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…


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

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

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.





Posted on

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.