Dopeheads the world over are celebrating their victory over The Man; Cannabis is being decriminalised in more and more places, and in South Africa, the police have been told to leave ‘personal use’ growers be. The limits of this new freedom is sure to be tested in the next few growing seasons. From the GREENPETS viewpoint, the average grower has two serious considerations before starting that plantation:

  1. If it leaves your premises, you are dealing. If people pay to come visit you, you are dealing. If you extract any direct financial benefit from your plantation, you are likely to be treated by the law as a dealer. You do not want The Law to treat you as a dealer, trust us on this one.
  2. If you allow kids access to your cannabis at any time during the entire seed-plant-dope lifecycle, you are likely to have your ears nailed to your ass, and deservedly so. GREENPETS strictly discourages adventures in psychotropics before the age of twenty-one, we would raise the legal drinking age if only we could. For this discussion, we assume an age of 18 as the cut-off, but would really prefer 21.

On the other hand, you may join most armies at sixteen…  my grandma got married at thirteen, I believe. But seriously, ganja growers have a serious problem on their hands now...

1. Get yourself some sugar concentrate going.
2. Sterilise it. Keep it sterile from here on.
3. Add hops to taste. Other flavours maybe.
4. Cool raw beer down to 20
°C as quick as possible
5. Add yeast and close fermenter against infection
6. Wait a few days until all signs of life cease
7. Prepare for drinking by bottling or casking
8. Drink and enjoy a job well done
 

You want it to be more complex? Don't ask for trouble trying to make it complex, spend your energy and money on HYGIENE. Hygiene is your friend. Infections are your arch enemy. There are horrible things in the air we breathe, you certainly find out about them when you learn brewing! KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN. This includes your equipment, your workspace, your tools and yourself. 

Of course there is some details to fill in above, for which I will provide cheap-to-load detailed articles. For now, here are the same steps in BREWERS' TERMINOLOGY:

 Uhm, uh, here’s the thing; what herbs work for what? The field of medicine is rather, uhm, factionist. Each faction believes itself to hold the ultimate truth, and some factions even go so far as to persecute anyone with a differing opinion. Much like those religions that seem to have developed in and around the Middle East, Jerusalem particularly. Fascism is part of life, so we shall not judge. The point is, whatever I tell you about the workings of any sort of medication, might be totally wrong, it will greatly differ from most major dogmas, and I can be prosecuted, for I am not one of the Anointed. Persecution, on the other hand, is not the badge of honour, or the ‘informal’ qualification that some people think it is. Some people are called out for their views, and because they have little or no backup, they shall always shout ‘Persecution, I am right and you fear me, now you try destroy my life’s work.’ That is bull, most of the time. It does happen, though, but not very often, the average peddler of miracle cures usually is a charlatan out to get your money. There are exceptions, not many. What's our miracle cure, then?

WARNING: The information supplied here is for identification of common garden weeds. No-one should try replace or augment a doctor-prescribed medical course with a few helpings of herbs. There is no such thing as a dose of herbs. Only a qualified and experienced herbal doctor can prescribe you a dose of herbs, but those kind of doctors are very scarce in any country where Privatised health care is a thing. For the rest of us, with an interest in keeping healthy without being poisoned, herbalism is a lifestyle. Either you take medication for every ache and pain, or you denounce your role as experimental chemistry set, and try Natural Living, which is nothing more than to take responsibility for what you put into your mouth, nose and skin.

LET YOUR FOOD BE YOUR MEDICINE, AND YOUR MEDICINE BE YOUR FOOD


These are the plants we grow and use. The list is far from complete, but it contains only plants we grow, and use, and can vouch for. Some may strike you as familiar, many of them you may call weeds. Some are just useful for existing, like the sisal swordballs we plant along the fences to keep large animals off the yard. They feed the bees, supply nesting stumps for birds and you can make rope too. If that is not a useful herb, then at least call it medicine for peace of mind. I sleep better knowing no-one will get over my fence without crying out in pain.

