Umgwenya/Wild Plum Fermentation

There a couple Umgwenya trees surrounding the farmhouse, a lovely evergreen that attracts birds, bees, butterflies and even a local troop of vervet monkeys. Both the dogs and donkeys enjoy eating the bountiful harvests of bright red wild plums.

The Harpephyllum caffrum grows from the southern most point of the eastern cape along the east coast of southern Africa right up to Zimbabwe. The fruit is used for jams and jellies and because of its sour taste can be used to make a rose wine. This is why I have finally decided to ferment some fruits, piths and all. I am hoping the red bitter skin will give it a lot of flavor and and the seed i believe will give the brew a heavy almond flavor to.


The bark is a popular traditional medicine. It is used to treat acne and eczema, and is usually applied in the form of facial saunas and skin washes. It is used by people with ‘bad blood’ that results in pimples on the face. Powdered burnt bark is used to treat sprains and bone fractures. Bark is also used for dyeing, and it gives a mauve or pink colour. In some parts of Eastern Cape, root decoctions are traditionally taken for paralysis thought to have been contracted from walking over an area that has been poisoned or polluted through sorcery. Sauce