No doubt you've heard of Belvoir, the British family drinks company, but maybe you don't know that they organise a lovely event every year called the Elderflower Harvest. Around the end of May, they ask people from their local community and three bordering counties to pick flowers for the following year’s Elderflower Cordial production. And YES! pickers get paid for their efforts. This year the harvest is getting a helping hand from BBC presenter Gemma Hunt, who is raising awareness of the event by going behind the scenes at Belvoir Farm.
Picking takes place at Belvoir’s 60 acres of organic plantations and surrounding hedgerows. Within 24 hours of harvesting the flower heads, they are poured into vats and stirred by hand so continuing the 40 year-old tradition of producing Elderflower Cordial. It's still made to the same family recipe. Belvoir Farm was the first company to produce elderflower cordial commercially, a business started by John Manners and his wife Mary, who created the original recipe. The farm was established in 1981 initially to grow ‘pick your own’ fruit because the Manners didn't like to see anything go to waste. It was when they were looking for a way to use unpicked and over-ripe fruit that the idea came to make pure fruit cordials. Great idea! The cordial has to be diluted so one bottle makes up to ten pints which I think is fabulous value.
I love Elderflower Cordial's refreshing taste, it's lovely to drink on its own, or - and you can add it to recipes for cakes or desserts and - this is one I also like lots, you can add a splash to your white wine or cocktails! All Belvoir drinks are made from local spring water and natural ingredients.
Belvoir kindly sent me a couple of bottles of Elderflower Cordial to see what I thought.
And here are three things you might not know about elderflowers
More about the Belvoir 2021 Elderflower Harvest, how paid to pick works and how to get involved at www.belvoirfarm.co.uk. For more on Gemma Hunt and her work with Belvoir, see www.theoutdoorguide.co.uk.
Pukka’s Fresh Start Organic Tea
Uplifting and caffeine-free to boot, this tea is a lovely blend of organic lemon, lemongrass and warming spices. How better to start the day than with this energising, healthy herbal brew?
Pukka Herbs, the UK’s largest organic tea company, has launched Fresh Start. Blended by expert Master Herbsmith and practising herbalist Sebastian Pole, its sustainably sourced organic herbs, zesty organic lemon and warming aromatic fennel seeds, gently awaken your body and mind at the start of a new day. Stimulating yet soothing, this tea helps strengthen the digestive system to support optimum metabolism and, like all Pukka’s herbal blends, it is made with 100% organic and ethically sourced ingredients.
Pukka plastic-free tea bags come in their own recyclable envelopes to retain the essential oils in the organic herbs... and here's the clever bit, each bag has two chambers. This allows the herbs to flow and release the full potency in your cup. Pour boiling water directly on the bag and leave to steep for as long as it takes to make the perfect brew for you.
Nature’s finest ingredients to help you start your day in the best possible way:
Jo Webber, Head of Herbal Education and Ayurvedic Practitioner says:
“A Pukka twist on the traditional lemon morning drink, Fresh Start helps to promote healthy rituals, so you feel your best. The benefits of lemon are well-known. It’s been used in for centuries as a digestive due to its aromatic and bitter properties. Fresh Start supports the body’s own natural actions. The result is a refreshing cup of herbal goodness to leave you feeling energised. This brightening blend helps to optimise your wellbeing to awaken your best self."
Besides all the above plus points, Pukka Teas are Organic - Vegan - Gluten free - Vegetarian - Wheat Free - Dairy Free
Pukka Fresh Start organic herbal tea is available from online retailers, health shops and supermarkets. RRP 2.99 for 20 sachets.
Pukka Herbs has launched a fabulous bedtime tea which is absolutely chocca with immunity supporting ingredients.
Blended by Pukka’s Master Herbsmith, Sebastian Pole, Night Time Berry is a taste of fruity heaven with 100% organic blackcurrant, echinacea and elderberry combined with nature’s A-list night-time herbs; lavender, chamomile and valerian, making this the absolutely perfect bedtime brew.
Nature’s finest ingredients for sleep and immunity :
Elderberries: Bursting with brightly coloured pigments that act as natural antioxidants, elderberries are a natural source of vitamin C.
Echinacea: A renowned immune tonic, echinacea can be particularly helpful to maintain seasonal wellness.
Valerian: Traditional tonic to support restful sleep. Valerian can help us to drop off into an undisturbed sleep
Chamomile: contains an antioxidant called apigenin which works on brain receptors to help initiate sleep.
Night Time Berry (RRP £2.99) is a new addition to Pukka’s popular sleep range which includes Pukka’s Organic Night Time tea and supplements.
I've been trying Pukka night time berry tea to see if it would help improve my sleeping pattern. I have to say that I am surprised (because I've tried many others which have no effect on me at all) and very pleased to say that it has indeed improved my sleep .... and what's more, it's lovely fruity taste is extremely relaxing .... zzzzzzzzzz
I'm Gilly, award winning journalist and author of 12 books. Published credits include the Telegraph, Daily Mail, CNN, Daily Express, Country & Town House, The Scotsman, The Sun, Woman's Own, Lonely Planet, etc