Pioneer Memories – South Dakota Style

Before migrating out to southern California, my grandmothers side of the family pioneered their way around the farmland of South Dakota. That wasn’t an easy life. In the photos that follow, you will see my great grandfather out on the farm as well as two of my great great grandmothers and even my great great grand uncle.

My great grandfather and his team of horses out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota.

Out on the farm in Mitchell, South Dakota stands my great grandfather with his team of horses.


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Passion Fruit Juice: Glass Full of Magic

Passiflora edulis
Passiflora edulis (Photo credit: tonrulkens)

Have you ever had a glass of homemade passion fruit juice? If you haven’t, well it is truly a glass full of magic.

Passion fruit grows on a big vine. When it gets hot the vine grows extremely beautiful flowers. The flowers then turn into an oval shaped green fruit. As long as it stays warm the fruit will continue to turn a deep purple. When they fall off the vine they are ripe and ready to eat. If you’re not ready to process them right way, don’t worry because they will keep for quite awhile on the counter. Even if they’re shriveled up and not looking so good, they’re still fine to eat. After you’ve gathered up enough fruit, it’s time to make juice.

Passion fruit still on the vine

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s the recipe…

Ingredients:

  • 2.5 cups of juice
  • 5 cups of cold water
  • 1/3 – 1/2  cup of sugar (more or less depending if you like sweet or tart juice)

Directions:

  1. Cut of the tops of the fruit
  2. Scoop the seeds into a fine mesh colander
  3. Separate the juice from the seeds by mashing them over a bowl
  4. Add the sugar, water, and passion fruit juice together
  5. Stir it up and enjoy!
Delicious passion fruit juice

Passion fruit juice: Liquid Gold

When you add those three key ingredients you get delicious tasting passion fruit juice that is like no other. If you try this recipe you are bound to like it.

Have you ever had passion fruit juice? Leave me a comment and let me know.

Spring Planting: What’s Being Planted In Your Garden?

If you haven’t started already, now is the perfect time to be preparing for your spring garden.

Here’s a list of some of the things we’re planting in our garden…

English: Tomato plants sprouted from seeds. Se...
Image via Wikipedia
  • peas
  • a variety of herbs
  • a variety of lettuce
  • string beans
  • strawberries
  • garlic
  • pinto beans
  • a variety of tomatoes
  • corn
  • a variety of peppers
  • a variety of squash
  • a variety of cucumbers
  • broccoli
  • cabbage

In my opinion the best way to plant seeds is to start them indoors. A great way to do that is to use a Jiffy Greenhouse. You simply get the kit, water the Peat Pellets, plant the seeds, and watch them grow! Then, when spring arrives you’ll have a head start on your garden.

If you don’t want to buy anything, there are many ways to make homemade pots for your seeds. Gardenbetty.com has some great articles showing how to create earth friendly, biodegradable seed pots from things you might otherwise throw away. Make sure to check out her articles on making newspaper pots and eggshell pots. I’ve tried them and they work great. My corn is loving their eggshell starters.

What are you planting in your spring garden? Let us know by leaving a comment…

Brazil’s Vanishing Rainforests

Burning rainforest in Brazil

Image via Wikipedia

Brazil’s deforestation has many negative effects such as how it significantly harms the land, air, and wildlife. In fact, between 1970 and now more than 230,000 square miles of the rainforests have been destroyed. As of 2008, only about 82.3% of the Brazilian rainforests remained uncut.

One way that deforestation damages the land is how we need the trees to keep the soil moist. Without the trees to keep the soil moist the land will become a barren dessert. The Brazilian rainforests also create their own climates. During the day the trees keep the air cool and during the night they keep the air warm. If we don’t have the trees then we have no protection from the sun, weather, or rising and falling temperatures. Continue reading

Poll: Would You Spend An Extra Dollar For An American Made Product?

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Made in the USA - Image by aepoc via Flickr

Can we as American consumers help create more jobs in the United States and help turn the US economy around simply by changing our shopping habits?

What is your opinion on American made products? Take our poll and share your thoughts by leaving us a comment!

 

Would You Spend An Extra Dollar For An American Made Product?

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Made in USA Composter

A relative recently picked up a ComposTumbler from an estate sale for only $35 and then sold it to us for the same price! What a deal! I think our new ComposTumbler will be a great compliment to our other compost piles and our newly built in-ground vermicomposter.

I’m excited to see if the ComposTumbler can really produce usable compost in as little as 4 to 6 weeks, and what’s even better, it’s Made in the USA!

What kind of composting do you do? Leave us a comment and let us know.