One of the great pleasures of growing vegetables is to be able to harvest fresh salad in the cooler months,the flavor seems fresher and more welcome through autumn and Winter
its important to use varieties that are adapted to growing in these cooler conditions
The varieties that work for me are Continue reading Winter Salads
You can plant Lilies in the Spring but planting in the Autumn allows them to establish roots and the plants will be more impressive the earlier you get them into pots.
Apple cider vinegar recipe
The apple quantities are very approximate. The more you use for each litre of liquid the stronger the flavor and if you have any Cider apples these can work as well
You’ll need a container with a wide mouth to make this in. A bowl or fermenting bucket or just a new normal bucket from a DIY outlet. You can buy special vinegar making containers if you wish. What is important is that you maximise the surface area exposed to the air.The larger the surface area the easier it is for the acetobacter to colonise the juice.
These quantities are for 1 litre of vinegar, just pro rata them for what you have to hand.
6-12 apples, windfalls and damaged apples are brilliant for this. It uses them up and the damage is more likely to be colonised by natural yeasts and useful bacteria. Wash them if they are muddy dirty under a running tap
1 litre of water
100g of sugar (I use normal white granulated)
Chop the apples roughly into 2-3cm pieces into your container. Use the skin, cores, pips, everything.
Dissolve the sugar in the water. I use some heat to do this. Allow the sugar solution to cool to about room temperature, if it’s too hot you could kill your natural yeasts.
Pour the sugar solution over the apples and give it a good stir. Weight the apples down with a plate, bowl or something else to keep them in the solution.
Cover the container with muslin or a clean tea towel secured with an elastic band. This will keep dust and bugs out, while the acetobacter will be able to pass between the weave. Leave the container in a warm place.
After 7-10 days the apples will have done their work and you can strain them off the solution with a sieve or colander lined with muslin or a new teatowel
Put the solution back in to your container and cover.
At this point start tasting. You should notice the rough cider flavour being transformed into an acid one. Leave for 10-14 days until you are happy with the flavour.
Strain again and then pour into sterilised bottles and seal. If you want, keep the film that appears on the top of the vinegar. This is ‘Mother of Vinegar’ which you can use to start another batch without needing to resort to chance colonisation by acetobacter.
Acetobacter is a genus of acetic acid bacteria characterized by the ability to convert ethanol to acetic acid in the presence of oxygen. Several species are in this genus, and other bacteria are capable of forming acetic acid under various conditions, but all of the Acetobacter species are known by this characteristic ability.
Acetobacter is of particular importance commercially, because some species are used in the production of vinegar and is the reason all air has to be excluded from wine
It really is worth making for great dressing for Salads
I make gallons as I add it to the Horse feed for its health benefits for them as well
research by Dr James Brown from Aston University has shown positives of having cider vinegar in you diet
“But those consuming cider vinegar saw an average 13% reduction in total cholesterol, with a strikingly large reduction in triglycerides (a form of fat). And this was a particularly impressive finding because our volunteers were all healthy at the start, with normal cholesterol levels.
“Bringing cholesterol levels down like this”, Dr Brown told me, “can significantly reduce your chances of having a heart attack in the future. So we were really excited to see that finding.”
We can grow Spinach throughout the year but to be honest it does better if sown in the cooler months this film covers the varieties to use for the beginning of the year