Luscombe Drinks is excited to announce their involvement in a pioneering project which will see over 2,000 new trees planted, as part of an advanced new model of agroforestry.

The Agroforestry Project is being led by The Dartington Hall Trust and is a method of land management involving the simultaneous cultivation of farm crops and trees. As an ecologically minded company, Luscombe Drinks is thrilled to have been chosen as one of only five local food and farming partners, including Dartington Dairy, Huxhams Cross Farm and Salthouse & Peppermongers.

Along with the 1,600 Elder trees planted by Luscombe Drinks, there will also be 600 Apple trees and 150 Sichuan pepper plant trees planted across 48 acres of land on the estate. Each partner will manage and market the crops from their own trees independently in the unique contract. 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 or plant at a time.

Over 30 local school children were invited to join Luscombe Drinks’ employees to help with the planting of the Elder trees which took place on Wednesday 18th January. The elderflowers, which will first be harvested in three years, will be grown in accordance with organic farming practices and used by the Devon-based company to create Organic Elderflower Bubbly, currently available through Riverford Organic.

Commenting on the collaboration, Gabriel David, chairman and founder of Luscombe Drinks, says: “We are delighted to have been invited by The Dartington Hall Trust to be part of this ground-breaking project. Innovation is key here at Luscombe and we collaborate with a number of farms to grow fruit for us – here it increases the diversity of crops available locally while trading with Devon farms.”

Gabriel continues: “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. 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.”

Martin Crawford, of the Agroforestry Research Trust which is also based on the Dartington estate, adds: “Agroforestry is a key way for farming to diversify, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve biodiversity. It is great to see The Dartington Hall Trust starting farm-scale agroforestry projects on the estate.”

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