May 2009

Garden Update

Had quite a few casualties in the garden mainly down to slugs eating their way through my heritage climbing beans so I’m now planting out a third crop.

Lost Ildi Tomato , down to early onset blight , damn and blast , it’s a floor grower the upside down one’s semed to have been lucky.

Lost two beautiful blueberry bushes , to i don;t know what , managed to save one though.

Leaf rust has found it’s way around the garlic, the back as yet seems unaffected.

Ice cream machine working well , and my home made hokey pokey went down well.

In the meantime some photos.

Kiwi Spinach

Kiwi Spinach

Thai Chilli

Liberated Thai Chilli



Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine Settling Down Nicely

Peach Wine

Peach Wine – On The Go

Bay Leaves

Bay Leaves – Drying Out

Korean Clematis

Korean Clematis

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

Hokey Pokey Ice Cream

60g (2½oz) soft brown sugar
2tbsp golden syrup
1tsp bicarbonate of soda
450ml (¾pint) double cream
one 400g can condensed milk
one 142ml carton single cream

I just make the caramel / honeycomb and then chuck it all in the ice cream maker , simples .

And Jazz & MY Groovenation Fans

Some D N B – Vibe Tunes

C My World Of Wrong Thoughts


I was given a Lemon Balm plant last year by Papa Zebra.

It grows very well , and I knew it smelt ace and refreshing when rubbed in the garden , i was unaware it was highly anti viral , so I was delighted to locate this recipe too utilise it.

21 tbsp (approx. 50 g) fresh lemon balm leaves
3 tbsp wheatgerm oil
115 ml olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp beeswax
5 drops tea tree oil

1. Wash and strip the lemon balm leaves and chop finely. In a pan over a slow heat, stir and crush one third of the lemon balm leaves with the wheatgerm and olive oil for 10 minutes, or until it starts to bubble. Take off the heat and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

2. Strain the oil through a muslin-lined sieve or colander into a bowl, squeezing the leaves to get out all remaining juice. Throw away the squeezed leaves.

3. Repeat this process twice more with the remaining 2 batches of lemon balm leaves, using the same oil.

4. Place the oil in the pan on a gentle heat and add the honey and beeswax. Stir until melted, then take off the heat and stir in the tea tree oil.

5. Pour the salve into small sterilized jars, where it will set solid within 10 minutes.

USE: Apply to cold sores whenever needed.
STORAGE Keeps for up to 1 year.


Plantain in the UK , not the bannana like plant you see in Caribbean shops grows like a weed over here and is very abundant now , so I decided to harvest some.

When harvesting nettles for fertilizer, beer or soup , i often get stung , so yet again I was happy to locate a recipe to stop the stinging.

4 tbsp fresh chopped plantain leaves
150 ml boiling water
2 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
2 tbsp almond oil
1 tsp beeswax
2 tsp emulsifying wax
2 tsp glycerine
1 tsp vitamin C powder

1. Wash and chop the plantain leaves. Divide into two – put one half in a bowl and the other half in a pan. Cover the plantain in the bowl with the water and leave to infuse for 10 minutes.

2. In the pan, add the olive (or sunflower) and almond oils to the plantain and heat gently to simmering point. Don’t allow to boil – if it starts boiling, take off the heat immediately. Once at simmering point, remove from the heat and leave for 10 minutes to cool.

3. Drain the infusion, taking out the plantain leaves. Set the liquid to one side.

4. Drain the infused oil into another pan, extracting the plantain leaves. Heat the oil again. Add the beeswax and emulsifying wax and melt, stirring – you are aiming for a foamy consistency.

5. Add 16 tbsp infused water to the pan and whisk to achieve a consistency like salad dressing. Add the glycerine and vitamin C powder.

6. Pour into sterilized glass pots and seal.

USE: Apply to affected area as often as needed.
STORAGE: Keeps for 3 months in the refrigerator in an airtight container.

Just for Matron

Vegetables can be used to make natural remedies.

Artichokes are used to make a tasty snack which could make a great addition to a low cholesterol diet.

Sticking plasters that could help relieve aching muscles are made from chillies, and garlic is used to make a footbath and a preparation that could help treat athlete’s foot.

As a beauty treat, cucumbers can be used to make a soothing eye gel.


4 artichokes
1 litre water
475 g hawthorn berries (if using dried hawthorn berries, first cover them with water for 24 hours to rehydrate them)
225 g sugar
1 cinnamon stick
Juice of 1 lime

1. Chop the artichokes, place in a saucepan, cover with the water and boil for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Remove from the heat, then leave to steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a bowl.

2. Heat the oven to 100C.

3. Place the artichoke infusion, hawthorn berries, sugar and cinnamon stick in a pan, and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, or until the mixture is soft. Take out the cinnamon stick and blend in a liquidizer with the lime juice, then pour into greased, lined baking trays to a thickness of about 1 cm.

4. Dry in the heated oven for 2-3 hours.(Check after 2 hours; you want it to be chewy, but not too tough.) Leave to cool, then slice into bite-sized pieces.

USE: Chew on a piece of fruit bar whenever you like.

