Step behind the scenes and discover making of WildEve.
“It’s mid-April and we are firmly into Gorse picking and seed sowing – we sow seeds successionally so that we don’t run out of any plant critical to Wild Eve production, this means that every week we sow a fresh tray or two of our most used plants. It’s an old gardening trick for annuals, to keep the flowers coming for as long as possible through the growing season.”
In Harris because the season is short and the conditions challenging, the makers of WildEve have a huge greenhouse to offer protection from the wind, the salt and the claggy, clay ridden, very acidic soil which boasts an eyewatering pH of 5.
In the greenhouse they make flower beds from old pallets of varying heights and lengths and carefully condition the soil to make it more free draining and to get as close to a pH of 7 as possible. The pallets were broken down and severely charred to bring the oils to the surface to make them last. “The black wood provides a stunning foil for the colourful planting and apart from labour, the beds were free, making use of wood left over from deliveries. We strongly believe that commercial growing on a small scale can be beautiful and that’s our mission.”
“Making a drink like Wild Eve where so many of the plants are from here offers incredible provenance. I especially love that we can show visitors around not just where we make it but also where we grow. A product can only be as good as the ingredients that go into it and knowing where each plant comes from is really important to us. Working like this is expensive both in labour costs and ingredient costs.
It’s so much cheaper and easier to use extracts that are already made for you, it makes scaling way easier, it also means that whatever the weather brings, the drink can be made. It’s different for us, a terrible harvest means we can’t produce as much, if we underestimate demand, we can’t simply conjure up more plants out of season. We have to plan carefully and mitigate risk as far as possible.”
What you get with Wild Eve is complexity and nuance that you simply can’t get with any other non-alcoholic drink. It’s the plants and the processes that they’ve perfected that make it such an exciting drink whether you are a drinker or not. If you’ve visited Harris, you’ll know what extraordinary gifts this landscape offers, it’s our privilege to have captured them in a single beautiful bottle.