Posted on

It’s time to take our message to the country – drink more organic liqueurs this Christmas!

2019 at Gibson’s Organic could not fairly be described as all ‘dither and delay’.  But it is correct to say we are now accelerating our efforts to ensure you get Christmas done!

All the growing, harvesting, pressing, fermenting, maceration, bottling and labelling is complete.  The liqueurs are prosecco, cocktail, pudding ready.  All you have to do is buy some bottles!  To help you make the right choices, we are getting out and about to spread the word (made with fresh fruit, organic, local, no-sulphites) and pour the samples.  Below is where you can find us over the next months:

25th-26th November  The Guildhall Christmas Market      https://www.redcross.org.uk/guildhall?fbclid=IwAR3fc3Ei6WWPJ_czMUXTF9FuCUAYU34EhbpucHjBAC9NfXpFul0tOgej07E

28th November  5pm-8pm Tasting at Yarnton Nurseries     https://www.yarntonhomegarden.co.uk/

29th-30th November Witney Wonderland    https://www.facebook.com/events/church-green/witney-wonderland/2357596311186859/

4th-8th December & 11th-15th December Waddesdon Christmas Fair    https://www.facebook.com/events/church-green/witney-wonderland/2357596311186859/

Posted on

Autumn Living

After another bountiful summer, we are watching the trees slowly change to yellows and reds, the leaves gently falling as the weather starts to nip.

The sloes are abundant this year, after a poor harvest last, and our elderberry harvest the juciest yet. Miles has been rotavating the wild flower meadow in preparation for more seeds, and the woodland (a thousand trees, planted last year) is growing away nicely.

We planted a “squirrel friendly” walnut grove last year, and the small trees are shooting up heartily. Walnut liqueur is going to take a while, but I think will be a wonderful addition to the Gibson’s stable.

Christmas Fayres are upcoming, check our Events page for details. Or you can order for Christmas on the Shop Page

 

Happy autumn!

 

Posted on

Harvest Times!

8v7a7306From June through to November, flowers and fruit flourish on our farm, keeping us busy with picking, pressing and bottling. From November through to Christmas is mostly markets and fairs, selling the liqueurs which we have been making throughout the year.

It’s always a lovely time, when we see customers who have been coming back year on year, meet new people, and get to tell people about our farm, it’s ethos and how best to serve the liqueurs and sloe gin. We also get to see just how much our customers enjoy the liqueurs; it’s satisfying to see people remark on how fruity and fresh they taste, and always a joy when our message gets across and the organic part of our liqueurs is appreciated.

8v7a4281We’ve had a bumper year for berries, our elderflower liqueur won a Great Taste Gold Star, and we’re experimenting with crabapples from the orchard to create a small batch of spiced crabapple gin.

Sloes, however, have been thin on the ground after an early frost this year. We’ve got plenty of sloe gin from last year, and enough sloe whisky (or did we drink it all?) to last us, but we are at the mercy of our weather. Because we don’t buy in any fruit, just using what grows on the farm, we won’t be making any new sloe gin this year, but8v7a0940 instead have gathered armfuls of crabapples from the abundance in the orchard, and have created a delicious winter drink with star anise and other spices. And of course we’ll be making more mulled elderberry liqueur. We hope you can come and join us at one of our winter fairs, just check the What’s On page for details.

Posted on

The Brick Kitchen, East London

An afternoon in London at the Brick Kitchen was just what we needed…

8v7a3890

Sometimes, just sometimes, we can feel a wee bit jaded out here in the sticks. Running an organic farm at times feels if not like total madness then at least a great part idealism and an even greater part foolhardiness.

So we are gladdened in heart and soul to see that there is a growing and determined trend to truly seek out independent, small scale producers, hardworking people with proper ethics, and a passion for what they do.

Sam Hodges, a chef from East London is one of those spearheading the revolution.

His return to grass roots vision of devising a menu sourced from rare breed, foraged or organic produce led to him setting up The Brick Kitchen, an event showcase for in the form of a five course tasting meal, everything paired with drinks from independent growers, vineyards and distilleries. And us.

The Brick Kitchen is a pared back red brick and white lofty space set right within the cultural hub of East London. On Sundays. the Colombia Road flower market buzzes outside, but this being Saturday, quiet reigned as sunlight streamed through the window over 8v7a3898long scrubbed pine tables. We sat down and breathed in the atmosphere and the smell of something very delicious.

Eating is informal and relaxed. From the outset when we were served a basket of warm and chewy local sourdough with delicious butter from a small dairy, the chatter buzzed, focusing initially on the food and the attention to detail and then as it does, flowing onto other topics; the flower market, London, liqueurs (obvs). We also hit the jackpot with our lovely dining companions, a complete bonus!

