Growing Granadillas in your Garden

The exquisite granadilla bloom

The exquisite granadilla bloom

More commonly known to us as the Passion Fruit and known in SA as the Granadilla, Passiflora Edulis is native to tropical America but the actual place of origin is still unknown.  Great news for us Durbanites is that Granadillas are perfect to grow in our subtropical coastal areas of Natal.  If however you live somewhere that has very cold winters with frost, you will unfortunately not have success growing Granadillas as they are sensitive to extreme cold. Other good areas in SA for growing Granadilla are Mpumalanga, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape

 

Why grow Granadillas?  Aesthetically, Granadilla plants are beautifully lush with the most crazy gorgeous flowers. Add to that, the purple granadilla variety have beautiful purple fruit hanging off the vine. These can go for up to R5 each in store.

Bonus: This plant bears fruit twice a year – 2 main annual crops, a Summer crop and a smaller Winter Crop. Health wise they are high in ascorbic acid and carotenoids.

Ok…you convinced yet? … You can Granadillas from seed or a cutting. seedling.  Seeds store for 4 months and can be started in seedling trays.

A Cutting of the vine must contain 3 buds minimum on it

A Cutting of the vine must contain 3 buds minimum on it

No patience to grow your own from scratch then off you go to your local nursery or alternatively order a plant from ABF in season. Select the plant with short strong shoots and not the ones with long bare stems and shoots at the top. Whilst there, add bone meal, compost & manure to your cart.

Where & how to plant your new exotic looking plant:

Find a warm protected spot. Now prepare a 60cm x 60cm site of soil by enriching it with the manure, compost and your bone meal. This deep soil prep is necessary for good root growth and to make sure the soil has good drainage as Granadilla plants are sensitive to wet soil conditions. Water the potted plant before transplanting and then plant it at the same level in the ground as it was in the pot. Push a thin stake next to the seedling for training the plant up to reaching the wire or trellis. Firm the soil around the plant. If you are planting more than one plant, space them about 2,5m apart.

Your Granadilla plant will be a very vigorous, twining passionate climber and will therefore need support. Train it against a trellis, pergola, wires or enhance an old school swimming pool fence.  It will twist itself around any support.

Tie the plant to the stake regularly and pinch out side shoots until the main shoot leader reaches the top of the support. The Leader can then be trained along the top of the support in one or both directions ( in my case and photo, a wall ). To do this, allow the leader to branch at the top and train the branches in opposite directions by winding them loosely around the wire. Let the side shoots hang down.

Climbing Tendrils visible

Climbing Tendrils visible

Vine is trained along the top of the wall.

My Vine is grown up the green fence and then trained

in one direction along the top of the wall.

Taking Care of you plant:

In summer rainfall areas water the plants well once a month during Winter and twice a month in Summer.

Granadilla plants bear fruit on the current season’s growth, hence pruning is necessary. Prune the side shoots back to 60cm from the ground twice a year after they have finished bearing fruit.  Thin the plant to prevent overcrowding and overlapping. Remove dead or diseased wood.

Fertilize seasonally, especially at the start of Spring and after fruiting. I use comfrey tea as soon as the first buds appear to promote fruiting.  Keep the soil mulched with compost at all times. Your plants lifespan is about 3 years.

Watch out for woodiness or bullet disease which is caused by a virus. The leaves yellow and curl, the fruit develops a hard woody swelling and they eventually crack. There is no cure for the disease, infected plants are to be dug up and destroyed.

Flowering and Fruiting:

Each flower is not self fertile but it is not necessary to grow more than one plant for pollination. Flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects.

 

Only one plant is needed for fertilisation to take place.

Only one plant is needed for fertilisation to take place.

Your first fruits will be ready about 6-9 months after planting. The vines flower in Spring to produce a summer crop, then again in Autumn for a smaller Winter Crop.

Side view of flower and forming fruit

Two Green Granadilla Fruit

Two Green Granadilla Fruit

Side view of flower and forming fruit

Side view of flower and forming fruit

Fruit forming on the vine

Fruit forming on the vine

Pick the fruit when they are fully developed and light purple in colour.

