The verge garden a few months on

So it’s a few months since I’ve made any post about where my verge garden is at. This is mostly because I’ve been busy with work and the compost did need more time than anticipated to break down to woodchip matter. In an encouraging sign though someone did appear to plant some seeds before I had to turn the compost again yesterday, I was quite surprised at this but perhaps this might be catching on? If nothing else it seems to suggest that this is almost ready for proper planting and that perhaps someone else other than myself is actually invested in this thing.

Seeding growing in the compost

I’m so sorry little one…. I had to turn this one over a few days later, you know to keep things in balance as they should be.

 

On the topic of planting, you may notice that there are a few herbs already in there now. I have planted some lemongrass and rosemary as a start to getting things ready for a month or so down the track when I’ll really start planting it out. I put these in to begin to serve as a windbreak and barrier for the rest of the garden once it’s planted. In any case, the compost is developing a nice, almost deep brown colour which I’m happy with.

 

There’ll be a few more posts soon on the garden once I begin to plant it out and in the spring as it really starts to take off. I’m hoping that come early summer it’ll be at a stage where it’s viable to leave it be if I had to and it’d still continue to thrive where it is.

 

That’s almost all I can think about on this one, but, if there’s questions or suggestions list them below or contact me.

 

Brewing fun – February 2018

juicing time for brewing

Juicing time – February 2018

So one of the things I do from time to time is a bit of brewing, my philosophy behind this however is as simple as it can get, accessible and as natural ingredients as possible. Sure, I could dive into some sweet fermenters or temperature controlled environments but that doesn’t exactly make what I’m doing accessible and doable by anyone on a budget. Basically my entire kit consists of;

2 x 5L Demijohns

2 x Airlocks and Bungs

1 x Hand pump with filter

1 x PVC hose

1 x Set of jugs

1 x Hydrometer

So for this cider brewing I needed;

9KG Apples (making about 4.5L Apple Juice)

Something to sterilise your equipment and fruit

Yeast (I needed to select one suitable for room temperature brewing, be careful what you choose)

Nutrient (Yeast cannot live on apple juice alone)

Some kind of sugary addition you can add to pitch the yeast (brewers sugar works well)

Priming tablets

Pressure rated bottles, regular bottles won’t cut it here

The first step before I got started was to pitch my yeast, adding some nutrient, some sugar and water together before I got started helped here. Then cleaning my equipment, making sure you’ve cleaned everything is super important here to prevent the wrong things infesting your juice.

Once done I got to juicing my apples, then filtering the juice to get rid of scum on top It’s also important to clean up your fruit prior to avoid natural yeasts infesting your juice. Quite a few people will use a sterilisation tablet either to wash the fruit or in the juice its self and wait 24 hours before pitching their yeast and add it then.

Once the juice was prepped, I added my yeast to the demijohn then poured the apple juice in and sealed with the airlock. I was fortunate at the time my ambient temperatures were in the perfect range but this is something to watch too and can ruin a good brew, read your yeast instructions.

After brewing for about a week, It was time to bottle, about 2 priming tablets in a 750ml bottle was enough to ensure carbonation, Much like prepping the equipment earlier, clean and sterilise everything.

 

Oh and before anyone asks, the apple pulp? It’s being fermented too as an addition to the verge garden. Using bokashi allows me my quickly break down organic matter while also not having the space for a proper compost pit.

 

brewing waste

The bokashi fermenter ready to roll.

 

As always if you have questions comment below or contact me.