Kim Walker & Vicky Chown met whilst studying Herbal Medicine at the University of Westminster, became friends and set up Handmade Apothecary as a way to share herbal medicine with local communities. They now work from a narrowboat, travelling across London and beyond using the plants they find along the way to create healing remedies & recipes.
Though Yorkshire born, Kim was brought up in the wild and beautiful West coast of Scotland in an ancient woodland where her love of plants was first nurtured. Kim went on to study a BSc & MSc in Herbal medicine research to pursue the love of both history and science. She is now a doctoral student in the history of medicine field in the Economic Botany Collection at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. She is also on the committee of the Herbal History Research Network, the British Society for the History of Pharmacy and is a member of the Association of Foragers.
In contrast, Vicky was born and raised in London. She had a calling to study nature from a young age and didn't let city living get in the way. She began foraging and growing food and medicine as a teenager in any green space she could find - local parks, wastelands, window boxes and back gardens.
Her passion for herbs led her to work for Neal’s Yard Remedies for 7 years where she developed her extensive knowledge of herbal remedies and natural skin care. This led to teaching foraging and herbal remedy making and working on her own allotment and in an organic permaculture garden where she now grows many of the plants that are used for Handmade Apothecary, food for the Queen's Wood Cafe and oversees a community of volunteers.
Marley the Herb Dog
Marley was Vicky (& Kim's, but mainly Vicky’s) trusty sidekick herb dog. Always to be depended on to sniff out herbs deep in the hedgerow, she was a well-known figure on herb walks but sadly passed away in November 2017.
We hope you are happy hunting sticks somewhere in the universe Marley! x