Let them ripen in your kitchen, they are ready to eat when the they are dark purple and the skin has started to shrivel.

Granadillas yield a sweet and tangy pulp. The flesh of the ripe fruit is used to make a wonderful fruit juice, is added to fruit salads, used to flavor icing, yoghurt and ice-cream and as a cheesecake topping. There are no rules and having tried it myself, Granadilla even makes a delicious green salad topping.

 

Passion Fruit Juice Recipe:

5 Ripe passion fruit

Cold Water

Sugar

 

  1. Cut the granadillas in half and scoop the pulp into a blender
  2. Add 2 Cups of Water & 3 tablespoons of sugar – blend for 2 minutes – trying not to break the seeds.
  3. Pour through a sieve to remove the seeds, pushing the pulp through the sieve with a back of a spoon.
  4. Add remaining ice cold water and sugar to taste. Stir until sugar dissolves.
  5. Add some ice and drink as a juice. Had a hard week, add a tot of vodka or rum for a quick cocktail.

 

Passion Fruit Cordial Recipe:

1 cup passion fruit pulp

1 1/2 cups of Water

1 cup of Sugar

1 cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice

 

  1. Heat Sugar, water and lemon juice over a low heat until the sugar dissolves
  2. Increase heat and bring to the boil then simmer for 5 minutes so that the syrup can thicken.
  3. Stir in Passion fruit pulp and set aside to cool.
  4. Strain through a sieve to remove the seeds, pushing the pulp through the sieve with a back of a spoon. Pour into a jug and refrigerate.

 

4 week life span – great and refreshing with sparkling water.

 

References:

Jane’s Delicious Urban Gardening by Jane Griffiths

Down-to-Earth Fruit & Vegetable Gardening in South Africa by  – Zoe Gilbert and Jack Hadfield

www.duroimultiplant.co.za

www.homeguides.sfgate.com

www.nda.agric.co.za

 

 

 

 

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Wheat Sprouts

We are all familiar with wheat. Wheat kernels are ground to make up the staple food of the West: BREAD. Wheat is also grown to make wheatgrass, which is juiced to make a superfood ( Superfoods are nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants & abundant micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals). Wheat is a grain and wheat grains that have not been milled are called wheat berries.  We cannot eat wheat berries uncooked unless they are sprouted because they are too hard to for our bodies to digest. The sprouting process softens the grains, making them edible so that we can harness all of their goodness.

Stacked Wheat Sprouts

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF SPROUTED WHEAT BERRIES:

Sprouting increases B- Vitamins, protein and fibre content. In two days of sprouting, vitamin A increases 50-75% and vitamins B1, B2 and C all show significant increases. By eating wheat sprouts, we also get the benefit of the wheat germ, a rich source of vitamin E, usually removed in flour milling processes. Other Vitamins included in wheat sprouts are B12 and D.

Sprouted wheats supply numerous minerals such as calcium, iodine, iron, potassium and zinc.

Sprouted wheat grains are a live food full of Enzymes, a great source of antioxidants.

In conclusion, sprouted wheat is an excellent storehouse of nutrients that should be made an integral part of every body’s diet

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SPROUTED WHEAT BERRIES:

For those of you who may be prone to wheat allergies, sprouted wheat could be an alternative for you. The process of sprouting breaks down the gluten proteins, which cause most allergies. Please note though, if you are very sensitive, sprouted wheat seeds are not completely gluten-free.

Calcium is used by the body to form healthy bones & teeth, help muscles relax and contract, is important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation and immune system health.

Anti-oxidants  increase your energy levels and provide anti-aging benefits for the skin.

Wheat sprouts are rich in dietary fibre aiding in digestion, neutralizing toxin, and helping to cleanse the blood.

ABF Wheat Sprouts

 

Sprouted Wheat

HOW TO EAT YOUR ABF SPROUTED WHEAT BERRIES:

Sprouted wheat is very versatile with a creamy chewy texture and a sweetish taste. My favourite is to add them to a salad, just mix in your choice of raw foods as you would for a couscous salad. Try Wheat berries, apples, dried cranberries and pecans in raspberry vinaigrette.

