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Country News - 2004

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Sloe appeal for fast growing business

Tuesday 05 October 2004

A YORKSHIRE farming couple is appealing for help to keep up with demand for their newly launched diversification business: sloe production.

Sloe gin, made from the dark purple berries of the whitethorn plant, has been a favourite Christmas tipple for country folk for centuries and Richard and Julia Brown knew that they grew wild in the hedges of Manor Farm, near Malton.

Two years ago, they wondered if they could turn the berries into a profitable business as part of their diversification plans and began to produce gin and also sloe-flavoured chocolate. To the amazement, the business took off like a rocket and they now have orders to supply some 100 outlets throughout the country.

Sadly, this has been a terrible year for sloes, for their early white blossoms were hit by frosts, and now the couple do not have enough fruit to meet demand. So they are offering up to £2.50 a kilo for good quality berries - and say that a good picker can harvest 20 kilos a day.

And one interested in the sloe way to a quick profit should contact them on 01653 - 658000.


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