Grow your own – update


The raised beds are doing well, we have Roma and beef tomatoes, peppers, chillis, butternut squash, pumpkins, courgettes, sweetcorn, sweet potatoes, garlic and various herbs (I’m not even mentioning aubergines although they continue to grow profusely!). The big disappointment this year has been beans – they just won’t grow, get to about 12 inches then keel over and die. We have 2 broad bean plants that have survived and flowered, but haven’t produced any beans.

The figs and pomegranates are ripe and we’re harvesting them almost daily, bananas are ripening and the citrus trees have tiny oranges and lemons just starting. The mangos didn’t flower after all the shocking we gave then, so looks like we’ll have to wait another year to eat fresh homegrown mangos. The photo above is a small clump of sugar cane which is almost ready to harvest, we don’t use a lot of sugar, but it’s nice to be able to produce our own cane juice, which I’ll be using for the next batch of fermented ginger beer.



One of the mango trees finally flowered and we had about 5 fronds of blossoms, each eventually had approx 10 fruit buds, unfortunately a storm in April blew most of those off and we are left with 2 fruits. Let’s hope they survive to ripen.

Lacto-fermented Ginger Beer


This is my first attempt at a lacto-fermented beverage, and it’s delicious.

I’d juiced a big lump of ginger root to make some Lemongrass and Ginger soap, and had a couple of ounces left over. I dissolved a couple of tablespoons of raw sugar in some hot water, added the juice of 2 lemons and the ginger juice. this was poured into a flip top bottle and filled with warm water. Next I added a couple of tablespoons of whey that had been drained off a carton of yogurt. Shook it up and left it on the counter for 2 days.

After 48 hours I tested for flavour and fizziness, it scored well on both. Another 12 hours later and it was really fizzy, so time to put it in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process – don’t want the bottle to explode!