September is Sloe Time
The hedges are ablaze with allsorts of treats this September. You cannot miss the clusters of jewel-like elderberries as well as the rosy red rosehips and crab apples; for the more adventurous a great sweet treat is a Crab Apple and Rosehip Jelly (apparently very tasty on toasted sourdough) see link to recipe but we use the hips and apples as two of the botanicals in our Hedgerow Gin.
For us, king of the hedgerows is the SLOE, the little bluey-purple sloe berry – Latin name is prunus spinosa and from the bush of the blackthorn, they go into create our signature product, the Sloe Gin. Pick them with care as there are spikey thorns to watch out for; however these tangled hedges provide habitats for plenty of farm birds and wild animals – so don’t curse too much! A sloe harvest is directly linked to the weather in May, the warmer the better as the insects will fly around more and pollination will take place!
Why not try a refreshingly long drink with Sloe Gin by adding to tonic, we love Fever Tree Lemon Tonic.