Passion Fruit Harvest

Two days ago I harvested some native passion fruit (Passiflora incarnata) from my research vineyard.  It was planted in places where I did not have grapevines.  Last year it produced some fruit, but this year the bounty is larger.  I harvested a 3-gallon pot worth of fruit in short order.

Harvested passion fruit

Harvested passion fruit

As you can see, some were riper than others but all were taken off the ground.  That is one of the management issues with passion fruit of this species, as the fruit falls off when ripe (or even not quite ripe).  So lots of time is spent on hands and knees or stooped over.  I have a few different wild vines and there is variability in fruit size and shape.

Size variability in wild passion fruit (P. incarnata)

Size variability in wild passion fruit (P. incarnata)

Now I have the fruit, what do I do with it?  My plan was to create a syrup from the juice.  I peeled off the outer rind and put the inner arils with seeds into a bladder press.  Eventually I ended up with about 24 ounces of juice.

Passion fruit juice after pressing

Passion fruit juice after pressing

I did not check the brix but I did taste it and the juice was tart.  It will need some sugar.  I hope to start doing more work with passiflora in the future.  Passiflora incarnata is a fascinating plant with great potential.  All it takes is time, money, determination, support, etc.

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