On Wednesday 18th January, local artisan drinks producer, Luscombe Drinks teamed up with Dartington C of E Primary School to plant 1,600 trees as part of an innovative Agroforestry Project on the Dartington estate. Over 30 children from the school joined employees from Luscombe Drinks to assist with the planting of the Elder trees. The elderflowers, which will first be harvested in three years, will be grown in accordance with organic farming practices and used by the Buckfastleigh-based company to create Organic Elderflower Bubbly.
Commenting on the collaboration with Dartington C of E Primary School, Gabriel David, chairman and founder of Luscombe Drinks, said: “As a local, family business we were delighted to link up with Dartington C of E Primary School to offer the children the opportunity to join our team with the tree planting. The planting is part of a ground-breaking Agroforestry Project recently launched by the Dartington Hall Trust which we were invited to be a part of and are extremely excited to be involved with.”
Gabriel continues: “Many of our employees live locally and have young children, this combined with us being a family business means it is particularly important for us to work, where we can, with local schools and school children. We hope the opportunity allowed the children not only to get hands on but to also learn more about organic food and drink production. At Luscombe Drinks we feel passionately about the importance of educating the next generation about our food and drink, how it is grown and the farming industry. We look forward to watching the trees develop and to harvesting the elderflowers for our Organic Elderflower Bubbly.”
The Agroforestry Project taking place on the Dartington estate is pioneering a new model of agroforestry, a method of land management involving the simultaneous cultivation of farm crops and trees, which combines five food and farming enterprises. In the scheme, farm tenants of the Trust, Jon and Lynne Perkin of Old Parsonage Farm will be working not only with Luscombe Drinks but also Huxhams Cross Farm and Salthouse & Peppermongers. The project is inspired by Martin Crawford’s Agroforestry Research Trust which, since 1992, has promoted the combining of trees and crops as an alternative to the agricultural practice of producing or growing a single crop / plant at a time.
Based on a farm in Buckfastleigh, Luscombe Drinks has been crafting exceptional drinks since 1975. They take pride in transforming fruit into their award-winning range of 23 soft drinks, juices, crushes, ginger beers, bubblies and cider. They are passionate about using fruit to get their flavours, you won’t find any additives, synthetics or concentrates in any of their drinks, only the finest natural ingredients.