Elderflower fans are invited to come and work for their tipple – you can get paid for helping bring the elderflower harvest home for Belvoir Fruit Farms, who need to gather in over 60 tonnes (that’s 3.6million flowerheads) of the creamy, frothy flora.
The elderflower is gathered from Belvoir’s own 90 acres of plantations and from the elder bushes growing wild in the hedgerows throughout the beautiful Vale of Belvoir, Lincolnshire.
Needed to make their award-winning Elderflower Cordial, Belvoir pays over £2 per kilo for the elderflowers brought to them at the designated weighing points at Belvoir Fruit Farms, and other locations in the surrounding area.
All you need for the elderflower harvest is a bin bag – no special equipment required – to get picking. It’s a great way to get close to nature and be involved in a tradition that’s been going on for over 30 years. The elderflower harvest is of course weather dependent but usually lasts for six weeks from the end of May to the beginning of July and so takes in half term, making it a perfect diversion for the kids with the incentive of some extra pocket money!
Visit www.belvoirfruitfarms.co.uk where the status of the elderflower harvest will be kept updated and information on the weighing stations and their opening times will be available.
The delicate scent of elderflowers is as quintessentially English as tea parties and village fetes and, in the countryside, it’s often said that summer has only really arrived when the elderflowers start appearing in the hedgerows at the beginning of June.
A Belvoir spokesman said, “We’re glad that the local community all lend a hand. During elderflower season, we ask those that live in surrounding villages to go out and pick flower heads which we pay them for, so making our cordials is a real team effort. Of course, we only encourage them to pick from private land, where permission has been obtained both for them to be there and to pick the elderflowers.
“Along with over 90 acres of elderflower plantations, we also grow oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring barley and beans. Our produce goes, quite literally, all over the world. The wheat is used in Weetabix, while the rape is crushed up, added to sunflower oil and turned into cooking oil. Nothing is wasted – the meal left over after crushing rape is used as cattle feed; the straw from the wheat is cut into chaff and ploughed back into the land.”