When you see our products sitting on supermarket shelves, it’s easy to forget that Belvoir Fruit Farms isn’t just a drinks business – we’re part of a fully functioning arable farm. And we’re just on the cusp of finishing this year’s harvest. At which point everyone breathes a huge sigh of relief.
Along with over 80 acres of elderflower plantations, we also grow oilseed rape, winter wheat, spring barley and beans. The crops are harvested in that order and, at the moment, we’ve finished everything apart from the tail-end of the 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.
Our spring barley goes into beer production, making Budweiser-style lagers. The beans we grow are the highest quality you can get and these are sent off to North Africa to be used during Ramadan, when people want to eat something at the end of the day that is highly nutritious and easy to prepare.
In the picture above, you can see the ramparts of Belvoir Castle poking through the trees. The fields where our combine harvester is working form part of an historic landscape which was designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown and which, prior to that, have been farmed for hundreds and hundreds of years.
So next time you see rows of our lovely drinks, spare a thought for all the hard work that goes into the rest of the farm. It’s all just as precious!
Picture: Karen Antcliffe