Hoping that RWT members are helping get rid of the invasive Himalayan Balsam all along the upper Waveney and its tributaries, here's an incentive for those who like to make wine!
How to make Himalayan Balsam Wine
Created on 29/07/2016
Did you know that Himalayan balsam is edible?
Whilst the whole plant is non-toxic, the seeds and the petals can actually be quite useful in the kitchen. They can be eaten raw, and the seeds are good if added to a curry (apparently they have been eaten in India for hundreds of years). The seeds can also be toasted and ground up to form a peanut butter substitute (handy if you are allergic to peanuts). And the best use we have found for the petals is making home made wine!
If you are spending some time "Balsam Bashing" this summer – why not take along a plastic bag and fill it full of petals to take home.
Himalayan Balsam Wine
Ingredients - makes 1 gallon
2 pints (1 litre) of Himalayan balsam petals (no green bits)
Juice and zest of 2 large lemons
1 kg sugar
250g chopped raisins or a small bottle (220g) concentrated grape juice (available from home brew stores)
1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon general purpose wine yeast
Fermentation - 6-12 months
Pour boiling water (enough to cover) over the petals (and chopped raisins, if using) in a fermenting bin and add 1kg sugar, plus the lemon juice and zest.
Add the yeast and yeast nutrient when cool and leave to ferment for approximately 2 days.
Strain into a 1 gallon demijohn and add the grape juice (if using). Top up with cold boiled water. Add an airlock and wait for fermentation to take place. This could take 3 months or so.
When the fermentation has finished and the wine is clear, rack into a clean demijohn (using a syphon tube with a sediment trap to avoid disturbing the sediment at the bottom).
After another three months or so the wine will be ready to be bottled. It is likely to improve if left for a further 6 months before drinking, so you can be enjoying the previous year’s produce as a well earned treat after a day spent pulling up more Himalayan Balsam the following summer!
Cautionary Note: If picking the seeds or the petals after the seeds have developed, please make sure that you don’t spread this invasive plant by dropping seeds in any new locations on your way home (and make sure any that you put in your compost bin have rotted down well before adding, otherwise you may have a new Himalayan balsam colony to tackle!)
Disclaimer: The RWT and IWA accept no responsibility for the taste... Please drink responsibly.
Chicken invaders at RWSC! All to be auctioned on 21 August - see events
Welcome to the River Waveney Trust
Over 30 artists are exhibiting work in the beautiful riverside site of water meadows and woodland at the River Waveney Study centre. Following the huge success of last year’s event more than 40 new sculptures and installations will form a trail around the River Waveney Trust site.
Curator Dulcie Humphrey has encouraged artists to create work in response to the 24-acre site, or submit existing work that complements the unique setting. Established and highly-regarded artists such as Bridget Heriz, Vanessa Pooley, Mark Goldsworthy, Ros Newman, Michael Lewis and Patrick Elder will be joined by up-and-coming artists taking part for the first time.
Harleston & Waveney Art Trail have also filled the tearoom gallery with works from their local artists. So, a real feast for lovers of two- and three-dimensional art! Most work is for sale.
The tearoom and shop will be open. Opening times are 10 - 4 on Fridays to Sundays plus Bank Holiday Monday from 12 August to 4 September.
The River Waveney Trust is a charity formed from the River Waveney Association founded in March 2012. We are part of the national Rivers Trust movement. We have 5 local groups in Diss, Harleston, Bungay, Beccles and Lowestoft/Oulton Broad. Members are welcome to join their local group who deliver projects, run working parties and social events.
This website gives news of the people, organisations, plans and activities that are engaged with our exciting and fast-growing Trust.
The Trust and its members care for the river, its ecology, water quality and environment guided by our local Catchment Plan. We place a big emphasis on education and working with our local communities. The Trust has long term partnerships with the statutory bodies which have a responsibility for the river.
The Trust has a magnificent headquarters at the River Waveney Study Centre at Earsham (the old Otter Trust). Here we deliver courses and educational events. The Centre is open for hiring and is used widely by local groups, environmental organisations and runs events for farmers, students and all involved in the catchment.
You are invited to join the Trust via the "Join Group" button on this website. There is a modest annual subscription donation of £7.50 on which we claim GiftAid. In return for joining you will be kept in touch with all that matters on the Waveney.
Please browse this site - we hope you'll find plenty of interest! Any improvements or additions you feel you can contribute, please email us via the link below.
We are very grateful to all the photographers, artists, writers who have given us permissions to use their work on this website.