Brewing with the Seasons - Billy Trenerry.

Posted by Jack's Kombucha on

The transition of seasons, means a change in scent, feeling, energy and emotion. As the temperatures start to drop in Cornwall our fermentation room stays at a constant 26˚C. Our cozy, snug, tucked up kombucha luxuriates in a temperature that sees no seasonal change. A select batch may well be chosen to experience a taste of the season with the introduction of local produce, be it farmed or foraged!

Working in the food industry, it is critical that we are connected with what grows in our local area and when. It is our responsibility to be mindful in our ingredient selection, for sustainability, nutrition and flavour. I don’t see this as a challenge, it’s a blessing. We get the chance to work with and infuse our Kombucha with some of the best seasonal produce available. Cornwall holds some of the UK’s best producers and we’re so excited to work along side these talented experts to create some quality Kombucha concoctions.

Alongside our regular flavour line, our goal is to keep experimenting with different ingredients. We need to feed our creative sides and wet the appetite for those of you seeking a new kombucha experience.

Billy sorting delicious berries

One of my many passions is foraging. I love getting out into the open, clearing my mind, getting dirty, learning and of course finding some of the freshest foods for free.

This year has been a fun journey, experimenting with wild foods and kombucha. From meadow sweet and wild cherries in early summer to elderberries and hogweed seed in autumn. The larder that our countryside offers is both delicious and healthy. Foraging wild foods is also good for the soul, with its entanglement with adventure.

A day's foraging can be very productive

Not every blended batch has worked out. It makes me smile to think back to an overpowering brew infused with fig leaf. I used way too much, and the heady coconut flavour that the fig leaf imparts, just didn’t work. I remember in the past having a coconut and orange tea and thinking it was disgusting, maybe I should have learned from that experience. Oh well, something to work on.

As well as using wild foods in our seasonal specials, we want to showcase some of the amazing produce grown by local farmers in Cornwall. My friends, Sarah and Andrew creators of Rose Valley Farm, grow the most beautiful flowers in sync with nature. Walking through the wooden gate into their land is like a trip to Eden. The smells, the colours and the feeling of peace, is something special.

I was walking through the lines of flowers back in June, just being led by my nose. I was totally enraptured by the scent of yarrow. The plants that Sarah had grown where so much more scented that it’s wild sister.

A meadow of wild yarrow

With a name like Rose Valley, it would be a crime not to grow roses. Thankfully, they don’t disappoint. I can’t help but put my nose to a rose head and hope for that classic English garden smell. When they’re good, wow, I can’t get enough of that smell. Sarah and Andrew grow some beautiful specimens and only a 10-minute walk from our brew house. Having access to produce like this to create seasonal kombucha flavours is a true delight.

rose valley organic flowers grown in Cornwall

If you’re a conscious consumer and fancy filling your vase with organic flowers grown in Cornwall, rather than Europe, check them out!  http://www.rosevalleyfarmflowers.com/about-us.html 

Lastly, I’d love to introduce you guys into my summer project…

Yes, I’ve been growing ginger in Cornwall. It’s funny how things work out sometimes. back in spring I had a bunch of ginger roots that had started to grow green eyes. I did some research and decided to give it a go. Ginger is obviously a tropical crop and has a long growing period, so I wasn’t too sure how it would go. I was delighted to see the shoots burst through the soil after several weeks.

Billy's home-grown ginger

I’ve always been into growing fruits and veggies. The taste of homegrown sweetcorn as a kid had me hooked. The ginger became an extended member of my family. I watched it’s growth with fascination and hope. The potted ginger lived very happily outside over the summer and then moved indoors part way into autumn. It’s still growing now, and hopefully will be ready to harvest soon.

Ginger is one of our Kombucha flavour lines. It works so well and is so refreshing. I’m on a bit of a mission to see if we can grow to our needs or find someone to commission the ginger growing here in Cornwall. Fingers crossed.

So, using wild foods and local seasonal ingredients is good hey. Our current global food system isn’t sustainable and we take our responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint very seriously. The good news for you guys, is that you can take a sip of Jack’s Kombucha knowing that the ingredients used are connected to real stories, sustainably sourced, full of goodness and made with love.

Enjoy the seasons

Billy xx

 

Billy Trenerry Written by brew boffin Billy. When he’s not whispering sweet nothings to the fermenters, he loves spending time with his family in his hometown Falmouth, foraging around the local countryside and getting his dose of Cornish vitamin sea.

 


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