We will keep adding to this collection of herbs. The photos are all from our own plants grown in our own garden. Some things we do not have photos of yet, like potatos. Yes, there is a good picture of a potato plant, but i did not take photos of the ones i planted, so i have to wait for harvest to upload an honest photo. For now, I drew you one just to have something there. Yes, yes, i could open a bag and photograph an onion, but that would not be a GREENPETS onion. Whatever we have in the Herbal, we can give you, even if we have to propagate for you especially. We have managed to aclimatise a number of exotics to the dry coldness of our area, an alternative to pampered potted pansies. GREENPETS, not greehouse. Greenhouses are the criminal penitentiaries of the plant world, free the weed!

Below is a long list of icons, with names and quick ideas of how to use it. The details are in the article you will find by opening the herb's particular read-more. We are also building an identification application to make it easier for you to identify plants you have. Sometimes the difference between a useful medicine and a useful poison is a few hairs under a seed pod. We will not even attempt doing fungi yet, the dangers of missing information are just too high.

For now, the pictures will help with identification, the paperwork is in the...uh...post?  Now read on, fellow traveller on the road to pharmaceutical ignorance, soon you too will look blank when people start swopping pain tablets in the office. Now go drink some clean water, that headache will diminish soon. or have you been eating junk again?

8 March 2018, and the radio announcer tells me to clean out all processed meat and chicken products from my fridge, and return it to my nearest supermarket for a full, no-proof-needed refund. My first reaction was to wonder how much this will cost me in fraudulent tax subsidy claims. I also spent a moment smiling sarcastically at the wide geographic distribution of the processing plants fingered as being infected with Listeriosis bacteria. Granted, I never heard of this bacterium before, but something seems odd, almost like industrial sabotage, until you see the really big names involved: Enterprise and Rainbow, grand old dames of South African processed meats. I have since been informed smaller guys are also implicated. This suddenly makes the story conform to Protocol, let me pontificate:

Listeriosis is a bacterium, the chances that it  suddenly erupts over a wide geographical area leads one to suspect one of two things are happening: A specialist bacterium is being spread by some vector that has wide but specific distribution in a short time span. This may or may not be deliberate; the first assumption is that all facilities used the same contaminated ingredient. Because tests conducted over a wide area show contamination on various sites, it could also be that this bacterium is actually quite common, and could be found anywhere if you look hard enough. Both these scenarios require an underlying disinformation campaign, requiring not only that I take part in refunding millions of polony loafs even though I preach against that rubbish every day, but it also requires that we punish the perpetrating producers severely.

I am all for making every CEO of every sausage factory eat his own drek, but I am not in favour of closing businesses down on fabricated evidence, the way our chicken farms are being destroyed by the myth of bird flu. Remember that the Paranoid Goy is not a conspiracy theorist, this is not some faceless ‘Them’ knifing us in the back. This whole Listeriosis thing fits in perfectly well with the globalist agenda, it is not a conspiracy, it is just good business. South Africa has a long and proud agricultural heritage. To a Zulu, a cow is his hedge fund, a Xhosa can make sorghum grow on the moon, the very name ‘Boer’ is derived from the pride in farming well. The ‘Thems’ are trying their best to revive the old tribal and territorial wars, very often using the ownership of farming land as a political football. One would think that, in a modern world where Capitalism won the Cold War, that property ownership has to reign supreme, and it does, but here it gets weird:

The current debate over land ownership has nothing to do with racism, racism is merely the easiest tool a scoundrel can pick up anywhere. The land taken from ‘white supremacists’ will not be given to the poor and downtrodden emerging black farmers, it will be given to the Mines. Right outside my door, I look across the road at the most beautiful stretch of grazing you could imagine. Easier to imagine is ploughing (or not) that beautiful piece of farm and plant food. Sometimes, you can see a beautiful herd of cattle, gorgeous indigenous Nguni cattle, grazing lazily. Lately, this causes the owner to come rushing with a load of help to get them off the mine’s land, before the security guards go Vietnam on their hides again. Millions of hectares of perfectly arable land in South Africa is left vacant, because the mines refuse above-ground access to land with one far-off entrance to a perfectly secure mine two miles underneath. It’s not like the sheep will chew yer bleeding gold! But here lies the clue to the recent Listeriosis ‘outbreak’: they are clearing the land!

