Not looking like a good harvest this year

Discuss sloe gin recipes - and all those secret family variations! Post your questions and replies here if they are about sloes and gin

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Ricco
Posts: 20
Joined: 19 Jul 2012, 22:32

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by Ricco » 27 Aug 2012, 09:18

Picked mine yesterday... making sure they are all clean as I speak..
woohoo

lisa110rry
Posts: 3
Joined: 04 Aug 2012, 14:07

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by lisa110rry » 27 Aug 2012, 17:04

Nothing here in Lancashire, well, I might get a pound of sloes if I'm lucky, more likely 1/2 a pound. No damsons in the usual place and I'm out later this afternoon to check my wild plum locations.

It's going to be a tough year.

I think it may have to be apple Schnapps...

Goonberry
Posts: 46
Joined: 29 Nov 2006, 16:53
Location: Colchester, Essex.

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by Goonberry » 04 Sep 2012, 19:30

Very thin crop in my usual locations this year & the few Sloes to be seen are not ripe enough to pick. Blackberries are also poor this year & very very small.

Glad I've still got a few lbs of Sloes in the freezer from 2011. I have made a brew with 3 year old frozen Sloes before and the results were excellent!!!


Goonberry

sloelovely2
Posts: 1
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 18:38

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by sloelovely2 » 09 Sep 2012, 18:44

The bushes I collect from across a stretch of the South Downs are completely bare this year, very odd. It would be interesting to know if this is because of the weather we had this year, or whether as another poster suggested the bushes are having a rest after last year's huge crop. I'm a bit sad about missing out on my favourite September ritual though! :(

SWLondoner
Posts: 33
Joined: 28 Sep 2011, 19:04

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by SWLondoner » 10 Sep 2012, 00:01

Plenty on Hurst Rd again this year. Should be ready in about a month I recon. Also lots on Horsenden Hill. Looking good in London I'd say.

bobdonkey
Posts: 14
Joined: 08 Dec 2008, 10:39

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by bobdonkey » 10 Sep 2012, 13:44

I checked by usual bushes yesterday to see how they were getting on, not a single sloe on any of them, gutted. Last year there were hundreds, I live in Ditchling, near Brighton under the South downs.

Lucky I still have a few frozen and litre or so already made, but going to have to go easy on the sloe gin this year!

This is the worst year in 5 years I have lived here, never seen them completely bare before. Blackberries are OK, not amazing, and the strange thing is that the wild plum trees are fine.

avjones
Posts: 48
Joined: 21 Sep 2009, 00:50

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by avjones » 11 Sep 2012, 17:20

Seems fairly universal, then.

I usually have access to loads of them, on my parents' fields - we're the only ones who pick them. I hope we'll get a few, but it's definitely completely different from last year.

Amanda

jamesb
Posts: 7
Joined: 17 Sep 2010, 11:54

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by jamesb » 13 Sep 2012, 19:00

Exactly same here---the bushes drooping with fruit last year, counted SIX sloes on them :( :( ; have found a few meagre helpings though but from several sites may get 2 bottles made cf the ten :D last year and plenty sloes to give away too. So am going to give damson gin a go as well

bluehen33
Posts: 2
Joined: 13 Sep 2012, 18:37

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by bluehen33 » 13 Sep 2012, 20:51

Surrey/Hampshire border report!

I have to say that the hedge I found last year was sparse and this year barely anything.

However went for a drive at the weekend and have found a hedge that is dripping with sloes. Half of them were ripe (gave a bit with a squeeze and very dark), and the other half still ripening.

I have picked 4 lb, of the ripe, there were still stacks left, and I noticed another site further down the road........

Elderberries have been extremely poor this year. Late to ripen because of the weather and 90% stripped by the wood pigeons. I am thinking pigeon pie and elderberry jelly........

:)

jamesb
Posts: 7
Joined: 17 Sep 2010, 11:54

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by jamesb » 15 Sep 2012, 16:58

Double success today ; went off to pick damsons and quickly got a good haul. AND near where parked car spotted a large sloe tree (15 ft high +) absolutely laden with sloes so got a couple pounds these too :) :) -------now if I had a handy step ladder I could sell them on ebay :shock:
Quite surprised to see this one laden bush as before no success at any of my known sites, very odd how this one had set fruit whilst so many have failed
So plenty damson gin and sloe gin now :D

bugbear
Posts: 34
Joined: 04 Jan 2010, 09:53

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by bugbear » 17 Sep 2012, 09:38

Did a preliminary check on a local source - perimeter of 4 fields, probably 80 acres in all (area).

Nothing.

All the plants seem healthy enough, lots of hips, blackberries not too bad, but blackthorns are simply empty.

No sloe gin making for me this year.

:(

BugBear

Fizz
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Jan 2012, 16:46

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by Fizz » 17 Sep 2012, 17:08

Made my first Slow gin last year gave it as presents. Huge hit. Found loads of bushes nearby along old railwaylines laden with slows. Not one berry can I find this year :( 5 plums on the tree that's branch broke under the weight of them last year. No apples on the apple tree. (Fife in Scotland)

Phil
Posts: 27
Joined: 03 Sep 2011, 19:47

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by Phil » 17 Sep 2012, 18:11

JUst checked my usual closest place and there are some but way down on last year. They're also nowhere near ripe yet - was picking them early Sept last year.
Phil

3Musketeers
Posts: 10
Joined: 17 Sep 2012, 21:19

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by 3Musketeers » 17 Sep 2012, 22:55

I was new to sloe gin last year and made 3 batches - simply delicious. So this year I defrosted a couple of batches which my friend picked for me and have them brewing as we speak. However yesterday I visited a site I picked a few from last year, several bushes and only found one single sloe, I could hardly believe my eyes, I can only assume this has something to do with the weather but someone told me recently that blackthorn only bear fruit every two years - is this true??
I didn't think so as I picked some in Norfolk last year and visited the same site last week and the bushes were full - I wouldn't say as full but pretty much nearly the same.

Thanks

PS - this site is just great!

MARCHELL
Posts: 10
Joined: 04 Jan 2012, 13:25

Re: Not looking like a good harvest this year

Post by MARCHELL » 18 Sep 2012, 09:52

Leicestershire update! Having picked Sloes for the first time ever in Dec 2011/Jan 2012 I was truly delighted with the exquisite taste of my SG some months later! Having visited my source from my very late picks last winter, like many others sadly there were very few sloes when I ventured out last weekend. I decided to go on a little mystery tour and came across some sloes and I was able to pick 2.5lbs (1100 grams) in a few hours.
As clearly I've picked these very early, some 3-4 months earlier than last year and in light of our woeful summer and the impact on the Blackthorn, may I ask everyone the following questions:

1. What difference am I likely to experience in taste in 3 months time compared to my first and very pleasing results last time around?!
2. Why is it generally said not to pick them until after our first frost? Of course I appreciate the longer you leave them before picking the better ideally I guess but is are there other reasons?
3. What do the different colour sloes represent? Green? (I assume not ripened yet), Purple? Black? I tend to focus on picking the purple rather than black but should I or pick both?

I am so eager to learn as I move forward with the passion we all share! THANK YOU SO MUCH IN ADVANCE EVERYONE.

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