The Thunder Box, Mulberry Wine, Honey Press & More…

We have been flat out lately with numerous projects, big and small – many of them food related.  Here is just a taste of what we’ve been up to!

Mulberry Wine

A couple of weeks ago we found a heap of ripe mulberries in Emily’s mum’s garden, an opportunity we couldn’t pass up.

Mulberry Wine

Recipe base from Sandor Katz’ “The Art of Fermentation.”

  • 2 cups of mulberries
  • 3 cups of organic sugar
  • topped up to 2 litres with rainwater.

We left the above mixture fermenting for a couple of weeks, shaking several times a day and releasing the pressure.  Then we strained and bottled it.  Now to wait another few months and hopefully we will have mulberry wine!

Beeswax candles

We have been making all of our Christmas gifts by hand this year, mostly beeswax hand salve and candles.  Our own wax from the honey harvest ran out pretty quickly so we ordered more from Malfroy’s Gold.  It is beautiful wax and smells so deliciously of honey that the bees keep coming inside to visit when it’s melting!  Best of all, we know it has been produced by bees that aren’t exposed to synthetic chemicals and who are treated with the utmost respect.

Thunder box

After our very expensive Sun Mar composting toilet started falling apart, we decided to go ultra simple and build a drop box.  Got ourselves a copy of “The Humanure Handbook” and Rohan built this magnificent thunder box that will sit over a bucket.

Fermenting radish

Much to our surprise, we managed to get a decent radish crop recently – we haven’t been very good at growing them in the past, they’ve usually gone to seed too early or been gnawed on by pests.

Lacto Fermented Radishes

Recipe base from Sally Fallon’s “Nourishing Traditions”.

  • enough radishes (diced) to fill 3/4 of a 1 litre jar
  • 2 tablespoons of milk kefir whey (you can use whey from yoghurt or just add more salt)
  • 2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • enough rainwater to cover the radishes
  • a couple of stones, boiled for about 5 mins, to weigh down the radishes

The taste-testing will start after a few days of fermenting…

Fruit and honey press

Since we have decided we’d like to run a small commercial apiary, we thought a proper honey press was in order.  We found this fruit press that will be perfect for squishing the honey out of honeycomb (and we can use it to make apple cider).  We also bought a demijohn and airlock to start our mead-making adventure in earnest.  Bring on the next honey harvest!