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Sunday, 17 April 2016


Fermenting food is on trend right now, and I’m relatively new to it. I’ve been making Kombucha (fermented sweet tea) and milk kefir (fermented raw organic jersey milk) for about a year. Why? Because they’re so darned good for you, especially if you are trying to “heal the gut” as its so delicately called. Whilst in the West we are feeling the effects of too much processed food, we have mostly forgotten old ways of processing food, practiced for hundreds of years (home made wines, sourdough bread, ginger ale, cider, unpasteurised cheese).

This is why I’m starting the day wiping bright orange brine off the utility room walls. Opening my first attempt at Kimchi (a hot Korean ferment of cabbage, hot peppers, carrots and garlic) means encountering her full feistiness as she launches forth, creating a Jackson Pollock over an impressive distance, in about a second flat. My milk kefir is like a delicate tangy thin milky yogurt. I was glad to have her on hand when first trying the kimchi. An instantly more-ish addictive flavour, but searingly hot! Racing to the fridge, I plunged my tongue into the kefir and disappeared in the hot steam rising. 


Alive food. Very alive. With whole townships of beneficial yeasts and bacteria willing to help us humans restore our downtrodden guts, in return for a warm home with walls for artistic expression (preferably newly decorated). Bacteria are going to save the planet and us. Already learning how to digest plastic for food, biofilms will be the ones to mop up the toxicity we created. And Japanese knotweed (removes copper from contaminated soils) star of soil remediation plants, nettles too of course.

What started as something to help me heal autoimmune hypothyroidism and the concomitant chronic fatigue etc (I’m forcing myself to identify myself this way here y’ doesn’t come naturally) has led to a new fascination with fermenting. Disliking labels, but wanting to be honest, for whatever reason (karmic, past life, emotional, spiritual, antibiotic led, mercury toxic, gut dysbiotic) I’ve been ill. In some ways there’s no point looking for why, except to touch briefly into it, lift out what may help and do that. The task to re find my instinct and follow her. 

Fortunately I’m not working, so I can Focus on this healing, and learning to weave gently with it, let it flow towards me, not march out and try to wrestle it down. As with Magical Horse, any attempt to push and shove doesn’t work. The more alarmed I become when really unwell, the more I’m apt to research, then purchase an array of supplements, to which my body simply digs its heels in, like the mare. I could start a health food shop with the stuff out the back, thrust back in boxes, in deep frustration. 

So, a gentle rhythm has emerged, which means necking some kombucha with warm water first thing, followed by whizzing raw organic jersey whey powder in rice milk, then a wonderful wander in the garden with big basket gathering fresh nettle tops and cleavers to juice with organic beetroot and some organic apple juice (this whole shebang supports the liver and gut). I have a deep love relationship with Mother Nettle, who took me in eight years ago, long into my work as a herbalist and has been teaching me ever since. I always ask the plants every morning before picking them, however “established” my relationship with them, thank them, and ask them to heal me. That last bit has been the hardest, asking, asking for me. But its getting easier. 

This all topped off with milk kefir....then breakfast.

I’m getting better, the sun is shining on me, and nature is healing me in the way my body finds acceptable. Whoever you are, whatever you need, for whatever healing you are seeking, I send you blessings for the journey. 




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