Five Trees Bowlish is a Community Interest Company (CIC) meaning that we plough any profit back into the business. We are four Directors, with specialisms in aquaponics, research, cosmetics, floristry and green energy.
We are also partly privately funded by Ayton Global Research, which shares some of its Directors with Five Trees Bowlish. My family and I have grown a cosmetic research company from scratch, which now spans the globe. Ayton Global Research began in 1995 and is the main sponsor of Five Trees National Wild Cosmetics Garden and Education Centre.
Five Trees Bowlish contains a unique wild cosmetics garden which combines a rich heritage with organic and permaculture principles to make the first English national collection of wild plants commonly used in cosmetics and culinary dishes.
It is also home to Eco Food Creations, where you can learn all about aquaponics and grow or purchase organic fruit and veg using this method of farming.
Our three pillars are
Education - to marry hands on learning opportunities with modern online learning methods in areas such as cosmetology, cookery, vegetarianism and agriculture.
Wellbeing - to provide a beautiful outdoor space where people can enjoy various activites that improve health and wellbeing, such as yoga, meditation or sports, whilst learning how to forage and prepare meals that improve health and help to prevent disease.
Research - to use the site to research local flora and fauna and to study disease, such as Ash Dieback, as well as discovering and cataloguing what is currently on site. Other research opportunities such as archaeology and history naturally present themselves since quite a lot is known about the site since the 1700's.
Five Trees Bowlish
From Dream to Reality
Our interest is in studying the natural conditions which shape and influence the process of growing plants for the cosmetics industry. My long-term goal is to provide an organic site in which a range of cosmetic plants will grow and be studied by researchers and academics. We will seed, plant, catalogue and study a range of heritage flora in conjunction with many cosmetic brands, societies, universities and research institutes as possible. Read more about these projects below.
A specialist part of our site is concerned with Aquaponics. This has its own dedicated team, headed up by Millie Ayton, who has studied the subject in Australia and brought the best of it back to Somerset. You can learn more here at Eco Food Creations.
Sowing Seeds and Growing Plants
In an effort to gain a better understanding of what would have grown in the wild long before conventional farming methods, we are collaborating with other organisations to stock Five Trees with a wide variety of plants commonly used in cosmetics and food, along with the seeds that we are choosing to sow ourselves. Our chosen stock will fill food gaps and offer less food miles. we will stock our beds with highly nutritional plants and begin a seed bank. Our laboratory-come-kitchen will be designed to provide the best facilities to use the plants onsite when they are fresh and at their best.
Good soil forms the basis of any kind of gardening and the land at Five Trees Bowlish is not great. It has been close grazed for years and was only turned over to being organic within the last ten years. So a soil improvement plan is at the heart of all activities.
The site produces organic waste materials and this is coupled with a plentiful supply of brown cardboard, which is a waste product from one of its primary funders, Ayton Global Research. When combined, they make a rich compost. And so begins the cycle of composting that will use onsite resources to make the project a zero miles success.
Five Trees Bowlish will be self sufficient for compost for no-dig gardening and permaculture, and will mark the start of a zero miles concept throughout the site.
We still have only a very limited understanding of which cosmetic and culinary plants will grow in the wild in Somerset.
The large-scale planting project will establish a number of test beds and will be fully catalogued and available to study by our partner organisations. It will include trees, hedgerows and a wildflower meadow.
Smaller scale planting projects include raised boarders, no-dig, polytunnel and aquaponics and will chiefly be used for educational purposes- whether accommodating a visit from primary schools or providing the ingredients for a cookery class.
The planting season is all year round,, so that there is something for everyone no matter how cold or warm it is.
A back-to-basics approach to foraging will bring ancient skills and valuable knowledge back to life again at Five Trees Bowlish.
Learning how to forage for fruits, flowers, leaves, petals and more, can enable you to mix together valuable additions to your main diet and learn new recipes and menus that provide interest and creativity.
Our site is being cultivated using low impact methods to enable you to enjoy your experience in all seasons and go away with a head full of lovely ideas and the means to put them into practice.