New Guest Producer: Belazu

Pete Thompson18 September 2020

We pride ourselves on bringing you local produce from Essex and Suffolk. So ‘why have guest producers?’ I hear you ask. Well when we wander around a farmer’s market, we expect most of the produce to be local, but we have to confess to being a bit of a fan of the little olive stall or someone selling fairtrade chocolate from Peru etc.

However, we think there must be a valid connection or relationship with the producer. This is where our first two guests come in, Belazu and Jekka’s Belazu.

Hidden away in a (sunny) corner of our farm is a well-guarded secret – until now. We have been working on a project with Belazu, purveyors of quality Mediterranean products, to create a little bit of the Mediterranean here in Essex.

Our olive grove is the result of years of research, travel and hard graft. Although the travel and tasting was, admittedly, a lot of fun!. We carefully selected varieties we think have commercial potential here in the UK. The first trees arrived in 2017 and we added more varieties in 2019. We picked our first crop in 2018 for table olives and pressed our first oil in 2019. The 2020 crop looks very promising and we can’t wait to start preserving and pressing again later on this year.

Olive tree with fruit
Belazu products

The yields are still small on these young trees so we won’t be releasing them onto the open market just yet but we are confident enough to be planning new groves which will be planted in the spring, expanding the range of varieties and the area of the most promising existing varieties.

With the relatively mild maritime climate and high sunlight hours here on the Tendring Peninsula we are perfectly located to be pushing the boundaries of UK cropping. We hope you will be able to buy Belazu Holt Farm Extra-Virgin Olive Oil in the not too distant future; now that would be something really special!

In the meantime, we have selected a range of some of Belazu’s best selling products for you to buy. We hope you enjoy them and if you are a fan of other Belazu products please let us know and we will get them listed.

Next week we will introduce you to another close friend and her produce, the wonderful Jekka McVicar and explain what we are cooking up together.