The Watercress Queen

The 2nd week of January 2024 saw me give my first talk on Regenerative Culture. I was so pleased to be asked by the local climate group

This talk is is about New Forest Aquaponics CIC,  how we see regenerative culture, and all the projects we run and how they fit in to regenerative culture.

I think everyone enjoyed it, one comment was

"Lots of food for thought. It's very interesting to be exposed to folk who think  so differently"

If you would like to hear this talk and have a community group or an association who would appreciate hearing this talk please get in touch.

Giving talks is one way for us to raise much needed funds, costs are dependant on how far we have to travel, but we aim to work with you as it is really important for us to get our message out to as many people as possible.

13:28, 10 Jan 2024 by Lucie Mann

Washkers - why and how to use

The most green way you can wash your clothes

I am  known as The Watercress Queen online, has been teaching people for the last four years how to wash their clothes using conkers. 

Although everyone loved the idea, many people found it too difficult to be able to prepare the conkers themselves, and if they did many did not prepare enough to last the whole year till the next conker season. 

Many , many people asked if they could buy some ready to use, it seemed sensible to see if it could be turned in to a saleable product, without moving away from our core principles. 

Working out how to chop and dry conkers in bulk, took a few experiments to get right. Now with my son Robbie we have perfected our methods, and love working together intensively during 6 weeks of autumn to ‘gather the harvest’ and prepare them for sale. 

New Forest Aquaponics cic has now launched Washkers - conkers for washing your clothes. 

How do you use them? 

It takes just 40 grams of the chopped and dried conkers soaked in 500 ml of hot water for 30 minutes to provide two washes worth of liquid to go directly in the drum of your washing machine. That same 40 grams can be soaked  a further 2 times - the 2nd soaking using all the water, the 3rd for a lightly soiled wash. 

What amazing value is that - 40 grams providing 4 washes! A kilo bag lasts a very long time, and is good for the planet. 

The packaging of course is upcycled cotton bags, giving abandoned textiles a 2nd use, and when you have finished using the bag for as many things as you can think of it can be composted at home. 

Available direct from the New Forest Aquaponics website, not only do you get detailed instructions but the product assessment report which shows the positive and negative CO2 and plastic impacts from the manufacture of the washers. 

Every year Lucie personally grows 30  new  horse chestnut trees , to make sure future generations can use them and will care for them in the long term., eventually growing a forest of horse chestnut trees.  


we would love everyone to be making their own, but if you cant please think about supporting our community and the work we are doing in the waterside and wider New Forest
Find them on!/Washkers-conkers-for-washing-your-clothes/p/421141597/category=154863771

Last autumn saw a little flurry of media interest in Washkers and how we make them.

We had media exposure on radio, newspapers and the TV.

Everything went onto my Youtube channel 

This is the video from BBC South Today

If you have a look at the channel you will find the radio interviews as well.


And don't forget if you cant make your own for any reason you can support our work through buying washkers from us.!/Washkers-conkers-for-washing-your-clothes/p/421141597/category=154863771