Over the five course tasting menu, we were all introduced to wagyu charcuterie, British grown quinoa, local goat’s cheese and foraged samphire, and um…blackcurrant liqueur from the Cotswolds (everyone loved that one!).

We’ve been totally inspired by Sam and Hannah who had taken us through the menu and topped us up liberally, and really pleased that so many small producers are getting such a delicious showcasing, so thank you both….any time you have a spare seat, just whisper the word!

 

Posted on

We All Had A Marvellous Thyme!

8V7A0848Our little part of the world encapsulates a wealth of great local producers, many gorgeous medieval Cotswold stone buildings and a glut of wonderful eateries. At Thyme in Southrop, a mere stone’s throw away from our little fruit farm, all three are rolled rather luxuriantly into one.

Boasting an award winning pub, (the Swan) a boutique hotel, top notch cookery school, art exhibitions, dining events and so much more, what is astonishing about Thyme is how much of their food they source from their own kitchen gardens. Local produce is of the upmost importance as well, which is where we recently popped into the frame for an evening with top chef Oliver Rowe. Aided and abetted as he ably was by Charlie Hibbert and Darryl, Thyme’s resident culinary genius.

Oliver Rowe is a multi faceted, multi talented chef, author and all round stubborn bugger. As documented in his bestselling book Food For All Seasons, his quest to use exclusively local, seasonal, quality ingredients has made him a thing of legend. Ok, so m8V7A9287aybe that’s overdoing it a bit, but upon reading his quietly thoughtful companion to the seasons; at once an eye opener, a page turner and a seasonal bible, you can see immediately how his8V7A1075 determination and focus on strict availability of nearby fresh food has set the bar a fair notch higher for anyone who dares utter the words ‘local’ and ‘seasonal’ in the same sentence. He is the guru of the veg patch, the wise man of the hedgerow, and once you’ve read his book, you will never, EVER, look at a strawberry in November again. Seriously, not even a peek.

We were beyond flattered that the lovely Olwynne from Thyme and Oliver decided not only to use our raspberry liqueur in their welcome cocktail, but also to invite us for the whole evening. (yes, it’s true, I squealed in such excitement, only dogs could hear me.) After visiting our farm to get some inspiration, Thyme mixologist Charlotte, (a wee fey slip of a thing with a liver I suspect is made from reinforced steel) swirled together our fruity fayre with some top notch vanilla and rosepetal infused vodka, a dash of something herby, something else which I think was quite strong, sashayed in a little swirl of lemon and treated the evening’s guests to her very unique framboise épice.

8V7A9218I don’t go out to fabulous do’s half often enough (cough, hint), and hailing from deepest darkest Cornwall, where only bats live, am rather overwhelmed with seeing actual people from London when I do. Thus far, my tried and tested technique is to hide behind my camera and snatch canapes as they pass as if in some duck bobbing game at the fair. Whilst Miles mingled like a proper urban sophisticate, all tailored tweed and cut glass vowels, I stuffed myself so full of radishes with whipped anchovy butter and broad8V7A9339 bean and goat’s curd bruschetta, all that came out of my mouth was a mixture of muffled chewing and a small spurt of anchovy butter. Good job my camera caught most of the butter. Although that bit on that really nice lady’s jacket, yes, um, sorry about that.

After I’d eaten my own body weight in radishes, supper was served. The barn is a tall airy space, huge long dining table twinkling with candlelit glasses, sky high flowers, and beautiful paintings especially commissioned by Caryn. A delicious whisper of 8V7A9139salads to start was followed with the most celestial porchetta ever, stuffed with fennel and silver skin onions and very probably also angels (if seasonal). All veg sourced from the vibrant kitchen garden at Thyme, of course. On the side, a rhubarb compot and milling around the table huge bowls of potato salad with more varieties of potato than you could shake a stick at, and some greeny salad strewn with marigolds. The flower, not the essential rubber glove. Sadly, I missed most of this, as I was licking the plate.

8V7A1919Summer pudding, with Oliver’s lavender ice cream, one of the most sublime combinations I’ve ever eaten. The recipe’s in his book, incidentally. Buy it. Or pester him on Instagram with photos of his book in the hope he’ll send you some.

Cheese course, of course. At this point there was no room in anyone’s tummy. So defying waistlines and buttons and gravity, everyone piled into the delicious Berkswell, a hard, tangey ewe’s milk cheese and the sea salt and woodash covered Cerney Ash, served with hefty chilled slugs of our blackcurrant liqueur.

Staggering under the weight of our newly expanded bellies, we gradually drifted off into the night, with everyone magnificently sated and agreeing that a wonderful time (thyme?) had had been had by all. This little piece is an opportunity to thank our spectacular hosts for such an exceptionally tasty evening out. Caryn Hibbert has created something truly special in Thyme, no wonder it’s a such a coveted venue for both guests and cooks alike. I can’t wait to go back.

