We DID It!! Cranberry Hibiscus Season Is Officially Over!! Pictures and Updates.

in homesteaderscoop •  17 days ago  (edited)

Roselle (Hibiscus sabdariffa), AKA Florida Cranberry or Cranberry Hibiscus, season is officially OVER for us here at Kindred Acres! I owe a HUGE thank you to our volunteers Chanel Torres and Jasmine Barrios! I wouldn't have been able to do it without them! This week we harvested 26 gallons PLUS what we harvested through the season as well as the 'you-picks' AND we gave away a full bush to friends and family. In totaly, we harvested EASILY 40 plus gallons of cranberry calyx this year! That's a good bit of cranberry for such a small area! We fresh froze them and will be making Cranberry-Orange Jelly for sales! If you are in the NC area and are interested in purchasing some, keep a watch on our page for the listing. :). We also found an awesome looking recipe for Roselle Mock Cranberry Sauce which we plan to make for our Thanksgiving table. If you are growing or have access to Roselle, check this recipe out! https://toadstoolsfairyrings.wordpress.com/2016/11/15/roselle-mock-cranberry-sauce/?fbclid=IwAR25Ejlh-3hk4ZFNCu6COgXH_gkEZhmm5VF3ZhF-wC3odCej5_ibOcafrGk

Next up....luffa!

We started harvesting some more luffa today and will be harvesting and peeling over the next week. We also harvested a few pumpkins (still a few more out there ripening!), sunflowers, and a few other goodies. Planted a bunch of fall/winter crops, cleaned up some areas of the garden, and so much more! It's been a very productive few weeks!!!

The chickens haven't been able to graze for the last two days because I've spread winter rye seed so they will have a lush green pasture through fall and winter. They will be able to graze again in about a week once the seeds take...so we have been bringing them lots of extra treats. Apart from our food scraps and yard waste they got a few sunflower heads, young luffa (they are like zucchini at the young stage), spinach, kale, collars, and of course their regular feed. They are super happy.

We plan to finish the wood chips on the last little stretch of the side food forest area this week. We'll also finish the trellis for our passionfruit vines that will enclose our mushroom growing area. Lots going on here at Kindred Acres!!

Take a look at a few pics from the week! :)

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While our volunteer Jasmin Barrios, a very talented local artist and herbalist in the making, came to help this week, she really helped to keep things flowing, keep me focused when I was feeling tired or overwhelmed, and just lent a good helping hand. During her visits, she took a few photos around the homestead that captured her interest. With her permission, I am sharing her photos here. :) You can check out some of her very amazing artwork on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/JasminLuzBarriosart/

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We love to open our space for volunteers....it's a win-win for all involved. Those that don't have access to a quiet, natural setting like this, those that want to come learn, those that don't have a big enough yard to grow food, etc. they all get to come be in nature, harvest fresh naturally grown food, take some goodies home with them, learn in the process of helping, and in turn they help to keep us focused, on time with our tasks, and just offer companionship. I honestly believe being out in a setting such as this is so very healing to our bodies and souls, as is companionship of like-minded people. Just as much as filling your bodies with nutritious and fresh foods is important, so is good companionship.

On that note, it's time for me to get off and go process all those goodies in the pics above!! I leave you with a beautiful picture and quote from Daily Om.
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What a stunning post!!! That is a LOT of cranberries. No wonder you have been so busy- harvest time is sooo busy!! My luffa still hasn't pushed up from the soil. how long do they take to sprout, do you know? Are they fairly reliable or is germination low? Kinda gutted, and worried they won't go in on time.

I have two baby chicks at the moment, bit of a disaster egg wise but learning. They are the cutest. As it's spring, there's lots for them to eat - trying to keep them from eating all my silverbeet at once is a mission!

It was a lot. lol. When was your last frost date? How long is your growing season? Luffa takes off well if it has full sun and a good amount of even moisture. I used to grow it out of my greywater trench. It was insane with the moisture and full sun. They do sprout pretty easily...I've always had a 100% germination rate. Once the fruits start forming, that is when the real patience is needed. It takes them a LONG time to ripen / dry. Without knowing your frost dates it's hard for me to tell if you'll have enough time. I planted ours in spring for us so around April 20th and here it is Oct 27th and only about half are ripe/dry. They do require a long season. I hope that helps to give you a bit of an idea.

As for the chickens, we had a lush area for them all year but now that it is fall the grass dies back and we don't get grass in winter unless we plant an annual grass which is what I did. :) Winter rye. They'll love it. :) Ah yes, keeping chickens out of the garden....always an interesting task. ;)

Loved those passion flowers! What a wonderful harvest for the week! And that's a LOT of prickly calyx to harvest!

It was a LOT. Took us quite some time. But it will all be worth it when I have some delicious jellys to sell :)

Great work done there. Touchwood and keep going.

What a beautiful harvest :-) Wish we could grow so much here, but we only have a small plot in our garden at the moment. Would be amazing to have a greenhouse or polytunnel too, for us to grow peppers, and okra, and cucumbers.
What are the reddish purple spiky things in the basket? Look a little like cape gooseberries, but different colour and shape?

Thanks for sharing your experience with us!
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Awesome! Thanks so much! :)

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