Sprouted wheat berries can be ground into dough and sundried or slow-baked to make breads, crackers, cookies or pizza bases.

Add to health shakes or stir-fries.

Grind and make into a hot porridge adding raisons and honey.

THINKING OF YOU & OUR WORLD:

– All ABF sprouts come in a container made of PLA. This container is 100% compostable so please cut it up and add it to your compost heap.

– All ABF sprouts are soaked and rinsed in purified water.

– Wheat sprouts contain no added chemicals and are safe to eat raw but for maximum digestibility a light steam or rinse in boiling water before eating is recommended when eating in large quantities.

REFERENCES:

Sprout Garden – Mark M. Braunstein

The Broccoli Sprouts Break through – Deborah R. Mitchell

Sprouts the Miracle Food – Steve Meyerowitz

https://sproutpeople.org

http://www.choosingraw.com

http://nourishedkitchen.com/sprouted-grain/

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Salad Mix Sprouts

New to eating sprouts and not sure which sprouts to try first?

Fond of more that one sprout and having difficulty in making a selection?

If you are wanting a blend of sprouts to add colour and dimension to your salad then ABF’s best selling Salad Mix Sprouts are definitely the sprouts for you.

Salad Mix Sprouts

WHAT CAN BE FOUND IN THE SALAD MIX SPROUTS?

The Salad Mix Sprouts consists of a carefully selected blend of flavours, textures and colours to make your salad just delightful. The blend consists of sprouted Alfalfa, Garlic Chives, Fennel, Mustard, Red Clover and Purple Kohlrabi seeds as well as sprouted Adzuki & Mung Beans.

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF SALAD MIX SPROUTS:

Being a source of Both Legumes and Leafy Greens, the nutrition in t Salad Mix Sprouts is considerable, making it one of the most nutritious foods on earth filled with proteins, oxygen, vitamins, amino acids, minerals & live enzymes.

HEALTH BENEFITS OF SALAD MIX SPROUTS

Home grown sprouts are the freshest, most assuredly organic food available to you, free of pesticides and herbicides and ABF home grown sprouts are rinsed in purified water.

Eating fresh, live chlorophyll-rich sprouts nourishes every cell in our bodies increasing energy levels and providing anti-aging benefits for the skin as well as healing for the body.

Salad Mix Sprouts 2

HOW TO EAT YOUR SALAD MIX SPROUTS:

Just add salad dressing or impress your guests and add the Sprout Mix to your green salad. Get inventive and add your sprout mix to various salads, open sandwiches and wraps.

This mix is not for cooking and must be eaten raw.

THINKING OF YOU & OUR WORLD:

  • All sprouts come in a container made of PLA. This container is 100% compostable so please cut it up and add it to your compost heap.
  • All ABF sprouts are soaked and rinsed in purified water.
  • ABF sprouts contain no added chemicals and seeds used for sprouting are untreated.

REFERENCES:

The Broccoli Sprouts Break through – Deborah R. Mitchell

Sprouts the Miracle Food – Steve Meyerowitz

Sprouts & Sprouting – Valerie Cupillard

 

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3 Week Old Guinea Pigs Join the Urban Farm

Harold, Chocolate Bar & Rainbow Dash

Harold, Chocolate Bar & Rainbow Dash

Those who have been following ABF from the start should recognise the biggest Guinea Pig as  Harold. Just about a year ago I bought the kids a rabbit each and Harold, the sweetest & gentlest little Cavy, for myself. As time went by I started to feel sorry for Harold. He did share the cage with the rabbits but didn’t have one of his own kind to keep him company and I had read that they are social pets. I bought another medium size guinea pig to befriend Harold but he was a meanie! When I introduced them he bit Harold on the nose leaving a big open bleeding gash. Meanie got sent back to the pet shop. Scared to hurt Harold again I did not look to getting another until yesterday when we fetched 2 three week old little cavies. Angela’s Backyard Farm welcomes it’s two newest editions Rainbow Dash and Chocolate bar ( yes, you would be right in guessing that my kids named them ).  I am absolutely delighted and so happy that these two little cavies, who were so kindly given to us, have taken so well to Harold and him to them. He is very protective of them and a sort of parental figure for now.

