Saturday, January 9, 2016

Earthly Blessings

We had lots of rain in recent weeks

and while it gives us cooler weather and growing gardens...
after lots of water and mud...
it was nice to see some sun again streaming through the breezeway

with this much rain...
I kept busy in the kitchen with foods growing on our homestead

our citrus trees are producing some fruits at their young age

our banana and  plantain trees are promising

and the papaya trees are certainly full

the chicken coop is holding up the passionfruit vine quite well

it has only been growing from a two foot vine for 5 months

and while the chickens march around the homestead busy doing their thing...

I've been picking the passionfruit as they fall to the ground in their ripeness

these fruit are quite large and give plenty of juice from the pulp

I like to add some ginger to the juice for fun flavoring

I cut open the fruit...

take the pulp out into a strainer...

and use a thin stream of water to help strain the juice through...
as I gently mash the pulp to squeeze it out

once the juice has been strained through...
the seeds are discarded except enough to sow for more vines

I mince the ginger with a zester into the juice...

stir the ginger and juice together...

cover and let them steep for a few hours...
strain again and pour into a container for making juice...
when we want it

the sorrel (aka hibiscus roselle) has not stopped giving

and so, I have been busy picking some every day

it's a relaxing harvest as the calyxes are easy to pick off the stems

we have sold a few crates at market and still have so much more coming

I am drying the sorrel to store...
so my husband made a solar dryer for me...
and I put the handles on

it makes putting sorrel out to sun for drying much easier...
and the sun does a quick job of it, I must say

once they are dried, I put the sorrel in freezer bags and...
store them in the freezer for future use

I will be making jam and preserves from some of the sorrel still on the bushes

for now, I have been juicing them for drinking
I add cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves...
and raw honey for sweetness
so good!
wish you could have some

our goats have been a little naughty lately and going beyond their boundaries

we leave them to free range

and they take advantage of it...
going up into the woods a little too far...
sometimes making my husband look for them a little too long

love to see them peeking from between the trees up in the woods

we did get a little wiser and put bells on the adults
it does help to guide my husband to where they have gone

I used the bells that were on my garden decor...
as they are lightweight but have a loud enough clang to them

our kid goats are getting big and we sure do enjoy them

our vegetable garden is doing swell and I've had lots of tomatoes to use

I made some tomato sauce with them for meals of homemade gluten free pasta

putting in onions, peppers, garlic, seasonings...

cooking them down into a chunky sauce which we like better than pureed
I canned some and put some into freezer containers for storage

come down the road with me and see what came along

our Ms. Ruthie Moo Moo...

had her calf early November...
a sweet little heifer who looks like her momma

Ms. Ruthie had so much milk...
my husband went ahead and started milking her from the beginning

here, he is giving her some favorite treats as he gets ready to milk her

we've also had a few more puffballs hatch

and as I looked out my kitchen window while I worked...
this sweet little finch looked over at me from the papaya branch
I had to snap her picture

I framed her below with a Thank You, my dear Readers...
for coming back again to read my blog
the photo is yours to do as you please with it if interested

May your day or night find sweetness in the grace of the Lord...
and may this new year be most blessed with His mercies.


  1. Oh, how beautiful it all is. What a glorious life to live out of doors and in nature. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Hello, lovely, and evert hinges is so lush! Your photos are beautiful! You both are such hard workers, and take such pleasure in His creation...
    Hugs Roxy

    1. Everything is what I typed, these smart phones think they know everything LOL

  3. Hi Jean, always lovely to visit your blog. Thank you for the recipe for your chunky sauce. i'll have to try my hand at that. It looks delicious.
    Blessings Gail.

  4. I love visiting your blog and seeing your little world. It looks wonderful and inspires me.

    Blessing to you in the New Year!

  5. Really looking amazing - and in such a short time. Love those papayas and bananas!

  6. Thanks for sharing your bounty and beautiful pics with the rest of us. There is nothing as good as tropical fruits and passion fruit juice is at the top of the list. I've never had a vistors dislike it! ~~ Sharing your pictures are a blessing to many!

  7. Jean, what a beautiful home, so restful and peaceful! Beautifully and simply decorated. Thank you for the lovely pictures. My husband and I love to read your blog and we have a couple of questions. What are calyxes? What does sorrel taste like? Have you had any more problems with rabid mongooses? That worried us. Do you have a vet nearby who gives rabies shots to your livestock? Some vets provide the rabies vaccine to people in remote areas. God bless you, Bev

    1. Calyxes are the pod like sepals of a flower. On the sorrel plant, the flowers come out first, then turn into the calyxes which have a waxy sort of feel to them. That is what we use to make our juice from by pulping or boiling them. Sorrel has a taste somewhere between a raspberry and apple with a hint of citrus, at least to me.
      We have had rapid mongooses but, all our animals are vaccinated and we do have a great vet who makes house calls for sick animals of all kinds. Also, the government gives people free rabies vaccines for livestock. Our dogs do a great job of keeping out the predators so, we don't worry too much about rapid mongooses. Our rotty dog has taken care of getting rid of rapid mongooses. We don't see them much.

  8. Jean, I forgot to ask something else. My husband wondered if you have poisonous snakes or spiders there? We have Eastern diamond back rattle snakes and copper head snakes here in our mountains. But, thankfully, we never see any. We do have brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders. We recently had 2 feet of snow, so maybe that killed off some of the insects. Thanks again, Bev

    1. We have no poisonous snakes or spiders here which is just fine with us :)!!