Ginger Beer Plants

photo by mark bonnett

Make your own additive free drink for hyperactive kids! Easy to make & easy to drink.

Making the PLANT (Step 1)

In a large jar mix the following items:

3/4 pint of warm water
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps ground ginger
1tsp yeast granules

Leave to ferment for 3 days.

Store the jar in a warm dry place to help this process along.

photo by  mark bonnett
ginger beer plant

Feeding the ginger beer plant (Step 2)

From the fourth day your plant must be fed daily by adding the following:

1tsp sugar
1tsp ground ginger

The harvest (Step 3)

After feeding your plant for one week, it now becomes time to harvest the crop. You will now need the following items:

Bucket or large pan
Piece of muslin
24oz sugar
7 pints of water
Juice of 2 lemons

Strain the plant through the muslin into the bucket (set plant aside to divide later). Add the sugar, 2 pints of warm water & the lemon juice stir until sugar has dissolved. Add the remaining 5 pints of water, mix well. Bottle & store somewhere cool leave for a minimum of 3 days before drinking.

photo by  Mark Bonnett

Splitting the plant (Step 4)

Place half of your plant back in it’s jar and add:

3/4 pint of warm water
2 tsps sugar
2 tsps ground ginger

Then continue from step 2 (you don’t need to wait 3 days before feeding as the culture is already active) the other half can be made up in a new jar & given away or just chucked on the compost heap.

When you get bored with it or go on holiday you can freeze your plant and revive it when you want to try again.

Why I Check My Chickens Each Night

When I first got chickens I set my alarm to wake me up at 6.30 every morning (5am in the Summer!) to let them out as I hated the thought of them being trapped inside when it was daylight.

It nearly killed me (I am not a morning person).

Since I fitted an automatic chicken coop door my life has been a whole lot easier. I still feel a little bit guilty if it is past 8.30 am before I get out to feed and clean them and let them out in their larger garden area – but not enough to set my alarm (after all I know they are safe in their enclosed run and have water there and whatever bugs and greenery they can find to keep them going until I get out to them).

I know they are safe, but I still worry, and I still check them every night shortly after the door is set to go down to make sure everyone got in ok and have a little tidy up for them ready in the morning.

And so far the automatic door has worked out really well.

chickencoopdoorI have had the ocassional straggler left looking at the closed pop hole waiting for it to magically open (I must remember to increase the time it closes every now and then as the days stay lighter for longer) but apart from that the only issue was a couple of nights ago when I found the door had come of its runners and left it so that it could easily have been pushed aside by something.

The coop is in an enclosed run so the chances of something happening if it had been left like that are lessened, but not zero, and that is why I always check it.

Using Composted Chicken Droppings For Better Vegetables

I have read it so often it must be true that one of the best fertilizers in the world that is generated by animals is the chicken manure. Apparently gardeners prefer it for their vegetables but I haven’t yet made my peace with the idea of putting droppings (however well composted) near something I am going to eat.

It seems that if I was going to use it directly I could

1. Put straw or grass underneath the roosts where chicken droppings fall and put scraps of leftover vegetables in it to make a compost heap.

2. The chickens will be scrapping it about but every now and then I would also need to heap it together and mix it well with a shovel.

3. After few weeks (months?) when everything is soiled down this compost could be used as organic fertilizer.

I assume that somewhere between steps 2 and 3 I would need to remove the current batch into a storage area / container so that the new stuff was able to age and compost without getting confused with the older stuff that would be closer to being used.

It seems fairly simple but is that right? Have I missed anything?