How I Got Started

I started Butterfly gardening many years ago. My yard has been a progression over the years, and has made many transformations. Twenty years ago I experienced Hurricane Andrew. My yard and house were destroyed. We decided not to replace the pool screening and open up the backyard and put in some landscaping. That was the official beginning of my love for gardening in South Florida. I added a beautiful water garden years ago, and have been adding host and larvae plants for pollinators, mostly for the butterfly, for as many years as I can remember. I had my yard certified as a Natural Habitat, through the National Wildlife Foundation. To have a natural habitat you need to provide and meet certain requirements: 1. Provide a food source, 2. Provide a water source, 3. Cover, 4. A place to raise young. I try not to use any pesticides in my yard. I vermicompost and recycle as many of my food scraps as possible. If I had more land I would have a huge compost bin to recycle all my yard cuttings. Basically, I try to lessen my carbon footprint on this earth. In my own little world or backyard I try to provide an ecosystem in my water garden, provide birdbaths, birdfeeders, hummingbird nectar sources, feeders, puddling areas, host plants and nectar plants for butterflies and other pollinators. I am hoping to raise everyone’s awareness of the importance of saving our Butterflies, Blooms & Bees. Without them our world and food source will be in trouble. I hope you all enjoy my journey. I am not a Master Gardener, or Master Beekeeper, an Entomologist, or Journalists. I am simply a Backyard Gardener who is trying to lessen her Carbon Footprint of this Earth.

I hope you enjoy my blogs.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Mango Wine and Mango Ginger Melomel

Besides being busy and totally consumed with soap making I have also finished bottling the mango wine that has been fermenting over the last year. The wine turned out beautiful, very floral to the taste with mango undertones. We back sweetened the wine before we bottled it, the final specific gravity was 1.002 (very dry), 1.008 (medium) and 1.012 sweet. I prefer the sweeter version and find it very refreshing. I have enjoyed several bottles and have given several to family and friends.

My husband and I also bottled the Ancient Orange Mead which also turned out very good. I love my labels.

Last Sunday we made a Melomel which is Mead made with fruit. We decided on Mango Ginger. I have frozen mangos from my yard. I used approximately 12 lbs of mango and 15 lbs of honey from my hives and fresh ginger. Right now we are having a little bit of difficulty with the fermentation and questioning the original specific gravity. I added a little more honey today. Hopefully it will turn out ok.

When making wine or mead patience is a definitely a virtue, this fermentation process takes time sometimes up to a year.
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