A 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.
After 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.
The 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.
Blackcurrant 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.