Propagating For The Great Wall Of Lavender

HAHA so much for working on antenna stuff today. Its a nice sunny day, after a week of miserable drizzly shit weather. So today we are propagating plants for the great wall of lavender. The process is simple enough.

Take the cuttings about yay long.

Strip off at least 3 nodes worth of leaves and tip out the top. Cut the base in a diagonal and remove a strip of bark.

Place the prepared cutting in seed raising trays

Get a shit load of them done, in this case its 6 each of 12 different varieties of lavender.

Put them in the green house and give them some water. Keep moist and in a month or so they will have grown roots, and a month after that be ready to pot up to grow on to get them big enough to plant out.

In a few months they will look like this.

And this. And when the latest 75 are ready for potting up, the previous ones will donate they pots back so that the cycle continues. Its all good fun.

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Preserves

Its been a tough year trying to grow tomatoes. First crop failed due to rain, 2nd one was not far off it either, but we managed to get some to eat and some to preserve as pasta sauce,

 

Chilies on the other hand have done ok. Made a few jars of Sambal and a few jars of sauce. Ring burn material. 🙂

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Cucumber

Can you spot the difference?

I planted Gherkins

I harvested Lebanese.

I think someone stuffed up at the seed packing factory. Anyway, i am not a big fan of Lebanese type cucumber, they taste to cucumbery to me, I much prefer a Gherkin which is not actually a cucumber, its in the Curcubit family but Gherkins are Melothria and cucumber are Cucumis Sativus.

How is that for a science lesson HAHA. Anyway i am pickling cucumber, not pickling gherkins. So sad, but I’ve grown them, now i gotta eat them now, even though cucumber taste like sad.

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Mulberry Wine

Wine racked to demijohns for secondary fermentation. This year I have made 5L of Shiraz and 10L of mulberry.
Initial taste of the mulberry is good, to give you an idea what its like at the moment, think a rather sweet lambruscco, very little actual mulberry flavor, but a nice balance of acid and sweetness and kind of fruity and fresh, I think this should drink well when its young.

From here we let it ferment to dry, then bulk age for 6 months racking 2 or 3 times to remove sediment, back sweeten to our tastes, then bottle and drink 6 months later, maybe longer, it takes however long it takes.
The 1.5L bottle is the dregs of the primary fermentation. Will leave it sit for 3 days and then refrigerate and drink it as a sparkling wine to see how its coming along. ALC is currently 9% and should finish out around 12%.

 

Wine Making Day

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Wine Making Day

Its been a while since I made a wine making post, it seems appropriate to have a wine after my whine the other day LOL. So what have we got. Well, making 2 batches. First one is Shiraz. Now, i do not typically make wine using concentrates, or grapes for that matter, but now that we have a small vineyard and some wine grapes planted, i figured that I really should have a go at making some grape wine so i have the process down for when we have our own grapes ready.

So while I was looking online for some new yeast and other additives, I found a place that sells 1L bottles of concentrate. Price was ok, so i am giving it a go. I do not intend to make a full bodied red from this, but will end up with something semi sweet more like a lumbruscco. While i like dry reds, the wife not so much, so i tend to make our wines sweeter than i would prefer.

Concentrate into a demijohn and 3 liters of water, pitch the yeast and let her rip. The reason why only 4 liters to begin with is so it does not foam over and blow out the air lock and make a mess. In a few days I will add the final liter of water and leave it to fully ferment.

 

Next up is Mulberry wine. This is a staple in this house and something we both like to drink. Trying something a little different this time, I am using 1 liter of white wine concentrate. The point of this is to improve the mouth feel and over all flavor profile. It also adds the fermentable sugars we need to bring this up to about 14%.

The basic recipe here is:

  • 6Kg of mulberries.
  • 1L white wine concentrate.
  • 9L of water.
  • 1Kg of sugar.
  • red wine yeast.
  • pectinaise.
  • yeast nutrient.
  • grape tanin.
  • Sg is 0.70 but that is without the sugars in the fruit adding to that. Should be 0.8 to 0.90 or there about.

I will leave it on the fruit for 3 days, then rack to demijohns to ferment to completion. And that is how I spent my day today. I will update this post when I rack and add some notes about taste. It will be 12 months before its ready to drink, but its been good to make some wine again. Its been a while.

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Curry Leaf Tree

The tree looks rather sad.

Frost burned tip, but new buds sprouting below.

Ya learn something new everyday. Never knew that curry leaf was semi/deciduous. Coming from Brisbane we never experienced the plant going into dormancy, well not to this extent, it looked sad in winter, but never looked dead. But where we are now gets cold, so I assumed that the plant was dying and was going to pull it out. But its budding up and going to spring back to life, which is good, my curries will once again have curry leaf in them 🙂 and after a bit of Dr Google, I have learned a lot more about this plant.

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