Kick starting your own Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

In the past, I’ve written a little about the various ways of making your own ACV. As it’s a popular topic of discussion in workshops, I thought I’d go over a super basic way to start your own for free again. Apple Cider Vinegar is a simple to make kitchen ferment that is one of the ferments covered in detail on our fermentation page.

I had some leftover apple cores and bits and pieces from my drying preparation today. The apples from our own tree, it’s too early for that. I’d bought a bunch from the local grocery store. I was thinking ‘shall I feed them to the chickens or to the worms or put them into the Bokashi bin‘?

All of those were great ideas but they meant that the apples only got 2 uses. I thought, can I get an extra use out of them befits they go out? The answer was diy Apple Cider Vinegar! Dried Apples, ACV and then feed the leftovers to the critters…3 uses, that’s got to be pretty good!

So here’s the ultra complicated way to make your own ACV –

Apple pieces and water are all it takes.
Apple pieces and water are all it takes.
  • Put your bits in a jar and cover them with water.
  • Put something on them to keep them below the surface of the water  I’m using a scrunched up bit of cling-wrap (washed and reused, of course). You can remove that after a couple of days.
  • Cover the whole thing with some cheesecloth or net to keep the bugs out.
Put something on top to press the apple pieces under the water.
Put something on top to press the apple pieces under the water.
Leave covered for a few days
Leave covered for a few days
  • Put it somewhere warm and out of full sunlight.
  • It’ll ferment, and bubble and a rubbery layer will form over the surface. That’s the Mother and is a colony of microbes and yeasty things that convert Apple juice to vinegar.
  • When you see that, leave the jar for a few more days and taste until the taste is gloriously vinegary!
  • Keep the Mother aside in a little of the vinegar. When you next get some apple juice , add the Mother to some and viola! You’re making your own vinegar!
A growing Mother.
A growing Mother.

Thinking in Ligaya Garden #1

This little Bee is a type that I haven't noticed here before. Hooray!
This little Bee is a type that I haven’t noticed here before. Hooray!

Now that the garden is pretty well finished and moving toward some form of maturity, I have lots of time to sit, think and observe and I’ll share some of these thoughts and observations with you from time to time.

I love finding new critters in the garden. Every one that says ‘hi’ means a new aspect in the net of diversity that I’ve established at Ligaya Garden and adds to the resilience of the ecosystem and that’s got to be good!

Every new critter I see reassures me that there’s one less species gone extinct out there in the big world…

When designing anything in life, I tend to dwell on Indra’s Net, even for something as elaborate as a garden. Indra’s Net is a concept I borrowed from Hinduism and is represented by an cosmic net where each knot is a gemstone that reflects every other gemstone in the net.

Taken further  one can look at the gemstones or the strands of the net themselves. It’s all about connection whichever way you look at it.

It’s easy to apply this to gardening, just think that everything that you plant or build must relate to other plants and structures (and yourself of course). Everything must influence, if not everything else, then as many things as you can allow it to influence.

An Assassin Bug is a welcome friend.
An Assassin Bug is a welcome friend.

‘How will this plant affect the soil’?
‘Will this tree affect the neighbours’?
‘Does this doing this positively affect plants around it?
‘Will this one feed birds and insects’?

I probably couldn’t do this on a farm scale block but in a little place like igaya Garden,  it’s pretty easy with a bit of practice.

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