Here are 3 few tried and tested tips for introducing new guinea pigs to each other:

1. Give the guinea pigs a bath – I used lavender bubble bath as it has a strong scent.  This is done to hide the animals natural scent.

2. Rub a smidgen of vicks on each of their noses – this is so that they can’t pick up on each others natural scents

3. Introduce them in a neutral area, not in a cage previously occupied by either of them – I introduced them in the bathroom which was big enough and small enough.

 

 

 

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Growth in Micro Greens

 

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On Friday the FilmFlex crew came over and installed my gorgeous 3m x 6m green house. To say I am beyond excited is the understatement of the the year. Thank you for all your wonderful support which as enabled me to expand my small business in growing Micro greens. Now to save up for the shelving!!!

So humans, give me a few weeks to get My A into G  ( to get quantities and growing conditions perfect ) and before you know it, I will have a variety of these beauties ready for you to purchase.

Here are some of the varieties I have already perfected and am growing which are available to order:

1. Wheat Grass

2. Maple Pea Shoots

3. Pigeon Pea Shoots

4. Green Pea Shoots

5. Barley Grass

These are the new Micro Greens that I am working on:

1.Beetroot Leaves

2. Mustard

3. Broccoli

4. Chinese Cabbage

5. Purple Kohlrabi

6. Fenugreek ( Menthi )

7. Japanese Radish

 

So please, if you know of anyone in the food or restaurant industry who would be interested, send me a message or email me

at [email protected]

 

Lots of Love

Ang

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ABF now available at Delish

 

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How exciting!!! People of Durban, if you haven’t already been to Delish, now you have to!! have to!! check out this amazing farm stall style shop.

For those not in the Glenwood / Umbilo area, this little gem is well worth a once a week drive to do your shopping.

The address: 140 Queen Mary Avenue Umbilo. The store is put together just so beautifully by Nicky and I am so happy and so lucky to be able to be their newest supplier.

Here is my car boot full of ABF product on it’s way to Delish

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What can you find there??? You can purchase all your farm fresh green groceries from Delish as well as fresh milk, fresh honey dripping off the comb, eggs and even quality braai wood ( tried and tested ) amongst other goodies.  You can now also find Angela’s Backyard Farming’s freshly grown Herbs, Sprouts and Microgreens in store. So please make your way over and support you and yours with the local flavours of Delish and Angela’s Backyard Farming.

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Beans Beans are good for the heart

Beans Rec

The cooler weather has arrived, bringing with it, the first harvest of green beans from Angela’s Backyard Farm and definitely not the last. From now on I will be harvesting these daily. Remember that the more beans you pick the more beans will grow.  The long, thin, dark green beans are Climbing French Beans grown from seeds purchased online from Franchi. They are also soooo sweet to the taste. In the below picture you can see how these bean plants like to grow up a trellis.

String Beans

The lighter, shorter beans are Garden Bush Beans and these seeds can be purchased from P&P Hypermarket or most hardware or garden centres. The actual beans are similar to the type of beans we purchase from supermarkets. They are lighter in colour and have a rougher texture ( almost furry ) .  Just as the name implies, these bean are not climbers they grow on bushes as the below two ABF garden shots show.

Bush Beans 2 Bush Beans

This is only the start of bean season so GET PLANTING!!!!!! The seeds are planted directly into the garden about 2cm deep. Remember that bean plants add vital nitrogen back to the soil so don’t pull the plants out when they are finished producing beans, rather cut them at ground level and leave the roots in the soil.

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Mung Bean Sprouts

According to the sprout people, Mung Bean Sprouts are “The most widely consumed sprout on our planet!” According to The Sproutman Mung Beans “ is by far the most widely sold sprout in the world”

The English word mung is derived from the Hindi word मूंग moong – you may of guessed, yes, the mung bean is native to India. Today it is mainly cultivated in India, China and Southeast Asia.

Mung beans are a plant species in the legume family

 

Mung Beans 1

 

NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS OF MUNG BEAN SPROUTS:

Legumes are a great vegetarian source of protein, among the best protein sources in the plant kingdom actually. Eating more legumes is an alternative to meat for some.

