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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!


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The Brick Kitchen, East London

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


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!


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.





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Mulch Ado

Just at the time the new growth is starting to come through, and we have heavily pruned away the old, we lay mulch matting around new plants (some transplanted from around the farm, or random ones that have popped up). Theoretically, this lessens the time spent weeding around the fruit bushes. Although we seem to spend a lot of time trowel in hand, cursing the grass growing right in the middle of the plants.

The fields have been so colourful this spring, bright yellow with dandelions and buttercups, and a carpet of blue speedwell. Miles uses the sturdy tractor between the rows of fruit and around the farm.