NB If high blood cholesterol is suspected, you must see a doctor. This recipe may be used in addition to, not as a substitute for, proper medical treatment. If you are on other heart medication you shouldn’t eat hawthorn berries. The remedy is not suitable if you are diabetic.

STORAGE: Keep in greaseproof paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.


200 g orange Scotch Bonnet chillies
4 tbsp mustard powder
200 g coconut oil, non-fractionated
6 tsp beeswax
4 packs Melolin wound dressing pads, 10 x 10 cm
4 packs adhesive wound dressing, 12 x 12 cm

1. Wash and finely slice the chillies. Combine the chillies and mustard powder with the coconut oil in a saucepan. Cover to keep in the vapour and gently heat for 2 minutes. Leave to cool with the lid on.

2. Put the chilli mix into muslin over a sieve and squeeze out the oil into a bowl below. Place the oil back into the saucepan and return to the heat.

3. Add the beeswax to the oil and heat very gently until dissolved; this will take less than 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

4. Soak the dressing pads in the oil mixture while it’s still hot. When they are saturated, remove the pads and leave to stand for 10 minutes on greaseproof paper, or until set.

5. Once set and dry, the pads can be layered on top of each other, wrapped in clingfilm and stored in the refrigerator until needed.

USE: Place a pad on an adhesive wound dressing, then apply to the affected area. Keep the area warm (by covering with a blanket, for example) and leave on for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

STORAGE: Keeps for 1 year in the refrigerator.


2 bulbs garlic
Cider vinegar (or whatever you have)
20 heads fresh lavender
Sage leaves

1. Drop the garlic into a jug and cover with vinegar, using roughly twice as much vinegar as garlic.

2. Crush the sage leaves with a pestle and mortar, and add them along with the lavender heads to the jug.

3. Pour your mixture into an airtight container, making sure you have enough vinegar to totally cover the other ingredients.

4. Infuse the mixture for between 2 weeks and a month. Simply add 5 tablespoons to a hot footbath and soak your foot when required.

USE: Dilute 5 tblsp of the mixture in a washing up bowl (size) of hot water, and soak the feet for at least 10 minutes each day for 3 times a week for 2 weeks.

STORAGE: Keep in a sealable container or jar in a dry, cool place for up to 6 months


4 tbsp dried sage leaves
4 tbsp dried garlic (commercially prepared is fine)
7 tbsp (70 g) cornflour
7 tbsp (70 g) bicarbonate of soda
24 drops tea tree oil

1. Grind the dried sage in a mortar and pestle, then place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the dried garlic. Sprinkle over the cornflour and bicarbonate of soda and mix well.

2. Add in the tea tree oil and stir until well distributed. Place the powder into a salt or sugar shaker for use.

USE: Dust on liberally 3 times daily, until symptoms disappear (usually a few weeks). Continue using for 1 week after all signs of infection are gone, as previously dormant fungal spores can cause reinfection.

STORAGE: Keep in a dry, dark place and use within 1 year.


1 small cucumber, chopped
1 aloe vera leaf
1 sachet vegetable gelatine
50 ml distilled extract of witch hazel BP
1 white tea teabag
3 drops peppermint essential oil

1. Roughly chop the cucumber. Peel and slice the aloe leaf to extract its gel. Put the cucumber and aloe gel into a blender and process until smooth. Strain the mix through a sieve to extract the juice. Measure out 100 ml of the strained juice and set aside.

2. Add the witch hazel to a pan, whisk in the gelatine and add the teabag. Gently heat the mixture until it just starts to thicken. As the mixture cools, take out the teabag, then whisk in the cucumber and aloe juice mixture and the peppermint oil.

3. Bottle up the gel in a sterilized, airtight pump dispenser.

USE: Apply to the eye area before bed, then wash off in the morning.

STORAGE: Keeps in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks.

Bugging Out

Bugging Out

Foraging . Photo’s . Ethnobotanical Recipe,

Natural Herbal Body Scrub BY Grrr

Natural Herbal Body Scrub BY Grrr

50 g fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
50 g fresh eucalyptus leaves, finely chopped
50 g fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
Peel of 2 lemons
300 ml olive oil
400 g sea salt (fine-grained)
4 tsp vitamin C powder

Extra eucalyptus leaves and slices of lemon peel, to decorate

1. Place the chopped herbs, black pepper and lemon peel in a pan, then add the olive oil. Place on a medium heat and stir, then leave for 2 minutes with the lid on. Place the paste in a piece of muslin over a sieve and squeeze out all the oil into a bowl below.

2. Mix the sea salt and vitamin C powder in a bowl. Add most of the oil (reserving a little to seal the jar) and stir well. Place the mixture in a sterilized Kilner jar and press down well. Decorate the top with a few eucalyptus leaves and slices of lemon rind. Pour a layer of the remaining oil on top of the salt scrub to keep it airtight.

USE: Apply to wet skin in the bath or shower, when needed. Scrub, then rinse off well with warm water.
STORAGE: Keeps for 6 months, or 1 year in the refrigerator.

I could not source eucalyptus leaves so i used 10 drops of essential oil.

There you go Matron , that’s your answer no Turmeric in there, it might look yellow , but it’s actually bright bright green.

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