Super Easy Passion Fruit Butter Recipe

Makes – 3 small jarsPassion Fruit Flowers

You will need:

1 cup passion fruit pulp

1 cup sugar

150 gm butter

5 egg yokes – lightly beaten

What to do:

Put all ingredients into a saucepan on a low heat and stir continuously for about 15 minutes until mixture  thickens.

Pour hot mixture into sterilized jars and store in fridge.

Mum’s Sweet Mustard Pickles Recipe

This recipe is a family favourite and delicious for sandwiches or dips – So I thought I’d share it!

amy's cucmbers resized

You will need:

6-8 Large Cucumbers

1 Capsicum – red

1 Cob of Corn

2 Teaspoon Sea Salt

2 Teaspoons Turmeric

2 Teaspoons Curry Powder

2 Teaspoon Mustard seeds or ground Mustard

1.5 Cups Cider Vinegar

3 Cups Sugar

2 Heaped Tablespoons Corn Flour

Cucumbers re-sized

What to do:

Peel and dice cucumbers – finely. Dice capsicum and remove corn from cob.

Put cucumbers, capsicum and corn into a large pot along with vinegar, sugar and salt. Simmer for at least 15 minutes – until cucumber is tender.

Scoop off half a cup of the liquid and allow to cool. Into that half cup of liquid add all of your spices and corn flour – making sure you don’t have any lumps.

Add your spice mixture to the simmering cucumber mix and stir vigorously. You need to tip it in quickly and stir immediately so the corn flour doesn’t make lumps.

Pour into sterilized jars and store in pantry. Refrigerate after opening.

Story Time – Freckles the Clever Chook!

Freckles had just moved to Blue Gum Farm with her newly hatched chicks. The chicks were tiny little balls of fluff and Freckles spent most of the day keeping them safe and warm under her feathers.Freckles and Babies - Copy

After about 2 weeks the chicks started to sprout little feathers of their own and were becoming more independent as they grew bigger.

It was Freckles’ favorite spot to scratch and hunt for insects under the Macadamia tree at the back of the farm house.

One morning they were under the Macadamia tree when Freckles noticed something was wrong. She fluffed up her feathers and gave a very definite “squark” to her babies to let them know she sensed danger.

Up in the branches of the Macadamia tree were perched two Kookaburras.  Freckles began to squark louder to warn the Kookaburra’s that she was watching them and she would protect her babies if either of them tried to swoop down to peck them.

From the farm house Cilla heard the commotion and knew that Freckles only made that sound when there was danger. She rushed out to see what was happening only to find Freckles alone among the leaves. The chicks had disappeared! The Kookaburras had flown away and there was no sign of the chicks anywhere!

Cilla panicked. “Freckles, where are all your babies?” she said, thinking the worst and that the Kookaburras had taken them.

After a few moments the leaves around Freckles began to rustle and, to Cilla’s amazement, out popped all the chicks from beneath a thick cover of Macadamia leaves. Freckles had hidden them all out of sight and safe from danger.

“Freckles you clever chook” Said Cilla, still amazed.


Freckles continued scratching happily in the leaves and the chicks joined in once more. She had known just what to do to trick the Kookaburras and keep her babies safe.




In the Kitchen – Beetroot Dip

Blue Gum Farm-50You will need:

One large Beetroot

One cup natural Greek yoghurt

Fresh herbs (I used Thyme and Oregano)

Salt and Pepper


What to do:

Wash and peel your beetroot then slice it into rounds about 1 centimeter thick.

Spread the beetroot onto a roasting tray with a little olive oil and bake until it is tender.

Once the beetroot has cooled, dice it finely and add it to a mixing bowl with your yoghurt, herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and serve with crackers or vegetable sticks. Yum!





Gardening – 5 Plants kids can grow (easily!)

When choosing a plant for your children to grow there are some great options that with be fun, without too much work (or expense) on your part. The most important thing to consider is how long it will take for the plant to reach their flowering/fruiting stage. The last thing you want is for your children to lose interest and give up because the plant doesn’t seem to be changing or developing.

  1. Herbs

Herbs are great because kids can instantly recognize that each one has a different smell! This is really exciting and is a great way for them to get involved even with choosing which herbs to buy. They can simply choose their favorite smelling one. Many herbs can be purchased mature enough to use which is fantastic. You can literally take them home, plant them and start enjoying them straight away.


  1. Tomatoes

In many areas tomatoes grow most of the year and can easily be grown in pots or small garden beds.

They are very fast growing and can produce fruit quickly and for many weeks at a time. Plus who doesn’t love a fresh tomato ripened on the vine!

  1. Lettuce

These are a little unsung hero of the garden world. In the right conditions a lettuce can grow from seed to feed (time to eat it) in 3-4 weeks! That’s great for kids to see them growing by the day and you’ll love having some fresh lettuce leaves to use in your salad or on your sandwiches.