You see, dear reader, the Global Village is a wonderful place, where everyone lives happy and secure. In the Global Village, there is place for only one factory, one farm, one beauty parlour, one school, one Church, one God. As we all know, the factory is in China. The chocolates and fashion means nothing if it is not from Paris or London, Brussels or Poopaloopischtaden in Europe, the mines are in Africa, Australia and South America. The Farm is in North America. All your food shall be grown in America, your devices are made in China, we Africans will become miners or dance half naked for the tourists. At least our children will not die of hunger without their own farms, oh no, the masters of our new Global Village has long ago decided they want less than one billion people on earth. The ‘richest man on earth’ is going around saving the poor with ‘free’ vaccines, but he wants no more than 300 million people on earth. 300 million is less than 5% current population, he wants to kill off 7 Billion, SEVEN BILLION of us so he can feel secure and happy in the Global Village. His farm is in America, and  our chickens all have The Flu, and our factories are dangerously infected.

In my innermost paranoid heart, the least I suspect about this ‘epidemic’? Most of our meat already comes from America, after our wonderful government signed TTP, so did these guys import the same ‘mechanically separated meat’ from America? Just a wild guess, because all other scenarios tell me the whole thing is a lie to destroy our farms and factories as outlined in the text above. As a holist practitioner of autotherapeutics or something, I must also wonder: I have seen the reaction some people show the first time they overdose on MSG, is this not maybe an allergic reaction to substances the Americans consider edible, but has been banned or limited around here? The Great Pooping seems a clue…

Update 13 March 2018

As speculated above, it seems the polony casings were infected. Marks for the ‘single source’ theory. Does this explain anything? Nothing! How do you infect a long roll of plastic so badly? An entire batch of plastic wrapper, even? Listeriosis in a plastics factory? And where is this factory? Tiger milling (a monopoly player) has seen its share price drop, although it has been doing so for a while. They are a virtual monopoly, with interlocked shareholding in our entire food chain, so I expected them to become the chief importers from Farm USA, is this the first shot in a trade war? Watch this weird space to find out who the players will turn out to be. So far, apparently, they have killed 180 civilians.

Update 2020

Yawn. Being right is becoming so boring. PepsiCo now owns our food industry. That is part of the Monsatan group, I mean Bayer. The ones with Roundup and GMO's. The ones whose "Chief Evangelist" is Bill Gates. This is so dispiriting to me as a patriot, I cannot even gargle up some sarcastic commentary...

 

Sparging is an art. For all the hype about imported grains, your sparging technique is what will extract the needed maltose solution from your grains. This is probably the second-hardest part of brewing, extracting the maximum sugars from the grain, without ending up with barley soup. Every brewer does it differently, with different equipment. The cheapest sparger you can build yourself, is a cooler box at least three times as big as the volume of grain after grinding. A sieve arrangement of some sort at the bottom, and of course some sort of valve. This can be a stainless-steel dairy-type ball valve with complete dismantling capabilities, or a hosepipe fitting (sterile) and a meter of hosepipe (STERILE) that you can lift above the liquid level inside the sparger…simple tap, costs almost nothing, easy to STERILISE. 

 

Your duty is now to warm water to 64 degrees Celsius. This is very important, and will seriously influence your ability to extract sugars. It will be necessary to measure the temperature of the mash constantly and keep circulating and heating your sparging water to obtain 64degrees in the mash. This is best done in a cooler box as it keeps the mash at temperature. Once you are certain your mash has reached 64°C, close the lid and leave for an hour. Rinse out the sparge liquor into a stainless steel pot.  You should now have a large pot of very sweet liquor. Take a long narrow glass or beaker, and cool some wort down to 20 degrees, check it with the hygrometer. It should bob high, much higher than the section marked as BEER START on the hygrometer scale. This first sparge is the best, but a lot more sugar can be rinsed from your mash Heat back up, without burning or boiling over, to 68 degrees, pour back onto mash. From here on it is your choice how hot you will take the sparge, but NEVER BEYOND 74 DEGREES. We do a leisurely three to four hours to complete our sparge. The entire sparging process revolves around ENZYMES. They are activated at 64 degrees, and die at 74 degrees. At every temperature in-between they act and react a bit differently, and by heating the mash in steps, a greater variety of sugars may be extracted.

