Passionfruit

passionfruit

Passionfruit can be difficult to grow but once its established it’s well worth it. They like morning sun and are heavy feeders. I’ve been told if you have a roast chicken put the left over chicken carcus under the vine when it’s first planted. I haven’t tried this though. My little vine got attacked when it first went in and got nibbled down to next to nothing. I got a plastic pot and cut out the bottom of it and pushed it into the soil to protect it from whatever was eating it. Eventually it started growing again. Mine is growing up the fence of the chicken run with a nectarine tree and bronze fennel to keep it company.

While it was getting established I kept a good amount of compost around the base and gave it a 9L bucket of water once a week. I used a grafted vine so had to remove any shoots that grew from the root stock. The vines only live between 4 – 7 years but can die unexpectedly at any time. If you want a continous supply of passionfruit it’s best to plant another vine once the first vine starts producing fruit.

To harvest the fruit wait for it to fall of the vine. If there are none on the ground give the vine a little shake and the ripe ones drop off. We haven’t had the problem of having too many ripen at once to worry about preserving them and they are being eaten fresh. If you are saving the seed I have heard that they are only viable for about a year.

Passionfruit kombucha

pulp of one passionfruit

1 litre kombucha

A small amount also goes a long way to flavour kombucha. Add pulp into the kombucha when doing the secondary ferment. Seal in an airtight bottle and check each day until you are happy with the flavour and the fizziness. Store in fridge when ready to drink.

Silverbeet

SILVERBEET.png

Picking the silverbeet the other day I realised that I’m self sufficient in it. I’m not sure exactly how long I’ve been saving the seed but it’s been at least four years. The seed originally came from a Diggers punnet. I noticed that it grew exceptionally well in my garden and so I let it go to seed. After that, it just kept popping up by itself in the same patch and has naturalised in that spot.

This patch above is in different spot in my garden and is growing in full sun. It also gets hammered by the hot westerly afternoon sun. This photo was taken the morning after a 40+C degree day and it’s looking pretty happy to me. That day it was over 40C again and around 7pm it was still looking pretty perky. Three days into the heatwave and it’s handling it like a boss.

It’s sweet, tasty, hardly needs any water and is very slow to bolt to seed. If any does bolt after this heatwave I’ll pull it out so that characteristic isn’t passed on to the next generation. I feel a great need to continue to save this seed and keep this little plant going. It can be cropped for months on end by picking the large outer leaves as needed which makes it a highly productive space saving addition to my kitchen garden.

Seed saving

zucchini

Q: What’s wrong with this photo?

A: There are no seeds where they should be.

We need to always have the ability to save our seeds, seeds belong to the global commons, not to a handful of corporations. Best case scenario this was a hybrid, worst case it was genetically modified this way. In the words of Vandana Shiva ‘practice civil disobedience and save your seeds. It’s the difference between scarcity and abundance, war and peace.’