 

Posted on

When Miles Met Sybil

8V7A1303A little while back, the producers of Radio Four’s ‘Farming Today’ got in touch with us regarding a feature they were doing on soft fruit growing in Britain. The programme’s host, the lovely Sybil Ruscoe was duly dispatched to Westwell to pick Miles’ brains on the matter (he’s a veritable mine of information on different varieties of blackcurrant) and look around the farm.

Then there was possibly the most bizarre week in politics for a long time. Brexits, regrexits and exits, more resignations that you could shake a raspberry cane at, and Farming Today had to put Miles’ interview on ice while they addressed the slightly more pressing implications of leaving the EU on farming.

Well, fingers crossed the panic is over a bit, and the other day we were able to tune into a fantastic chat between Miles and Sybil as they wandered around the farm, tested the ripeness of the fruit, and finally quaffed a little of the finished liqueur in the winery.

You can have a listen here, and tune in weekly either on Wednesday mornings, on BBC IPlayer, or take a look at their website for a wealth of information on farming around the globe.

Posted on

First Summer Harvest!

WhitecurrantsAfter a bumper year for elderflower, our first fruit harvest is upon us. This year has been months of inclement weather, rain, wind and more rain. Finally though, we’ve had some intermittent yet glorious sunshine and the fruits have slowly changed colour from hard, unripe green to juicy black and red, ready for us to pick, press and make more of our glorious liqueurs.

fruitsThe redcurrants are the first crop that are ready for picking. They produce the most glorious colour liqueur with a tartness belied by their bright, almost neon hue. A favourite drink is redcurrant martini, a particular summer hit last year.

Our newest liqueur is whitecurrant. This has a very delicate taste, and is stunning in fizz. Whitecurrants become almost translucent when ripe, look out for this one on the shelves and at our upcoming markets.

8V7A1871Blackcurrant liqueur is our multi award winning, most stalwart product. Delicious on it’s own with cheese, in fizz or  vodka based cocktails. Try poaching fruit in it for a summer pudding, or drizzling over a good vanilla ice cream.

Our harvest begins in earnest now. Fruit picking will go on right through to October/ November, when we will pick the last of our autumn fruiting raspberries and sloes.

Posted on

Happy Hour!

8V7A0848We’ve been really excited to find so many people using our liqueurs and sloe gin in their cocktails. As a boozy mixer, with amazing colours and flavours, you can’t beat the taste of fresh, homegrown fruit that makes our liqueurs so delicious.

We went along to the Thyme bar in Southrop recently, where as part of their ‘Thymes Table’ series of evenings with top chefs, they mixed up a storm with our raspberry liqueur, creating a seriously good martini for a welcome cocktail for an upcoming evening with chef Oliver Rowe8V7A0911

This is the finished result, raspberry martini with vanilla infused spirit base and herb bitters. Startlingly good; fresh, fruity and light but with a hefty kick. Summer drinks just got interesting!

Posted on

Scattered Showers

8V7A9920June has been a month of torrential rain punctured with bursts of glorious sunshine. The elderflower harvest has been a welly and suncream fest, day after day in an interchangeable manner, and quite apart from being soggy, we are sartorially confused. Finally, we’re nearly all done and the winery is brimming with the fresh scent of our first liqueur making process of the year. Mingling elderflower and syrup infusions, and the tang of organic lemons. If only we could bottle the smell as well.8V7A0455-2

Our elderflower liqueur is a delicate and refreshing drink. The fragrance of the organic flowers is captured perfectly by making it into a liqueur, and is a taste of summer throughout the year. It is a wonderful addition to champagne or sparkling wine, a gin and tonic or just with soda water. With a delicate panna cotta or over a sorbet or mixed with fresh berries, this liqueur is perfection.

Posted on

Elderflower Mania

For the last few weeks, elderflowers have been popping out all over the countryside. We have severElderflower in the fieldal different varieties in our hedgerows and as cultivated, natural windbreaks between fruit bushes, all grown well away from roadsides and all on our organically certified farmland.

This week we start picking the first harvest of elderflowers and will be making the year’s first batch of liqueur. Elderflower liqueur is one of our most8V7A9174 popular products, and year on year we’ve been making more and more and still can’t make enough. And we have to leave some for our elderberry liqueur, which was the surprise hit last winter (it’s delicious mulled, try it).

Elderflower liqueur is fresh tasting and feels like summer in a glass. Try in a gin and tonic, a mojito or with fizz for a refreshing cocktail.

It’s also amazing with ice cream, sorbets, panna cotta, basically any desserts that don’t overpower it’s delicate flavour.