“Mung Bean sprouts are high in calcuim, vitamins A and C, protein, phosphorus, and iron.” (The broccoli sprouts breakthrough )

HEALTH BENEFITS OF MUNG BEAN SPROUTS

Sprouting increases bean fiber by 300%.

Beans contain the fibers needed to remove excess cholesterol from the blood stream, lower blood pressure and improve bowel function by cleansing the intestinal tract. It’s fiber content also helps control blood sugar levels as it slows down the release of sugars from carbohydrates making Mung beans good insulin regulators.

Mung bean sprouts contain at least two powerful cancer blocking substances lignans and protease inhibitors. Lignans are known to fight breast and colon cancer. Protease inhibitors are known to prevent normal cells from going cancerous.

Mung beans are virtually fat free, low GI (glycemic index) and low in calories.

Anti-oxidants found in Mung bean sprouts increase energy levels and provide anti-aging benefits for the skin.

 

Mung Beans 2

 

HOW TO EAT YOUR ABF MUNG BEAN SPROUTS:

Mung beans are used for various culinary purposes in different cuisines like Indian, Pakistani, Chinese, Thai and Japanese. They are juicy and slightly sweet tasting. Add your sprouted Mung beans to salads, wok dishes, soups, dals, spring rolls, open sandwiches and wraps.

Mung beans are one of the smaller sized beans and can be eaten raw as sprouts in larger quantities than the bigger beans. When consumed in large quantities regularly, they should be lightly steamed or blanched for maximum digestibility.

Interestingly the repeated rinsing involved in sprouting beans removes the complex sugars from them, therefore, beans that have been sprouted before cooking will be far less likely to cause flatulence.

THINKING OF YOU & OUR WORLD:

  • All sprouts come in a container made of PLA. This container is 100% compostable so please cut it up and add it to your compost heap.
  • All ABF sprouts are soaked and rinsed in purified water.
  • ABF sprouts contain no added chemicals and seeds used for sprouting are untreated.

REFERENCES:

The Broccoli Sprouts Break through – Deborah R. Mitchell

Sprouts the Miracle Food – Steve Meyerowitz

Sprouts & Sprouting – Valerie Cupillard

http://www.greenvalu.ie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mung_bean#cite_note-brief-4

http://sproutpeople.org/mung-bean-sprouts/#tab

 

 

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A Greater Leaf-folding Frog in my Worm Farm this morning

Greater Leaf-folding Frog 1

What a lovely surprise to find a a gorgeous little frog in my worm farm this morning. Such a clever little guy with all the food he wants easily at his disposal in the form of the little fruit flies and insects that eat on the decomposing food there in.  As you can see from the ABF logo, this little farm loves frogs and welcomes all frogs. ABF even built  a sweet little pond for the guys to make sure they know that they are always most welcome.

After taking a few pics, I consulted my “The Frogs of Durban” picture chart I have, put together by the Endangered Wildlife Trust to identify the species.

The Frogs of Durban Chart

This frog is most definitely a Greater Leaf-folding Frog ( Afrixalus fornasinii ). I identified this by the vertebral band starting in a point between the eyes and going down the back. It is usually found in the Wetlands and is native to Africa.

My Worm Bin

 

Frog in the Worm Bin Greater Leaf Folding Tree Frog 5
Greater Leaf-Folding Tree Frog 2

 

Greater Leaf Folding Tree Frog 3Some internet browsing spread some knowledge on the species.

  1. The Leaf-folding Frog is so named as they lay their eggs on leaves and then wrap them up and glue the leaves closed to protect the eggs.
  2. This particular species is not threatened.
  3. The Greater Leaf-folding Frog grows to a size of 40cm.
  4. They have spines on the small white speckles of their back.
  5. They have webbed fingers.
  6. The males have a yellow colour to their under throats and make repeated clacking sounds “preceded by a short soft buzz”.

 

The lid is closed on this one.

Ang

 

Webb sites visited for research:

www.frogforum.net

www.johanmarais.co.za

 

 

 

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