Sunday, 20 February 2011

Pallets and plums II

Two compost bins for the price of 7 tree stakes and a pack of wood screws - not bad.

Yes, I got out before the rain came today and built my second compost bin.  It's not pretty, or level but it'll do the job nicely and it's not like I'm going to be entering any 'Glamorous Garden' competitions in the near, or distant future!

Let's see if it stays up in a storm!

Each time I complete a task in the garden I feel just that bit closer to my goal of making a garden out of The Field.  Some weekends I don't get much done at all and I don't often ask for help from others if I think I can do it myself, so the going is slower than most garden makeovers.  But, I enjoy it when I'm outside, whether it's digging, cutting, planting, weeding or anything else that needs doing. Plus I get a huge sense of satisfaction when I can stand back and say "I did that".

February 2008 after brush-cutting
February 2011 and it's slowly taking shape

 These two photos show the garden as it was in February 2008 (about 7 months after I moved in) and as it is now, in February 2011.  Hmmm, looks like the fence needs another coat of weather-proofing; that's another job added to the list of many!    
                                                                                                                                               For the time being though the next task on my list is the fencing around the raised beds; those cauliflower seeds are growing quickly and the leeks are just beginning to pop their heads up.  Fingers crossed for good weather next weekend.

On the wine-making front, the plum wine is now in the fermentation jar.  Although I can clearly see the sediment on the bottom, the rest of it still looks a bit cloudy, and it's very pink!  Is it supposed to look like that? I have no idea. It's got a few weeks to clear up and I've added the Bentonite which helps speed up the process so I guess I'll just have to wait and see.  Hasn't anyone invented an 'Instant Wine' recipe yet?

A very pink plum wine fermenting in the kitchen corner
The rack of wine bottles was recently given to me by a friend and it's sitting in the kitchen waiting for me to find somewhere to put it.  It's not there in an attempt to make the picture look interesting - honest!


Claire said...

The compost bin looks great - just the job! Plum wine, sounds yummy, and so pretty too :-) x

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Claire,

The plum wine is looking decidedly like a rose at the moment. Just one more rack, with a little more added sugar (a wee taster last week revealed it's taste to be very sharp!)and it should be good for Christmas..fingers crossed. Am thinking carrot wine next maybe!

Ben Hardy said...

I'll be interested to hear how your plum wine comes out. Mine in the past has been average at best, and my wife has now banned me from making it again. I have always found it difficult to clear.

Sensory Dragon said...

Hi Ben,

Please persevere - I've ended up with a really nice slightly sweet, pale peachy-coloured wine!

Not without its problems however. Having made up an initial gallon, I ended up with 1/2 a gallon. I racked it 3 times, did a little tasting, pulled a face like I was sucking lemons (because it was so tart!)and promptly added more sugar and went through the process again. After 2 further racks it was clear but, like I said, in a lot smaller quantity. However, I got 3 bottles out of it - a poor delivery I know, but at least I do know that you can get a great wine at the end of it. So I'll do it again, but in much bigger quantities next time. Perhaps you could have a secret batch on the go in the garden shed? I'm sure, once your wife has tasted it she'll lift the ban! I'll post a picture of it in my next blog.

I'm thinking of having a go at carrot wine yet? ever made that? any handy tips?

Ben Hardy said...

I once made carrot wine years ago - probably eleven - and haven't yet repeated it, though it is on my shortlist. All I remember about it was that it was far too sweet, and not a pleasing vibrant orange. So, next time I try it (and there will be a next time) I shall put in 2 1/2 lbs sugar rather than 3. I'll be interested to hear how it goes.

Oh, and thank you for being my first follower - much appreciated.

Morlock5K said...

I have access to more plums than my family can manage. I will be looking for good plum wine recipes;)