4. Mushrooms

If your kids haven’t developed a taste for mushrooms yet this will work a treat! Mushrooms grow really fast and are a totally delicious addition to your vegetable selection. You can buy a mushroom growing kit from the hardware shop and all you need to do is water and watch them grow!

IMG_3755 (002)


  1. Sprouts

These things are fascinating, so even if the kids don’t get a buzz out of sprouting seeds, you sure will!

You can sprout an amazing variety of seeds with all different flavors and textures. There’s no need to go to the expense of buying any sprout growing hardware when a glass jar and some cloth with do just as good a job.

You can buy sprouting seeds at the health food shop for a couple of dollars a packet. Pop them in your glass jar with some water and let them sit for an hour or so. Then drain off the water (through you cloth) and pop them in a nice dark humid spot and they will start to sprout within 24hrs. Rinse the seeds with water once a day until they are ready to eat. My favorite are mung bean sprouts but there are lots of different sprouting seeds to choose from. Enjoy!!!

In the Kitchen – Candy Mandis

You will need:Blue Gum Farm-67

6 Mandarins

3 tablespoons of honey

1 tablespoon olive oil

Toppings – for dipping (I used coconut, sesame seeds, poppy seeds and crushed peanuts)


What to do:

Segment the Mandarins and remove all the stringy bits

In a small saucepan heat the honey and olive oil. Stir the mixture and allow it to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Simmering it like this will ensure your honey mixture sets like toffee once it cools.

Slide the Mandarin pieces onto wooden skewers (one piece per skewer) and dip them into the hot honey mixture before coating them in one of the toppings.

Allow the honey to cool and then serve – I used one of the whole mandarins as a base to make a Mandarin Porcupine for a bit of fun!






Story time – Piglet Fun

Banjo the pig is out and about
He is hoping to find some food
He sniffs the air and wags his tail
He is in such a wonderful mood


Banjo the pig is in a hurry
From the sty and down to the dam
He smells something good so off he goes
Running as fast as he can

Down at the dam he finds some weeds
They are green and juicy to bite
Along come his brothers, they see them too
They are willing to put up a fight

There’s plenty share says Banjo’s sister
As she joins the squabbling pigs
‘The best’ she says ‘is under the ground’
And with that she starts to dig


The bulb of the weed is tasty and sweet
“Yum” says Banjo, he agrees
With tummies all full the piglets retire
For a sleep beneath the trees

And this is a day for Banjo the pig
A snooze and relax in the sun
Tomorrow he’s back to hunt for more weeds
And share all his piglet fun

In the Kitchen – Strawberry and Apple Jelly


905You will need:

150 grams fresh strawberries

500ml apple juice

3 teaspoons of gelatin

Mint, finely chopped (optional)


What to do:

Wash, hull and slice the strawberries.

In a small saucepan, warm half of the apple juice (be careful not to overheat, if it boils it can change the taste). It should be just warm enough to dissolve the gelatin but not boiling.

Add the gelatin and stir until it is all dissolved. Remove from heat and add the remaining cold apple juice to cool the mixture down quickly.

Divide your strawberries evenly and pop them into your jelly moulds. Sprinkle in a small amount of mint then top them up with the apple juice mixture.

Put them into the fridge to set and then serve908


Story time – Penny’s Chicks

Out in the hay shed at the back of the homestead on Blue Gum farm there is an old cardboard box. This is no ordinary cardboard box. This box is where Penny decided to make her nest and lay her eggs. The hay shed is dark and warm and it is far away from the hustle and bustle of the other farm animals. There are lots of cobwebs hanging from the old timber beams in the ceiling but Penny doesn’t mind. Occasionally there is a cheeky little mouse who runs across the old wooden floor. He has found some stale grain in the corner and he is busily taking some back to his nest between the bales of Lucerne hay to feed his babies. If it was any other time Penny would have chased the mouse and pounced on him and eaten him for her lunch. But not today, she was much too busy looking after her eggs.


Once a day Penny leaves her nest to go and have something to eat and a drink from the water trough. She also takes the time to chat quickly with the other chooks to see if there is any news that she has missed while sitting on her eggs. “We saw an old crow trying to steal our eggs yesterday” says Stanny the glossy black chook. “But Walter the rooster chased him away!” squawked Lucy, the old white chook who was losing some of her feathers.

“Just as well I chose to make my nest in the hay shed” thought Penny to herself as she hurried back to her eggs. She wouldn’t stay away from them too long because they couldn’t stay warm enough on their own.


There they were, just as she had left them. Penny felt relieved. She was always anxious about leaving her eggs by themselves and she was happy to be back to check on them. Penny carefully stepped back onto her nest, without disturbing a single egg. She ruffled her feathers and puffed them all out so that they covered her eggs to keep them warm. Penny didn’t know what it was but something made her feel very happy when she was sitting there keeping her eggs warm. She didn’t get bored or lonely. She was looking after her eggs and that made her feel very content.

