Pestle and daughter is the ever evolving and increasingly wild, muddy and connected daydream of Kelda White and Kat Clark…
Kelda has been making potions and plant infusions since she was three years old. Growing up on her parents’ farm in rural Kent, she developed a love of plants and became a keen gardener, homeopath, wildwood wanderer and hedgerow forager as an adult.
Kelda’s kitchen is full of herbs, pickles, preserves, foraged liqueurs and jars of bubbling, fermented foods. She is an avid believer that diet and nutrition, coupled with a sense of emotional wellbeing, underpins health.
In 2016, Kelda undertook a year-long Sacred ecology; Re-wilding apprenticeship with Rachel Corby, to develop her intuitive wisdom, learn more of wild nutrition, medical elixirs and building relationships with plant allies. This nurturing, conscious engagement with the wild and sacred was a deeply empowering experience. Now, Kelda feels inspired with a calling to help others reconnect with the wild, both practically, through enjoyable, educational experiences outdoors, and emotionally, to align our inner nature and develop a strong sense of resilience and wellbeing.
Qualifying with an MA Hons in Geography from Cambridge University, Kelda meandered through rural research and working for Natural England, looking after protected areas, before training to become a homeopath in 2008. Please see http://www.keldawhite.co.uk for information on consultations, homeopathic birth kits, hair analysis, and her workshops on gut health and using homeopathy at home. She runs the Arnica Natural parenting group in Malvern, lectures at The Homeopathy college and is also a Reiki practitioner. All while raising two children, caring for a number of others and tending both an abundant home-garden and the P&D allotment!
Kat has woven together many strands of creativity and plant-based learning over the past 15 years. Currently living and working at Hellens Manor, she has designed, created and tends the Physic Garden. This rekindles a long folkloric tradition of growing plants for healing, dyeing and magic, and has become a focal point for this historic house. She co-organises the annual Hellens Garden Festival and is part of the Back to the Wild team, which inspires vulnerable young people to explore and engage with nature.
She qualified in 2007 with a first class honours degree in Creative Expressive Therapies, specialising in visual arts and facilitating effective groupwork. Experimenting with outdoor sculpture, painting, plant-dyed fabrics , weaving and felt making, her work has always been inspired by the complex relationship between humans and the earth. Over the years she has worked with a diverse range of groups from adults with Alzheimers and teenagers with behavioural issues, to kids with special needs. In 2008 she qualified as a Forest School leader and for four years was a tutor for the 14-19yrs program at Bishops Wood Outdoor Education Centre.
Her plant knowledge has developed through experience, as well as courses with her herbal mentor Rowan McOnegal, Rachel Corby and the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. In the spring of 2017, Kat spent a week living wild on Dartmoor, learning primitive skills with Lynx Vilden; basket making, fire by friction, gathering wild food, medicines and storytelling around the hearth. This reawakening of ancient knowledge, of listening to the wild and living in the world sustainably, with skill and integrity, motivates her journey.
In 2014 she and her husband became the guardians of Grove Woods (13 acres of mixed broadleaf woodlands near Tenbury); a place to be wild, build dens, work with native trees, manage species to enhance biodiversity and learn more of woodland plants. Aside from nourishing her brood of three beautiful children, Kat has catered for large events, basing her menus on local, seasonal food. An avid gardener and forager, you can rely on her to create something unusual, delicious and beautiful.