.

Pagans are in awe of the incredible strength of the sun and the divine powers that create life. For Pagans this spoke in the Wheel of the Year is a significant point. The Goddess took over the earth from the horned God at the beginning of spring and she is now at the height of her power and fertility. For some Pagans the Summer Solstice marks the marriage of the God and Goddess and see their union as the force that creates the harvest’s fruits.

IMG_4771Newbold Celebrated the power of the sun, the longest day and shortest night, with an intention setting ceremony for the year ahead, held by Celia McKenna, followed by an evening of song and dance with many of our friends from the local community.

Solstice is a time to show gratitude for the light in ourselves, celebrate abundance of life and look forward and set intentions for the future. A time both to reflect on our gratefulness for what has come before us and a time to look forward with hope and purpose.

We thank everyone you joined us in celebrating the light and setting intentions for the year ahead.

IMG_4761By Allan S Gray

Allan, local to the area of Moray and a graduate of the University of Highlands and Islands, Allan has a key interest in environmental protection, adventure and for the community of Moray

Eating at Newbold by Kerstin Walz

My university background is in urban sustainability: how can we achieve more resilient and sustainable cities?  We haven’t figured that one out just yet… still working on it.  So sometimes I feel the need to visit places where sustainable living is already happening.  Newbold is perfect, since the people here are trying to implement concretely and actually live what I’ve studied as conceptual sustainability.  I am volunteering at Newbold for a few weeks as a residential HelpX volunteer (Newbold HelpX Page) , diving into the daily routine and experiencing a new lifestyle.


IMG_4349Right from the start, I’ve been impressed by how food here is grown: in a stunningly beautiful and traditional walled garden.  The kitchen’s aim is to use as many seasonal and regional ingredients as possible, preparing, processing, and preserving organic food – whatever is not eaten right away.  The approach is to make the best use of available resources, i.e. delicious vegetables and herbs from the garden, and to obtain additional food from organic farms in the local area. That includes fish and meat, eaten once a week, which are ethically sourced, and happy chickens to provide eggs.


I was interested to find here an incredible amount of knowledge connected to seasonal and regional food.  I am grateful to Christopher who led a class about re-discovering needed food-related skills.  Christopher has been baking his own bread for 30 years, and during his skillshare we baked 12 loaves of crusty wholemeal bread – which does not last long in a community like Newbold…


IMG_5766And it is learning by doing!  Meaning by eating, tasting, strolling around the garden, and discovering all the vegetables I didn’t have a clue existed!
For instance, there is not just mint. There is apple mint, peppermint, spearmint and even chocolate mint!  I don’t have enough room to tell you about the whole family of cabbages available…  If you want to get to know the gardens around here, one perfect opportunity is the Garden Tasters on Saturday mornings (


Another related series is the food preservation on Tuesday mornings.  What kind of preservation methods are out there?  How do we avoid ending up with only pickled vegetables in the winter?  I learned about canning, drying, and freezing; about questioning common eating patterns and developing new ways; about maximizing our use of the surrounding abundance. This can include very practical issues: like cleaning the outdoor kitchen, looking around for space to hang drying herbs and discussing which products get priority when it comes to the hotly contested freezer space.

So far it has been an amazing experience and I am looking forward to the next couple of weeks.

By Kerstin Walz

53616_1351546682554_8166762_oKerstin is a social scientist from Hamburg, Germany.  She enjoys reading, acrylic painting, and swimming. While she has travelled to five of seven continents, this is her first HelpX position, and her 2nd time in Scotland. She grew up with a huge garden, needed 10 years away to appreciate it, and is now looking forward to having her own garden someday.

To find out more about Newbold Trust and our commitment to sustainability visit

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ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility Scheme by Deborah Benham


Newbold believes in a life sustaining society where we can thrive personally, co-exist in harmony, feel interconnected with the living system of the planet and therefore protect and conserve this for future generations. We believe in empowerment and positive leadership. Newbold believes that to build a more positive society we must empower leaders to face the challenges of today.

Reports from a wide range of Youth charities show that young people face unprecedented challenges in the modern world. Finding meaningful employment is increasingly difficult, and with record levels of unemployment and decreasing job security, many feel a sense of anxiety about the future. Collectively, young people will be the most affected by alarming global trends like climate change, environmental degradation, and social tensions based on culture, religion, or class. At the same time, it is our young people who have the most potential and often the most drive to contribute to a sustainable future.

We aim to harness and empower that potential through recently awarded ERASMUS+ funding. Newbold have been awarded 50,000 Euros by the ERASMUS+ Youth Leader Mobility scheme to run two fantastic 8 day trainings for Youth Leaders in August and September.

In the training participants will learn how to empower young people to identify and use their unique strengths and qualities, in service to themselves and their communities. This will enable them to develop more rewarding careers and take an active and positive role in their local communities.

deb_poppyBy Deborah Benhan

A PhD Marine biologist and animal behavior expert, Deborah is an environmental educator and sustainability designer working to support the emergence of regenerative culture and the recovery of healthy ecosystems through innovative design, stakeholder engagement, multidisciplinary education and deep nature connection.

Ten videos about protecting the planet

April 22nd 2016 will mark a significant day in the transition towards a more just and sustainable future. On this day we celebrate Earth day; we celebrated the signing on the Paris Accord and action from over 160 countries towards protecting our environment.

The environmental movement has come together every year since 1970 until present to show solidarity for change. Earthday is now celebrated by over 192 countries with over 220,000 partner organisations.

Below is are 10 videos/movies around protecting the planet.

1. Sylvia Earle – Protecting our oceans

2. John Francis – Walk the earth – 17 year vow of silence.

3. Give earth a hand

4. Planetary: Movie

5. An inconvenient truth

6. Louise Schwarzburg – Nature/Beauty/Gratitude

7. Our Future

8. Save the oceans / Feed the world – Ted Talk

9. Nature is speaking series

10. A case for optimism on climate change



XjnMopamBlog by Allan Gray

Allan is local to the area of Moray and a graduate of the University of Highlands and Islands with a degree in Sustainable Rural Development. Allan has key interests in environmental protection, cycling and in the community of Moray.