The 2019 season is fast approaching and if last year was anything to go by and the sun keeps shining we will need to pick quickly! Last year we had the hottest summer since 1976 and the Elderflower harvest was over fast, but your picking power brought a bumper crop back to the farm so we can keep making you lots of lovely Elderflower drinks; 2,750,090 bottles* this year and counting…
Our relatively mild winter and increasing spring temperatures should provide a strong crop in 2019, with flowers expected to bloom around end-May!
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Some simple but important things to know…
Whether you are picking to earn money for yourself or to fundraise for your charity of choice, we pay £2.60 per kilo, for your lovely Elderflower. We like elderflower heads, so no stalks please, and they need to be fresh so please deliver the flowers on the same day you picked them because they go brown very quickly and become unusable.
All you need is a bin bag to put the flowers in and some good walking boots. We advise you to wear long trousers so you don’t get stung by nasty nettles.
Where to look for flowers…
We have some Elderflower plantations of our own near the villages of Bottesford, Branston, Eaton and Belvoir and maps can be collected from the Belvoir Fruit Farms drop off point on Barkestone Lane. Elderflowers like it best in un-cut hedgerows, preferably those that catch the sun and are out of the wind. Elderflower bushes tend to thrive in tucked away places like canal tow paths, disused railway lines and air strips, or field and woodland edges and corners.
Where & when to take the flowers…
In 2019 we’ll operate three drop-off points for picked flower that will be open in the afternoons. The Belvoir and Sacrewell sites will run 7 days a week. Swarkestone site will open less frequently, see below…
Belvoir Fruit Farms – Opening Tuesday 28th May 2019, 2.30-6pm.
N.B. If picking directly from our plantations here in the Vale of Belvoir, please note that they are all Organic and so all pickings need to be put into a green bag to differentiate them; these bags are available to pick up from Belvoir Fruit Farms HQ or in the orange boxes at the sites themselves where our Farm Manager refreshes stocks of them daily. Maps to our plantations are available at the farm.
Sacrewell Farm & Country Centre – Opening Tuesday 28th May 2019, 2.30-5pm.
(Off the A1/ A47 junction at Wansford)
Swarkestone Nursery, Derbyshire – to open early June 2019.
THE COUNTRYSIDE CODE:
When picking, do not pick from public places, e.g. church yards, and only pick from land with permission; please respect the countryside code:
- Be safe, plan ahead and follow any signs
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Keep to the public footpaths in fields where crops are growing
- Protect plants and animals and take your litter home
- Consider other people
- Seek permission from landowners where applicable
If you need any further info please don’t hesitate to call:
+44 (0)1476 870286
Or, our Elderflower Manager, Andrea Beddows, can be reached directly on 07935 901408
*01/01/19 to 18/04/19Shop elderflower cordial