Day of the Triffids

07 May
Uncleared allotment

An hour or so after clearing has begun a path into the foliage appears

We now have a half-plot allotment, and an option on another full-plot next

A salvaged grapevine, clinging on to life

A salvaged grapevine, clinging on to life

door. That works out around 380m² apparently, which is quite a lot of land (for someone who works full time, commutes, and tries to make a fair bit of homebrew). Whether we’ll get the full plot, or just stay with the half one we have, remains to be seen (but should be sorted by the end of next week).

The important bit is that the bit of land we have is currently somewhat overgrown. There are about half a dozen ash trees (several metres tall), and the entire area is covered in six foot brambles. Or was. We’ve only managed to snatch a few hours of clearing down there, but already have about a quarter of it completely cleared (or at least to the point where soil is visible – admittedly we’ve yet to start pulling up roots) and have made a marvellous discovery. We’ve managed to uncover two living grape vines.

They’ll need some tender loving care, and we plan to plant more (purchased from our nearby vineyard) as well as some hyssop for companion planting, but the sense of achievement

After a few hours of clearing we discover that this is actually land, not simply brambles on more brambles

After a few hours of clearing we discover that this is actually land, not simply brambles on more brambles

at saving them from the thorny triffid occupation is incredible. The plan also includes getting a bed of hops granted, and brewing some beer, with the aim to be that the only thing we need to purchase is sugar (and I’m not ruling out putting in some sugar beet to deal with that).

So in a year’s time we’re hoping that Old Boar’s Brews is capable of producing something entirely homegrown, possibly even with our own yeast strain if we can get one cultivated. There are a few other plans in the offing for the allotment, so I’ll be updating regularly. Once it’s all cleared and planted I’ll be trying to talk the missus into letting me plant more things to brew – but probably best to keep that quiet for now as I believe she has her own plans.

And finally, for the last hobby mention, we’re looking at brewing some small beer at living history events – in the traditional ways that will scare the pants off anyone used to using sterilizer, commercial yeast, additives or anything else. Just need to find a couple of brewing pots, and we think we can get some custom made. Watch this space.

Also watch out for upcoming articles on lilac and cowslip wine, and the challenges of siphoning dandelion after the dandelion flowers have disintegrated (or rather on the importance of muslin bags).



Posted by on May 7, 2014 in Growing, Preparation, Uncategorized


Tags: , , , , ,

5 responses to “Day of the Triffids

  1. lizard100

    May 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    Like to hear about the dandelions.

    • Old Boar

      May 8, 2014 at 8:53 am

      They’ll be coming up soon. Have to say, I’ve been very impressed with the taste of the dandelion wine so far during brewing – it’s coming out almost fruity.

      • lizard100

        May 8, 2014 at 2:49 pm

        I’m not sure where I could gather some. How much do you need?

      • Old Boar

        May 8, 2014 at 2:54 pm

        About a kilo will do 2 gallons worth of wine. We managed to gather that in half an hour quite happily, and dandelions aren’t particularly seasonal. You only need the flower heads, not stalks or leaves (though you can use those for other things) and you can find the full recipe here:

        However do learn from our mistake and (as I will be explaining in my next entry) put the dandelions in a muslin bag before starting the brew, as otherwise they will disintegrate. It’s easier to have them in the bag than to strain the whole mix through muslin later.

      • lizard100

        May 8, 2014 at 3:01 pm

        That sounds pretty good we might have a gallon jar too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: