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.