Vitamin C Kombucha

Ok here is a simple recipe for a great Winter kombucha tea to keep away the winter bugs and blues.

So I have been getting rite into utilizing the abundant pine trees (Pinus radiata) around my home town, I have been putting the pine needles into my herbals tea mixes but then I decided I would try putting the needles into a kombucha tea that was ready, I added a few other things as well and it has turned out a treat.

The first kombucha tea preparation was just raw sugar and black tea left to ferment for a week or more depend on your own tastes I like it quiet vinegary, so I decanted this off into another container and I added grated ginger and two different pine needles the Pinus radiata and some sort of spruce pine (Picea sp.) that is in my grandfathers yard. I also added a small amount of sugar to kick start a second fermentation to make it a bit fizzy and I was hoping this would draw out the vitamin C from the needles this then sat a the bench for another week before I cracked it, it is very good very warming.

I will just add my next batch of kombucha or my water kefir to this and add a bit more of the fresh ingredients and sugar to boost it up again, I don’t like wasting stuff so I will use this until I just cant use it anymore then I will pick the pine needles out of the ginger and use it in a cake or muffins etc. YUM.

So give this ago if you are a kombucha maker and if you aren’t why not! give it ago it is easy all you need is a kombucha mother, sugar and tea to start with. Kombucha is a cheap healthy alternate to fizzy unhealthy soft drinks, and it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

Cheers 🙂



Winter Herbal Honey

Here is one of my winter experiments, I got some beautiful raw honey from the local markets and decided to make a winter herbal honey.

Borage (Borago officinalis) and Calendula flowers

Borage (Borago officinalis) and Calendula flower

My Borage (Borago officinalis) is in flower and I thought I would utilize these gorgeous blue blooms and there were a few Calendular (Calendula officinalis) flowers too so I picked these and dried them of in a very low oven before putting in the honey to prevent any molding. I also added all dried Rosemary, Chillie, Mullein (Verbascum sp.) root and citrus peel. I heated the honey ever so slightly so it would run easily and there for there would be less air bubbles created when poured over the herbs. I will let this sit for a few week before I start using it I’m going to use it like a sore throat soother if I start to get a sore throat again I will suck on a teaspoon of this before bed. I heard about Borage flower syrup being used for sore throats, thats what gave me the idea but I wanted to avoid the sugar so I used honey and then I just added what ever else I thought would help!

It could be used for an energy boast or just as a daily immunity booster.

It look gorgeous I love the feeling of making my own medicine I’m getting rite into it!

Herbal honey

Well give it ago. 🙂


Life after Death

Not long ago we had quite bad fires in my area no one was hurt but a large area was burnt. Driving past not to long after the fires everything was blackened and it was a scene of devastation but now a few months and some rain later the areas once blackened and life less are exploding with lush edible greenness!
On the way home from Hobart the other afternoon I stopped and collected a basket full of some sort of mustard greens (Barassica sp.) leaves and flowers, hawthorn berries (Crataegus sp.) some fennel and some pine needles (Pinus radiata).

The mustard greens were the best I have ever seen them they really loved the fire and were thriving, I nibbled on the flowers as a sweet hot treat on the way home and I’m drying the greens to put in stews and soups etc I’m really hoping they keep their heat in the drying process I haven’t done this before but I have just dried some Sow Thistles (Sonchus sp.) and they are great, they smell divine!

Mustard greens (Brassica sp.)

I’m also drying the fennel and hawthorn berries to see how they come out, I was hoping the berries would be good in teas, soups and stews etc I have been putting the pine needles in a herbal tea mix for their vitamin C content and drinking it a few times a day I had a sore throat for two days which was very unusual for me but the strong herbals teas fixed it quick smart!  In my teas I have been putting Mullien (Verbascum sp) ginger, Pine needles (Pinus radiata) Lemon balm, Calandular flowers, Yarrow flowers, Hops, Peppermint, Apple mint, Sow thistles (Sonchus sp.), Californian poppies (Eschscholzia californica) Lemon rind and juice and Honey, it is hot and yummy you can feel it working.
Plus I drink my fermented beet and kale juice and my fermented ginger bug every morning too and I’m sure all this good alive food is helping my body deal with the cold weather this winter.

Well that’s it for now it is a bit slow not much growing at present but I’m getting exited about spring! 🙂


Fermented Amaranth Stalks

This was a flop but I want to share the good with the bad, the first recipe/method from Sandor Katz book, The Art Of Fermentation that I tried was the fermented Amaranth stalks as I had them in the garden and they were ready to harvest.
I followed the method and all went well I think I just didn’t like the out come, the outside of the stems were still very hard and the centers were sloppy I didn’t mind that so much because you can suck the inside out but I just didn’t like the taste but here are the pictures etc anyway.

Amaranth stalks

Amaranth stalks chopped and ready to ferment

Finished fermented Amaranth stalks

Ok so to start with you wash and chop stalks then you put in a crock and soak in cold water for a day or two until the water becomes frothy then wash again and shake dry. They are then put in sealed crock in a warm place to ferment, in the book it says that the stalks soften and get a  “special fragrance”  when this happens you add salt water to cover and ferment for another few days then they are ready, easy enough. Mine started to get mold spots on the stalks before they softened to much so I added the salt water hoping it would be enough but like I said the outside was still hard and the inside mushy. But even if the stalks were soft I still didn’t like the taste but you can’t win them all! 🙂