July on the farm
What a month this has been, with an unprecedented heatwave taking over the countryside and presenting some very real challenges on the farm. The heat stopped play in the distillery to maintain the quality of the liquid. We condense our spirits on super cool pipes to ensure we get the high quality we are after, so we took the decision to stop distilling for a short period and not to compromise on flavour.
Cleaning was a welcome relief, as the distillers were grateful for the cooling jet of cool water that took the ferocity out of the extreme heat! Meanwhile the bees were loving the drip irrigation, which supplies our botanical gardens with much needed hydration.
Martyn Bachmet, our Rural Estates Groundsman, has been busy keeping our botanical gardens in tip top condition while preparing for the summer raspberry season. The raspberry juice will be used to fill a third of every bottle of our Raspberry Gin! The heat proved very useful for us during the lavender harvest this month, where flowers were cut and then dried in record time above our stills and in our greenhouses.
More honey was harvested, with field beans, blackberry, lemon thyme and lavender being the predominant forage. In such warm weather, bees could be seen chilling on the front of some of the hives. The honey is soon to be filtered and added to our award-winning Honeybee Gin.
On the 17th July we hosted a butterfly walk at the distillery as part of the Big Butterfly Count. Getting involved is a great way to learn more about these amazing creatures and refresh our ID skills. Over just a 15-minute period at our farm, 56 butterflies were spotted across 9 species. Many, like the ringlet and the gatekeeper, were seen for the first time for many of our observers. Results can be upload onto the Butterfly Conservation website which you can find here https://bigbutterflycount.butterfly-conservation.org/. All records are important so if you too would like to take part, you can do this from the comfort of your own garden while enjoying a Warner’s G&T!
Above our heads at the distillery, fledgling swallows could be seen sitting in lines on the telephone wires. We have had a good number of new nests built this year to accommodate the growing number of swallows here on the farm.
Sadly, the rhubarb season has come to an end, but great news, it has been pressed and prepared for a bottle of Rhubarb Gin, coming to a shelf near you soon!