PETER & MICHAEL REEVES
How long have you been growing blackcurrants?
We are second generation blackcurrant growers and our farm has been growing blackcurrants since 1974.
What varieties do you grow?
We grow Ben Klibreck, Ben Tirran, Ben Alder, Ben Vane, Ben Gairn, Ben Lawers, Ben Dorain, Ben Starav.
How much do you harvest annually and where do they go?
On a good year around 225 tonnes which all go to Ribena. We have produced more in a bumper years and exported to Holland, Belgium and Germany.
What else do you grow?
Grapes for Chapel Down fizz and still wines. We are in the drinks business!
Why do you love growing blackcurrants?
We feel that we are a part of a small family of growers who are providing brilliant blackcurrants for an iconic British brand, loved and enjoyed for over 70 years. Ribena – it looks good, tastes good and does you a lot of good.
Can you give one tip that people could benefit from when growing blackcurrants?
Pick the right site.
Can you tell us about some of the ways in which you manage the land sustainably?
We plant trees, maintain the ponds on the farm, cut the hedges and windbreaks only every other year, put up plenty of bat and bird boxes and keep wide margins of unmown grass around all the blackcurrant plantations.
What’s your favourite way to enjoy blackcurrants?
Many ways. Ideal in a smoothie in the morning for breakfast, sprinkled on cereal, in an apple and blackcurrant crumble and as a great alternative to Cranberry sauce with turkey at Christmas.
If you were a blackcurrant artist what genre of art do you think best represents you in your growing approach and why?
If it was music then Rock and Roll. Blackcurrants are so good you just want to get up and dance.