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.

Apples, Apples, And More Apples!

A heaping stack of freshly picked Granny Smith green apples awaits processing
Granny Smith Apples

We have some relatives that have a Granny Smith apple tree that does nothing but produce fruit by the bushel. Recently, while shooting some family portraits, my relatives were kind enough to send me home with some so I ended up bringing home a bushel if not two!

Can you ever have too many apples?

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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!

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.

Super-sized Salmon Gets Delayed

Filet of an Atlantic Salmon
Image via Wikipedia

A highly controversial project, headed up by the biotechnology company AquaBounty Technologies Inc., recently faced an FDA panel for review as to whether AquaBounty’s genetically modified (GM) fish could be sold for human consumption. The FDA panel sided with consumer advocates and ruled that the data provided by AquaBounty Technologies contained insufficient evidence as to whether or not the super-sized salmon harbors the potential for harm.

AquAdvantage Salmon, the ‘Frankenfish’ developed by AquaBounty Technologies, is an advanced-hybrid fish genetically modified to reduce the growing cycle. Growth-hormone genes from king (Chinook) salmon are inserted into the fertilized eggs of Atlantic Salmon, along with AFP genes from the eel-like Ocean Pout, that allows for the growth hormone to remain active during the summer and the winter. The combination of these genes allow the GM fish to reach maturity twice as fast as natural Atlantic Salmon. (18 months versus three years)

AquaBounty claims that their fish is reproductively sterile due to another genetic alteration (triploidy), and plans to raise the fish within contained farms to avoid any possibility of interbreeding with native species.

If the sound of eating GM salmon isn’t enough, what would you say if you didn’t know you were eating it? AquaBounty claims that AquaAdvantage Salmon is completely like natural Atlantic salmon in every natural way, plus current FDA rules only call for special labels for altered food when there is a “material difference” in the final product. Frightening, absolutely frightening.

Advocates of the genetically modified salmon say it’s just a matter of time before GM fish become an accepted part of the US diet, but opponents say it could never happen. Since many major salmon farms have rejected the idea of raising these GM fish, I’m for one hoping that the critics are right on this one.

If or when the FDA approves this salmon, some say genetically modified trout and tilapia could be next, and you guessed it, AquaBounty is already working on it.

How do you feel about genetically modified food landing on your plate?