 

 

 

 Glyphosate has been proven statistically safe in multiple studies. For this argument, it matters not who paid for those studies, who hid unflattering data, who destroyed evidence of toxicity… nothing of that really matters, because it is the carrot we donkeys are watching, while the wagonload of troubles is busy catching up with us on the downhill. We might as well stop the glyphosate argument, and start looking at what is hidden behind this fake controversy. Glyphosate is an active ingredient in Roundup; it is actively distracting us from the false labelling practices. 

I am not going to research specific legislation for this, I am deducing from the public evidence the construct of this farce:

 

Once you have extracted enough malt sugars, you need to boil it off. This is important for two reasons: STERILISATION is foremost. The second reason is to achieve PROTIEN BREAK. This is what makes beer different from, say, fermented barley soup. The two most basic tricks to make your boil successful, is NEVER LET IT BOIL OVER, and if you put a lid on it, IT WILL BOIL OVER.

 

 

 

 You will know when your liquor has finished boiling, by the fluffy algae-looking stuff floating in your precious beer. There are many ways to rid yourself of this gunk, but the most efficient seems to be the CYCLONE. I did not know about the CYCLONE until my bro’ Dirk showed me. Technology is a marvellous thing, especially when it is free. Once the liquor has stopped bubbling, you stir the pot, hard, like a cup of tea with too much sugar, you get that wort whirling, creating a fast circulating cyclone, and then you slip the spoon out. Put back the lid, and start getting your cooling stuff ready. Once you have yourself organised for cooling the wort, open the lid, and amaze yourself with the sight of all those oogly googlies that floated in your beer, all lying clumped up and easy to avoid, or to remove first, a heap of fluff in the centre of the pot’s bottom.

 I know this guy from Malawi. His dad passed away recently, leaving Kelvin as the tribal chief. Kelvin has control over an entire municipal district, he’s a major landowner with cattle and goats and cultivated fields. He works as a gardener in Johannesburg. We spent many an hour working side by side in the sun, listening to each other’s’ life stories. What I always wanted to know from Kelvin was: So what on earth are you doing here? The answer was always the same: “We are hungry”. The answer did not satisfy me, but that was what I always got. One day, I changed my tactic; I asked the question African way: 

If you are brewing in the kitchen using many pots, add HOPS only to the main pot. Simmer the hops for a few minutes, usually less than thirty minutes, sometimes as little as five. Your own preferences will prevail over time, but initially be warned; hops is a rather pungent, bitter and calming herb. Do not be too brave, regret is not a desirable additive to real beer. Here is what you do:

 

After you have achieved protein break, bring the wort down to a fast simmer. The liquid should stay moving, stirring itself slowly. The rough first guide to hopping is about one gram per litre, dried compressed pellets. That said, the previous statement is utter bull. It depends on the flavour you are aiming at, the bitterness, the shelf life. Another spanner in the works is the exact type of hops you use. Once again, you can spend ten bucks a gram on some famously imported variety that is secretly used by the best-selling American brand. Riiight. In the end, you can get started with dead normal hops your supplier breaks into small 25g packets. Worry about speciality ingredients once you manage to brew three normal beers in a row. Simmer the hops for five to twenty minutes. It depends on sugar content, temperature, quality of hops. You will learn. Start with twenty minutes, it will allow maximum hops influence, to learn what hops does to beer. Later you can adjust to taste.

 

The variegated variety is more prone to the formation of leaf cankers. Rumoured old cancer cure, grown for beer gruit.

Now you have to cool that wort down! Quickly. This is what the gurus call hot-side working. Every action you take here has some detrimental effect on your beer. You must get oxygen in there, without allowing germs. You have to cool it to 20 degrees as soon as possible, because anything warmer, and your yeast will not survive. The most dangerous time for your wort is between 48 and 24 degrees, the growth temperature range preferred by our enemy: faulty hygiene.

Once the hops has been infused to tatse, it is time to take off the heat. Here starts the most difficult part of brewing. It is not impossible, but you will want to spend your first non-essential funds here. You need to construct yourself a cooler. There are many, many ways, including sterilised ice cubes. Tried it, it worked, sort of. Swozzling the wort in a steel pot inside a basin filled with icewater does work, takes half a night for ten litres, and will almost assuredly end up in an infected, sour beer. Once you have your sterile, cool wort in your fermenter tank, you are ready to PITCH THE YEAST.

