Gardening

Cultivating grasses and plants changed our nomadic lifestyle to develop present day urban vertical farming, home-gardens and ultra modern hydroponic systems. For beer brewers our gardens are certainly connected to our brewing in some way, from growing hops, barley or wheat to wonderful home grown spices, such as coriander, dill, chilli and much more...

I'm blessed with a large mountainous woodland and lake district literally on my doorstep. I've come to think of it as my extended garden with natural treasures. I spend many hours foraging mushrooms,  picking blueberries and other delights that would be impossible to cultivate in the house garden even if I wanted.

Foraging for chanterelle mushrooms has been a favourite pastime of mine for years and this year is no exception. I say chanterelle mushroom but technically it's a fungus called Cantharellus cibarius. Chanterelle is a popular mushroom to pick and it grows in many parts of the world, Europe, Australia, North America, North Africa, the Himalayas, Thailand and others.        

Chanterelle mushrooms are rich in key nutrients and vitamins

Protein, copper, potassium, zinc and selenium, B1, B6, B9 and B12

Occasionally my husband and I make a thermos of coffee a couple of sandwiches and spend a morning or afternoon foraging for our favourite Chanterelle. Weather permitting we also come prepared for a dip in the local lake which in the middle of August 2016, is a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius.



Chanterelle foraged by lake Bergsjön, Gothenburg, Sweden

This beautiful late summers day in August 2016 it was not hard to find chanterelles around the lake and surrounding woodlands.


Preparing wedding anniversary Chanterelle mushroom breakfast

The pay-off for taking time out foraging is an extra special wedding anniversary breakfast with chanterelle, poached eggs, black caviar on toast together with a small glass of champagne. 


One little Chanterelle. Usually found in groups

Sometimes you'll find one but it's more usual to find them growing together under trees and moist mossy areas. .


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Slug eating garden lettuce leaf

Counterattacking garden slug invasions

Slugs can get out-of-hand and cause considerable damage to garden crops. They're pretty choosy too and seem to eat the best lettuces, young bean shoots, radishes, garden flowers and much more.

To get an idea of the extent of the slug issue, indigenous black slugs lay up to 200 eggs each whilst the dreaded cannibal Spanish breed lay twice as many eggs which is around 400 eggs each. Experts estimate on average one square meter of garden contains 200 slugs which equates to a whopping 20.000 slugs in an average sized garden. Mild winters and wet summers are ideal conditions for slugs to breed and without intervention the slug population and devastation they cause will be catastrophic.   

Well, just in case you didn’t know there’s a solution that works quite well. As it turns out, slugs being choosy, they’re also partial to beer!

How do we know? Well, seeing is believing.

Try the following for yourself and wonder at the results.