Cheap White Grape Juice ‘Champagne’: A Recipe by Ooch

“This will do in a pinch”- Dad

“Actually drinkable”- Friend

The rave reviews are unanimous, my Welch’s white grape wine is a hit. Sorta.

But hey, it costs like $4/ litre to make TOPS, so accept it for what it is. You can make wine out of anything, something I discovered before I was even old enough to be drinking wine. Carrots bubbling away with white sugar in a crock. Yes, carrots, so trust me when I say that I know first hand that this Concord champagne is not as bad as home-brew gets. Its actually kinda good, in a Baby Duck kind of way.


This recipe is a bit more Meth Lab than Martha Stewart, but bear with me.


You will need:

  • 2 tins of white concord grape juice concentrate, thawed
  • non-chlorinated water
  • 1/4 t. Champagne yeast (Available at most brew shops) or bread yeast if you don’t mind off tastes
  • 1 T. white sugar
  • 2L soda bottle with lid
  • Plastic wrap


Start by cleaning the empty bottle REALLY well. Use bleach or vinegar, just get the nasties outta there. Add the concentrated juice and fill with water up to 2 inches below the top of the bottle. Now add your yeast and give a serious shake. Remove the bottle cap and cover the mouth of the bottle with plastic wrap and poke the tiniest hole you can in the wrap. Set this on a plate to catch any spillage and put in a warm, dark place for about 2 weeks, until the bubbling stops.

Now we have like a grey sludge wine. This is good. Now, we have to make it bubbly and clear.

Add your sugar to the mix and tightly fasten the cap. Leave for 24 hours MAX, but watch it closely. It will build up a huge amount of pressure and carbonate. When you are ready to clarify, place the bottle in an undisturbed section of your refrigerator for 2 days, preferably a week.

And there you have it! Bubbly, dry, fruity ‘champagne’, ‘cava’, ‘prosecco’, stuff.

Do be careful not to disturb the bottle when pouring, as it has sediment on the bottom. Enjoy cold within a month.


Happy Brewing




Peyote Cactus From Seed

PeyoteHere in Canada we have laws that allow us to grow the beautiful Peyote cactus L. williamsii. From seed they are so easy to grow, all you need is patience and saran wrap.

No funny business, here is how you grow Peyote at home from seed.

  1. Buy some seeds online, they are super cheap and really available.
  2. Fill a pot with cactus soil and press down gently to 1″ from the top of the soil.
  3. Sprinkle many peyote seeds over the soil and MIST WELL.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and place in filtered light. GERMINATION IN 1-3 WEEKS.
  6. At 6 months of age, begin to poke one toothpick hole per week in the plastic wrap. Continue to do this for 4 months, then remove the wrap and put the pot in shade to adjust for a week before reintroducing to moderate light.
  7. Do not consume the peyote cactus, you’ll trip balls.




How To Grow More Herbs Than You Will Ever Need By Cloning

basil-iStock_84310823_XXXLARGELike fresh basil? Need More?

Everyone has seed those herb plants in grocery stores that look so lush and fresh, until 2 days and one use later it looks trampled and SAD. Its all a game, they aren’t giving us NEARLY enough to sustain our insatiable thirst for cilantro.

I have the ultimate solution: CLONING. and the process is EASY

  1. Buy pots of herb plants, whatever kinds you need. Cut all of the plants off near the base. Cut these into 3″ segments and remove the bottom leaves from each segment. You now have a LOT of segments.
  2. Prepare pots of basic potting soil by gently packing soil into small pots or cups.
  3. Place cuttings in the soil up to the first leaves, and press down the soil around them.
  4. Cover with plastic or place each pot in a plastic bag to encourage high moisture.
  5. In 1 week, remove from the bag.
  6. BOOM, let them grow for a few weeks and you’ve got a TON of branchy basil plants. Dividing up the cuttings encourages the new plants to grow super bushy and full. That means more leaves!





Papayas In Pots: A Failure

About a month ago I bought a few seeds of a rare dwarf variety of papaya.

Carica papaya v. ‘carinosa’

“I’ll grow this in the big window in a big pot” I thought.


Let me elaborate.


The plants were potted in peat pellets and came up fine. As soon as roots became visible from beneath the pellet, I dropped these little guys into some pots, put them back where they were, and waited. I swear I didn’t do anything else wrong, guys. I swear.

Yet, in a week they were all dead.

I have read that papayas of any variety have a 0 tolerance policy for root disturbance, so my guess is that was the culprit. Next time I will sow the seeds directly into 18″ pots, which I have read is sufficient size to grow a small papaya plant. Also, I will supplement the light with a small red blue LED bulb, since I am not completely certain that that didn’t help kill the thing. You can get them really cheap on websites like

I will keep you all posted as I go, but first I have to find the seeds at an affordable rate.