Our logo, the crazy chicken, has forefathers in our history of wort cooling. Happily, that was all before we built THE COOLER. Follow this link to see an instructable. Once we had a cooler, brewing became a pastime of leisure. It was always a pleasure, but once we had a cooler, there was time on brewing day for other pleasures as well, free time for the brewery labourers, you might say. The trick is to get that wort from 70-something degrees to twenty degrees as soon as possible. Remember this one thing: Get the wort cooled down to twenty degrees as soon as possible. WITHOUT INFECTING IT. Then PITCH. You know about pitching? That’s what brewers call the seriously ritualistic act of adding yeast to the wort. Now we are making beer! Read on to see about yeast and other lively little critters.

 

This is an old Cape remedy for all sorts. Of great value in birds' drinking water.

In olden days, people thought beer happened because of many strange beliefs. It was only recently some clever guy with a microscope realised that those lively little microbes there are eating sugar, farting carbon dioxide gas and peeing alcohol. Not angels, demons or spirits, just plain microscopic little creatures eating and breeding and living their life, and then we enjoy their excrement. Nice, eh? Granted, it is the excrement of a very particular species of microbug. This is very important: The excrement of whatsisname cervensis tastes like beer, whereas just about every other form of yeast, fungus or microbe gives of waste that does not taste like beer. As a matter of fact, the excrement of just about every single organism other than C.Cervensis tastes like…poop?

 

This is why it is utterly, unforgivingly, important to be sterile in your dealings with your beer. Very many commercial brewers have difficulty getting this right, that’s why their beers give you hangovers and headaches before you even go to sleep. How many beer drinkers won’t swear high and low that Charley’s Palace Lager tastes better in cans than dumpies, whereas Red Sticker Beer is best enjoyed in quart bottles? Usually, the cans and the bottles are from different locations, each with its own set of infections, and therefor even a multibillion-dollar company cannot make the same brand taste the same every time. Imagine how difficult it is going to be for you in your kitchen. TAKE CARE.

 

The yeast does all the work, and boy, do they work! One of the fun things about your first brew is the gurgling and snorting from your air trap. If your beer does not gurgle, you probably have a problem. DO NOT OPEN TO LOOK. If you open the fermenter, it will surely attract germs. The only way to check on the progress of your beer, is to tap some and measure the SPECIFIC GRAVITY. Be sure to watch your air trap, you don’t want to suck that water into your beer! Once you can reliably pitch successfully, tapping a sample becomes optional. Just wait two days after the bubbling stops. Bubbling means fermentation, no bubbling is a fair indication that fermentation has slowed down enough not to matter anymore. This does not mena your beer has fermented completely. The yeast could have been stopped by many factors. Temperature shock, infection, too high an alcohol content for the yeast to operate…

Yes, you read right, if the alcohol level rises too high, the yeast die. Remember, alcohol is nothing but yeast pee. Imagine living in your own pee! This only really happens when your SPECIFIC GRAVITY was too high at the start. Or rather, too high for the strain of yeast you use. There are Belgian strains, for example, world famous for their ability to produce beer of 10 percent and stronger. Most yeast will stop breeding around 5 to 7 percent. If you dream of brewing forty percent beer, maybe this is the time to come back to earth. But maybe, just maybe, you will stick with brewing long enough to apply yourself to ten or twelve percent beer, which tastes almost like whiskey, so strong it is. Go buy a Duvel for example.

 

All the promises the beauty industry make about Aloe Vera, are understated.

 

You have gone through the entire process now, and finally, after just about an entire week, you have beer. Actual beer, it will make you drunk just like Charley’s Palace brew, and if you worked cleanly and hygienically, it will actually taste cleaner, cause less hangover, and should not cause any health problems associated with infected beer such as Charley’s. It is, however, not exactly classy. If you were lucky and diligent, it should be more or less clear with minimal sediment. It will, however, be almost totally flat. Fear not, we fix that chop-chop.

