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…

Glasses For Chickens

A chicken manikin models a pair of Anti-Pix chicken glasses from National Band & Tag Company.

Chicken glasses produced in 1939 by National Band & Tag Company

Recently while enjoying a day off and watching a rerun of one of my favorite shows, Storage Wars, I learned that chickens used to wear glasses.

Wait, chickens used to wear glasses? Really? Yep, believe it or not, it’s true!

I’m sure that serious poultry farmers are already well aware of the fact that at one time chickens wore glasses, but for me it was an interesting piece of history that I wasn’t aware of. I’m sure that some of you other urban farmers will also find it interesting as well so I’ll share what I’ve learned.

What are chicken glasses all about?

Continue reading

Photos From The Urban Farm

Gallery

This gallery contains 11 photos.

Some may call it urban farming, while others may simply dismiss it as gardening. It’s true, but in my case, I call it urban farming because approximately 30% of my little one-third acre of residential property is dedicated to growing … Continue reading

Egg-citing News From The Urban Farm

For those of you that have been following along, back in March, we acquired two addition hens. This time, we chose Red Island Reds, and thought they’d make nice companions with our three Ameraucana hens. So far, the union has been successful and they all get along perfectly!

Anyhow, the big egg-citing news is that on Sunday morning, we got our first egg from one of the new hens. Until we can catch one of them in the act and identify the egg, we’re not sure which hen is doing the laying. Maybe both? I’m not sure, but since Sunday, we’ve consistently had a little brown egg each day, along with the larger greenish-blue eggs from the Ameraucanas. I’m hoping that once we are in full production, we’ll be seeing between two and three eggs a day from the whole hen-house.

The first small brown egg from our Red Island Reds

Egg-citing News!

Do you raise chickens? Leave me a comment, I’ve love to hear about your chickens!

Hatching Chickens

For those of you that have always wanted to see a chicken hatch from an egg, we’ve got video of exactly that.

A few weeks ago my sister-in-law purchased an inexpensive incubator and acquired some fertilized eggs. With that, the great chicken hatching project was born. Out of about a dozen eggs, three have hatched and of those three, two have survived.

Here is a video of the second surviving chicken hatching from its shell. Cinematography and narration compliments of my seven year old son.

If you’re having trouble viewing the embedded video while using Internet Explorer, you can either try viewing this page with a different browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, or you can view the video at YouTube.

Have you ever hatched chickens? Leave a comment and share your learnings with us!

Five Reasons You Should Own Chickens

Hens in Missoula, Montana

Image via Wikipedia

Have you always wanted to raise hens for farm fresh eggs, but were afraid that your neighbors would turn you in? I used to be one of those people that just assumed that I could not legally own chickens because I lived in a residential area. Well a little research and 5 hens later, I now know that you don’t need to live on a farm or a ranch in order to raise farm fresh organic eggs.

Why would I want to raise chickens?

  1. First of all, once you’ve had farm fresh eggs, you’ll never purchase eggs from the supermarket again. There’s no comparison! I challenge you to a taste test.
  2. Owning laying hens will help improve the quality of your families diet. Farm fresh eggs are much healthier then store bought eggs. Store bought eggs are often weeks old by the time they are stocked.
  3. Another great reason to raise your own chickens is that not only will you get great tasting eggs, you’ll also get free fertilizer for the garden, and free pest control for the yard if you let the hens free range. Make sure to compost all the droppings and wood shavings after cleaning out the coop.
  4. Raising your own chickens means that you are in control of how your chickens are treated. Many chickens live out their lives confined to industrial environments. You have the power to give a few hens a better life.
  5. Chickens add great personality to your property. They’re hysterical and entertaining pets to own. I love watching my chickens roam around the yard, and so will you.

So I really might be able to raise chickens without owning a farm? How do I know for sure?

The best way to determine whether or not you qualify to own chickens and raise farm fresh eggs for yourself, is to check your city regulations. You might be surprised at just how many chickens you are allowed to own even though you don’t live out in the country on a poultry ranch.

So if you’re ready to get a few hens and start raising your own farm fresh eggs, than I highly recommend heading down to your nearest feed store. They will be able to set you up with everything you need to get started, and also help answer any questions that you might have. If you’re pretty handy with a saw and a hammer then I’m sure you can manage to build yourself a nice little coop and maybe even save a few dollars while you’re at it. If not, there are plenty of pre-made chicken coops out there for sale. Just remember one thing, the key to a successful chicken coop is easy access. You want to make sure that the coop has plenty of access that will make cleaning an easy chore.

Do you own chickens of your own? Leave us a comment and let us know about your favorite chicken stories.