One morning after Penny had been sitting on her eggs for 21 days she woke up and knew that something was different. The Barn was still dark and warm. She could even still hear the mouse going about his business collecting grain to feed his babies. Penny felt excited but very nervous at the same time. Soon Penny felt her nest beneath her shake…… what was happening! Penny ruffled her feathers to make sure that, whatever it was, didn’t hurt her eggs. Crack!… came a noise from under Penny’s feet. Penny used her beak to nudge the eggs under her to check that they were ok. As Penny did so from out of one of her eggs appeared a tiny, wet, wobbly chick! It’s finally happening thought Penny. My chicks are hatching! As the day went on Penny helped all of her chicks to hatch. She was very exhausted but she didn’t notice because she was so excited that her babies had finally arrived.


Later that day, when all of the chicks had hatched and they had time to dry out and learn how to use their legs, Penny left her cardboard box nest in the hay shed. She helped each of her chicks down the old rickety steps at the back of the shed and walked them across the gravel driveway towards the chook house. Penny fluffed up her chest and proudly strutted into the chook house with 14 fluffy chicks scurrying in after her.


“Mummy, wait for us Mummy!” Squeaked one
“Mummy he pecked me!” Chirped another
“I’m hungry Mummy!” Two said at once
“Oopps Mummy, I just did a poo!”……….

But Penny was too proud to notice. She was happy to introduce the newest addition to Blue Gum Farm to her friends.

Story time – “I can do it, I’m not too little!”

Yawwwwwwn!…. Buster the black and white Border collie puppy did a big stretch as he opened his eyes early one morning on Blue Gum Farm. Buster was 12 weeks old and he had just moved to Blue Gum Farm to start his new life as a cattle dog. Before he came here, Buster was still living with his Mum and brothers and sisters so, although Buster was a bit unsure about what to expect from his new home, he was very excited. Buster had his own kennel that was cosy and warm for him to sleep in and he was also wearing a collar for the first time. He thought it looked very smart (and made him very grown up) but it did tickle a bit because he wasn’t used to it yet. Buster was waiting at the door of his kennel when Farmer Joe came to collect him that morning. He jumped around and wagged his tail so much that he almost fell over with excitement. Joe had saddled up his horse and was going mustering with all of his cattle dogs.

“Oh mustering” said Buster “I am great at mustering!” he announced in his little puppy voice. “I will catch all of the cows on my own!” “Not you Buster, you are too little to come mustering with us” Said Joe. “You can stay home and help Granddad in the workshop”. “Oaoaooarrrrh” Cried Buster as he watched Joe ride off on his horse. “Yeah stay home little pup” Charlie, the boss farm dog, told Buster sternly. “You are too little!”

The next day Buster was again waiting excitedly at the door of his kennel when Joe came out to pack the ute and go to work. “Ah yes, let’s go to work” said Buster as he waddled over to the ute and sat down on his little fluffy bottom waiting for Joe to lift him into the back. “Not you Buster, you are too little to go to work. You can stay behind and help Grandma in the garden”.


“Yeah you can’t come to work with us. You are too little.” said Charlie in a mean voice as he leapt into the back. Buster started to whimper in his little puppy voice as the cloud of dust settled from Joe driving off up the road. “Oaoaoaooarh” he squeaked but soon he spotted Grandma heading for the garden pushing the wheelbarrow. “Ooh that looks like fun!” he thought as he ran over to the wheel barrow and hopped in for a ride.

Many weeks passed and Buster had come to enjoy staying at home and helping around the farm while the other dogs went off to work. Buster didn’t know it but he was growing very quickly. He was becoming a tall lean dog, who was strong and quick on his feet. He could run for miles without getting tired and his sense of smell was so good he could always tell where Grandma was on the farm just by using his nose.

One morning Buster was helping Grandma with the chores when Joe came to collect the dogs to take them to work. He heard Charlie chuckle under his breath “See you later little puppy. You’re not coming ‘cause you are tooooo little! Have a good day doing baby things!” But he didn’t take any notice and kept on going about his chores. “Buster! Hey Buster, come here!” he heard Joe yell. Buster stopped what he was doing and galloped over to the ute where Joe was waiting. “You’re coming to work today Buster” he said “And Charlie you can stay home. You are getting a bit tired lately so you can have a rest”. Charlie scowled as he hopped out of the ute and slunk back to his kennel. He knew the day was coming when Buster would join the working dog team and he couldn’t help being jealous.


Buster leapt into the back of the ute and was excited to feel the wind in his face as Joe drove off up the road. Buster said to himself happily- “I can do it, I’m NOT too little!”