Our elderflower harvest is well underway and people have come from all over the world – literally – to help us.
Phyllis, who has worked at Belvoir Fruit Farms for 26 years, is in charge of all the flowers that are brought in and it’s her job to wave a magic wand over them and turn them into our uniquely delicious elderflower cordial. Chatting with her this afternoon, she mentioned that she had just caught up with several pickers who have been helping with the harvest for as far back as she can remember.
As she says: “Some of the pickers have been doing this for as long as I have – the same people come back every year. One man, known as “Nick Pick” because he can usually pick more flowers in a day than anyone else, moved from Lincolnshire to Egypt but he always comes back for our harvest!”
Tito, from Bulgaria, is another regular. He first came to work for Belvoir Fruit Farms in the factory during his student holidays; now he comes back each year to concentrate just on the picking.
As soon as the flowers are weighed and paid for, they are placed in a wooden crate and taken straight to the vats where they are added to freshly cut lemons and syrup; the mixture infuses for up to 48 hours. The smell is like something out of Willy Wonka’s sweetie factory. And that’s how we make our wonderful organic elderflower cordial. It’s refreshingly simple!
We are paying £2 per kilo of fresh elderflowers; there’s been an unofficial competition between many of the pickers over who can earn the most in one day. So far, the best has been £172 which is really impressive. But, we’re waiting to see how long it is before Nick Pick beats the record…probably 24 hours!
Thank you everybody for all your help; it is very, very much appreciated. To find out more about elderflower picking, click here.
Phyllis on her way to pick up some more flowers