Ginger Beer

Start your ginger bug/starter by combining 1 1/4 c filtered water, 1 TBSN grated ginger and 1 TBSN sugar in a jar. Stir well and cover with a cloth.

 

Every day for the next 4-5 days feed the bug another tablespoon of ginger and sugar.

When the bug is fizzy, smells yeasty, and has a fine sediment layer of white on the bottom of the jar it is time to make the ginger beer.

Cut a large piece of ginger into small pieces and boil with 3 cups of water for 5 minutes, then let simmer for 20 minutes. Let sit until completely cool then strain out the ginger pieces.

 

Next put 1 cup sugar and 7 cups filtered water into the ginger water you just made. Stir it really well.

Strain your ginger bug and put all the liquid into your ginger water/sugar mix. Stir well.

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Pour into clean bottles and let sit. Each day I open the bottles to release the carbon dioxide. After 2-3 days the bottles can go in the fridge.

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June 2019, week 2

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6 am (Eastern Daylight Time) on two different mornings this week. Each morning as I walk up the driveway I turn and look back it our little Idlewild farm-ette. The sight fills me with awe and joy. I can’t believe we get to live here, take care of this land, and in turn be nurtured by it.

It has been 22 years since we looked at this strip of corn field. Looking at it today I have trouble remembering how truly dead the soil was, how you could still see the rows of cornstalks even the next year, how the water would run off the land in sheets, and how nothing would grow. We tended it patiently and it has responded with a jubilant riot of growth. Each year the recovery becomes more apparent.

We are turning our attention to restoration and retirement. This land has always been our retirement plan — and this land if finally ready to fulfill that hope. The annual garden (1000 square feet of planting space), the perennial plantings, the woods, and even the “grass” are all something to behold.

We brought in 2 rabbits and 5 chicks this year. Next year we hope to double those numbers. I’ve been spending a few minutes every morning gathering grass/clover/weeds and drying it for rabbit hay. It seems to be working. It dries well, a vivid green, and I’m storing it in breathable bags. With luck, it will signal a transition to homegrown feed.

Cost of garden supplies + seeds this year: $78. Harvest in May = $40. Harvest June 1-15= $40. Garden supplies and seeds are repayed and all garden produce is now profit.

Reading List: 

  • The Resilient Farm and Homestead (B Falk)
  • The Stress Solution (R Chatterjee)
  • The Raven Boys (M Stiefvater)
  • Assault & Pepper (L Budewitz)

June 2019, week 1

The hurry-scurry of May has passed and now there is more time to simply enjoy the property. Don’t misunderstand, there are still hours of work needed to keep both our home and land operating well.

Life without an AC has changed a lot of things around here. Primarily, it means that I am getting up with the sun so my work can all be done before the day gets hot. Currently that means all the following take place between 6-10 am. Laud, yoga, garden work, feeding the critters, taking a walk or bike ride, breakfast, and all the housekeeping tasks. I spend the hot part of the day sitting in front of a fan reading, writing, doing Welsh, researching, listening to audiobooks and podcasts, taking a brief nap, jumping in and out of the pool, etc.

The Garden:  Is there anything in this world as good as a sun warmed, still wet with dew straight from the garden strawberry? I think not. At least not in early June. Ask me again next week . . .

We are still in the greens, radishes, and strawberry phase of the garden. I see signs that we’ll be shifting to summer foods within the next week or two. I am ready for some blackberries and squash. I’m hoping the shade of the rabbit house roof will allow some greens to continue to thrive.

Cost of garden supplies + seeds this year: $78. Harvest in May = $40. Harvest June 1-7 = $15

Reading List: 

  • The Resilient Farm and Homestead (B Falk)
  • The Stress Solution (R Chatterjee)
  • The Raven Boys (M Stiefvater)
  • Assault & Pepper (L Budewitz)