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…

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.

How Do You Chop Your Firewood?

253/365 [chopping wood]

Image by Difei Li via Flickr

As the seasons change and the air temperatures plummet, those of us with pot belly stoves or wood burning fireplaces find ourselves digging into our firewood supply and heating our homes with nice cozy fires. It not only saves a few bucks on the monthly heating bill, but it just feels right.

So this begs the real question…

How do you chop your firewood?

Buying pre-cut wood
Do you buy your firewood already cut and split? This is fine as long as you have a few hundred dollars a year to spend restocking your firewood supply. Hopefully you’re buying it by the cord from a firewood dealer and not by the armful at the supermarket. That can be expensive!

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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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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?

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The Brave Little Chickens

Last month, in an article titled, The Chicken and the Beast, I wrote about our 75lb Labrador Daisie and her strange friendship with our hens. Now, I’ve got video to back up my story!

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 directly on YouTube.

I hope you enjoyed the video of Daisie sharing her food with the chickens. This is not a rare sight around here. The chickens try and share her meal every chance they get. I really think these hens are part pig!

What odd relationships do your pets have? Leave a comment and let us know.