As a distillery garden our work is seasonal, after the growing and harvest seasons, our team are now spending the autumn and winter months nourishing the garden with some well-earned TLC. As a part of this, our Head Gardener, Erika Haeggman, has implemented a “no dig” method to our production beds.
To start a no dig bed, the garden needs cardboard and mulch. Our garden team repurposed waste carboard from our production activities, and lay this on the bed to stop light reaching the weed seeds in the soil. Then they added a generous layer of mulch, this process more closely aligns the beds with nature itself, Erika explains ‘think of it like the forest floor, getting a layer of leaf mould every autumn as the leaves fall’.
This method has multiple benefits for our garden:
- The undisturbed soil structure helps maintain the aeration and drainage. This leaves the microorganisms, fungi and animals in the soil to decompose organic matter and release nutrients into it. The more nutrients in the soil, the better the quality of harvest. Higher quality harvests = higher quality gin.
- No dig beds tend to have a larger harvest yield compared to other growing methods.
- The beds require less watering as the mulch will help to retain moisture. This means we are preserving Scotland’s natural resources.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY this method will mean that the soil and our garden will conserve more carbon. Soil acts as a carbon capture, when you disturb the soil, carbon dioxide escapes and goes into the atmosphere. By not digging, we are preserving this captured carbon, helping us reduce our carbon footprint.
Our Sustainable Operations Director, Imogen Armstrong, has set our company the ambitious target to become carbon neutral by 2025. Nature is at the heart of our distillery, so naturally, we aim to mitigate the environmental impact of our energy-intensive operations. Imogen says, ‘despite our small size and limited resources, we believe in taking continuous small steps forward, which will culminate in a significant impact over time’.
So not only will our no-dig beds reduce our carbon emission by preserving carbon captured in the soil but they will also improve the quality of our gin in the coming years. No dig beds have nutrient dense soil, this will produce a greater yield both in size and quality for our next harvest season.
Higher quality botanicals means higher quality gin.
This truly demonstrates how as a distillery, our seed to sip process is foundational to our craft. Where every sip tells the story of years of cultivation and dedication to nature.