Category: General

How to make Fruit Gin

I was meant to publish this post last year, I’ve only just got around to writing it. Oops, sorry about that….

Anyway, it was autumn 2020 and we were discussing Christmas presents for our families. We wanted to make something, but wasn’t too sure. After a week of going back and fourth with ideas, we settled with fruit Gin.

So off we went, foraging through the local hedgerows and came back with a haul of elderberries and blackberries.

I know elderberries contain cyanide and this can be removed by cooking them. Not wanting to cook them down to a pulp, I thought the best option would to microwave them for a couple of minutes. In fact we done this with the blackberries too, just to get the juices flowing.

Make your own fruit gin
Bottled and ready to go

Ingredients

500g of fruit
100g of sugar
70cl Gin (we used a supermarkets own brand of Gin)

Method

  1. Remove the fruit from their stalks and remove any unripe fruit.
  2. Place the fruit in a microwavable bowl and heat on full power for a couple of minutes.
  3. Place the fruit and sugar in a large sterilised jar. Pour over the Gin and give it a good shake.
  4. Over the next week, give the jar a good shake twice a day until all the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, store in a dark cupboard for around 4 weeks.
  5. Strain the berries and mixture and discard the berries. You should be left with a sweet tasting gin. If not, add more sugar.
  6. Return the Gin to the jar and store for another month or two before bottling and drinking.

How to make nettle and comfrey fertiliser

Making nettle and comfrey fertiliser is something I do every year. It’s basically free fertiliser that doesn’t cost me a penny. I tend you use my comfrey fertiliser for my tomatoes and courgettes, and the nettles for everything else. They are both full of vital nutrients, and is something I recommend everyone should make.

Making nettle and comfrey fertiliser is extremely easy:

  1. Get a bucket and fill it with either nettles or comfrey.
  2. Fill the bucket with water but leave enough so it doesn’t overflow.
  3. Every couple of days, give it a stir and after two-three weeks, it will be ready. Word of warning though, it will smell foul.
  4. Filter out the mixture into another bucket to clear out the debris.
  5. When you want to use it, dilute the liquid to one part nettle/comfrey to 10 parts water. The darker the liquid, the more you will need to dilute it.

At the moment, I’ve got a batch of each brewing. I reckon they need another week or so before they are ready to use

Easter BBQ down the allotment

Things have been a little hectic recently. I’ve had a lot of work on recently that’s taken most of my time up, so my time down the allotment has been rather limited. I’m hoping to get down there this bank holiday weekend as the list of jobs is piling up. That said, on Easter Sunday, myself and the other allotment committee members, held a volunteer morning followed by a BBQ in the afternoon.

For as long as I can remember, the allotment association has always held volunteer mornings a couple of times a year to help keep the communal areas nice and tidy. This was the first one we organised since been voted in as committee, so we wanted to get a lot done.

It was a great morning, we managed to get the portacabin painted, weeded the communal flower beds and also tidied around the compost bays. We had an excellent turn out too and everyone got stuck in.

The afternoon BBQ was a great success too. We had an egg hunt for the kids, egg painting competition and various raffles. I’m looking forward to our summer gathering.

First Post – About me

Some of this can be found in my about page, but I thought I would introduce myself properly. My name is Steve and I live in the West Midlands, England. I’m self-employed working in the IT industry. When I’m not at my office or working, I can be found either down my allotment, down the gym or enjoying the outdoors.

I must point out, my spelling and grammar isn’t the best. In fact I left school unable to read and write.

Allotment and Gardening

My interest in gardening started at an early age when my dad allowed me to have a small patch of ground behind the shed in his garden. I mainly grew nasturtiums and marigolds that would get devoured by caterpillars every summer. After moving house and not having the room in the new garden, I lost interest in gardening, until I moved into my own flat in 2012. Within a couple of months of moving into my own place, I managed to get my hands on a small allotment measuring 12 metres by 5 and my interest in gardening was sparked again.

After a couple of years, I managed to get myself a much larger plot and gave up the smaller allotment. I now have a large allotment plot within walking distance of my flat, and I grow a variety of fruit and vegetables, and also keep a flock of chickens.

I’ve recently took on the Chairman role for the site.

Other Stuff

Away from my allotment, I’m self-employed working in the IT industry. I run SJH Computing, specialising in IT support for home and small business customers.

I also enjoy the outdoors in general, so I may will be posting about my adventures. I’m a lover of food, so again, I will be posting about it 🙂