Sloe Harvest Tips & Rules

sloe swap

Gin Fans, it's that time of year again! Time to get foraging! Here are some hints and tips to help you make the most of this season’s sloe harvest.

Each year, we invite every man, woman and their dogs to swap their sloes at our farm in exchange for bottles of our world-beating sloe gin, obviously. This year’s sloe swap spots were all snapped up in a couple of hours but why not have a go at making your own?

The longer you can steep your sloes, the better. We leave ours in for around a month.

It’s a seriously sloe process. (Sorry.)


You will need:

  • Walking stick
  • Umbrella
  • Gloves
  • Bucket

Put on your gloves. Hold your umbrella upside down underneath a sloe bush. Hook your walking stick around a branch and pull it down towards you. Gently pluck the individual ripe sloes with your fingers, allowing them to tumble into your umbrella, then pour them into your bucket. Avoid stripping the branch, as you will catch unripe sloes as well as leaves and twigs. Any berries that are still firmly attached to the bush are not ripe, so leave them be until your next visit.


Remove any twigs and leaves – these will be detrimental to flavour. You can use a hair drier to blow the leaves away as you pour your sloes into a bucket. This will be both fun and effective.

Freeze your sloes – this ensures that they stay ‘fresh’, whilst bursting the skins and saving us from hand-pricking them all!