Wales Co-operative Centre

Canolfan Cydweithredol Cymru

Carmarthenshire village of Myddfai becomes a herbal co-op

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A small parish of 400 residents in South West Wales has reinvented itself as a centre of herbal remedies.

Myddfai, in Carmarthenshire, has secured £400,000 from the BIG Lottery Fund to establish a co-operative centre for herbal products and remedies.

By specialising in niche herbal products, many grown locally, the village hopes to use a co-op model to help reverse its decline in much the same way that Hay-on-Wye has used books to rebrand itself as a literary centre.

The villagers plan to create a mecca for herbal remedies. Jo Gideon, one of the leaders of the project, said the scheme could be a “lifeline” for the village.

Tales of the lady in the lake and a centuries-old tradition of herbal remedies are being used to restore the fortunes of the village, which was described as being in ‘terminal decline’.

Gideon said the village was failing to benefit from its own heritage, and needed a “kickstart”. She warned: “The absence of any amenities has meant it is in danger of terminal decline as younger generations are forced to leave to find employment. Traditions and knowledge that had been passed down risked being lost.”

Hugh Davies, also a project leader, said he hoped the herbal products would revive the village’s fortunes. He said: “In terms of amenity, this is a deprived place. But in the story of the physicians of Myddfai, we have a bit of magic we can hang a project on.”

During the medieval period Myddfai was famous throughout Europe for its local physicians who grew and administered herbal remedies. In recent years, local farmers have turned to herb-growing to help keep their farms going.

Read the full story of the Physicians of Myddfai.

Original post:

For more information about co-operatives in Wales, see the Wales Co-operative Centre’s website.

Find out about becoming more co-operative during Co-operatives Fortnight.


Written by C Kenzie

June 9, 2010 at 4:04 pm

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