Although we call this field the Pig Paddock, there aren't pigs in here all the time so I think we should rename it Home Pasture as this was one of the names given to this field in the nineteenth century and it’s roughly the area that the original farmhouse is believed to have stood. In this corner we have ox-eye daisies that have crept from the verge alongside the chase.
At the other end of the field, Beth has planted raspberries to be used in Slamseys Raspberry Gin; the first fruit are just beginning to turn colour.
|planting blackthorn February 2012|
|blackthorn hedge July 2012|
The blackthorn hedge that was planted earlier this year will separate the pigs from the raspberries and as well as forming a stockproof barrier, the sloes (which are the fruit of the blackthorn) will be picked for sloe gin.
Beth Wheaton has developed and produced the fruit gins and we're very excited to have a new venture on the farm. So far Slamseys Drinks has bottled Raspberry Gin and Blackberry Gin, with Sloe Gin due to be bottled later this month. Although some of the raspberries had to be picked elsewhere last year, all the sloes and blackberries were picked from the hedgerows on the farm and the fruit then steeped in London Gin.
If you’re interested in buying some of this delicious gin, Slamseys Drinks will be selling at the Tendring Show and also Great Garnetts Farmers Market on 14th July. They'll also be at the Essex Food & Drink Festival at Cressing Temple on 21st and 22nd July.
Find out more on the Slamseys Drinks Facebook page.