 

First, we line up enough empty, clean and sterilised bottles for our beer. How many bottles? That depends on how much beer you have, divided by the LITRE capacity of your bottles. Eighteen litres and 330ml bottles means 18/0,33 = 55 dumpies. Because of sedimentation, we’d rather use 36 bottles of 500ml, or our favourite, 660ml bottles, and we usually fill around two crates and four spares. Two for the museum, and two for sampling when we lose patience waiting. That leaves one case for each of us two brewing buddies. As a final precaution, we use a small steam cleaner with a longer nozzle that fits right to the bottom of our bottles. This is how it goes:

 

Line up six empty bottles. Get the steamer (and everything else) lined up.

 

Put enough new crowns, plus a few spares for fumbling loss, into a bowl of boiling water.

 

Sterilise some honey. We gladly endorse Goldcrest, they are clean, pure, not irradiated. Mix 10ml per liter of beer, with equal amount boiling water in a sterilised cup. Prepare a clean, sterile syringe, the bigger the better. Mark it in 6ml steps for 660ml bottles, more or less, and just to confuse the issue, 10ml honey + 10ml water is not 20ml syrup. It’s a lot less! Stick to six mil, it is safe. Exploded beer tastes like failure and dust. Keep the marked syringe by the honey.

 

Put your fermenter where it is easy to work cleanly, like the kitchen table top. On the one side of the fermenter, must be space to work with the honey and six bottles. On the other side, place to work with one bottle, the bowl of crown caps, and the bottle capper. You want a sturdy table, that you can work on with some force in your arms. Capping the bottles can be difficult if you are too short, tall or uneven in your arrangements for this. Expect to waste some caps and bottles (with their contents) before you master this particular job. Save some money, and cap some water first. NOT ALL BOTTLES ARE REUSABLE. Not all bottles can be sealed using the normally available crimpers.

 

Right, now the dance starts:

Grab bottle, turn upside down, blast out with steam. Hand over.

Pump syringe 6ml honey syrup into bottle. Hand over

Open fermenter tap when drain pipe is at bottom of bottle to prevent splashing. Fill, hand over.

Take cap from hot tub, set on bottle, crimp. Put into crate.

 

Repeat above until the fermenter starts running yeast instead of beer.If it was a good brew, this yeast may be IMMEDIATELY REUSED. Look out for infections!

 

Honey dissolves water, so no stirring is needed for the beer once bottled. Age appropriately.

 

This is how to do the secondary fermentation and ageing and presentation al in one step. You end up with a clean, frothy, bubbly beer in a bottle, best enjoyed from a glass. Different beers actually taste different in differently shaped glasses. See this link for info on PROPER BEER GLASSES. The traditional German mug with the flare at the bottom is a very good compromise, especially if your beer is still a bit murky.

 

This plant is in the Eat-the-Weeds category. Available for free on a roadside near you.

 

Beans, beans, what a wonderful fruit...

This is available through most of the growing season.

This really is where Granma got her horrid medicine from.

Good fodder, also for bees. The greens can be used as spinach.

This family of poisonous weeds were introduced as decorative shrubs.

This herb has fallen into disrepute, or is that new-found fame?

This is the Echinacea tea they sell for immune protection. It works.

Valuable bitter tea for stomach and cacexia

As close to extra-terrestrial as it gets around here.

Dandelion is more valuable than any dietary supplement anywhere.

Good fodder for many animals, including Dragons

In Europe the flowers and berries are commonly eaten

 

Eat it, boil it, preserve it. Biblical.

add to tea, water and drinks. flies.

This delicious fruit is considered an invader in many gardens

I will find out what the real name is, but the fruit have a sweet purple pulp I want to brew with

This is a useful tree to have around

 

 

Good for ladies' tea and a bitter tonic

One of the ancient Magical four. Every garden must have some

Bitter and fencing

We are not talking about GMO Frankenfood here...

Fodder for man beast bird and salad too

A good pot of Marog beats Spinach any day

The list of herbs at Greenpets. Identification and Propagation or at least how to keep it alive in Gauteng.

Right or wrong, good or bad, we have to eat. Everyone has to eat, and we are what we eat. Commentary and suggestions on important nutritional news.

The art of brewing, distilling and hydration of the body with the products thereof.