April 4, 2016

The Imbe is a small, bright orange, oblong fruit that is native to Africa. This berry has a thin skin and one large seed inside. The imbe has a very sweet, yet acidic taste. Some have likened the taste to that of an apricot.

An antibacterial component has been found in the leaves. Also, the bark and root of the Imbe tree can be used to treat meningitis, tuberculosis, and cancer. Other uses of the fruit include landscaping using imbe trees and of course eating the fruit. It can be eaten raw, crushed into a drink, seeded and dried, cooked into desserts, or fermented to make a purplish wine. Another option is to soak imbes in alcohol and mix it with syrup to make liqueur.

These trees can be grown in USDA growing zones 9 and above. They are drought tolerant, but in order for fruit to grow, water is necessary. The tree usually fruits between July and August. The fruit ripens to a bright orange in August and is gone within two weeks. The fruit is between 1.5-2 inches long and 1-2 inches in diameter. The skin is quite tender, so shipping this fruit is not practical.

The tree itself is rather slow growing, but ultimately can grow to 15-20 feet tall. However, the evergreen like tree usually has one large trunk with other thick branches stemming from it. This puts the fruit closer to the ground than if they grew off just the main trunk. Also, it gives the tree a unique appearance, making it a popular choice in landscaping. In fact, imbe trees can be found at Mozambique’s capitol and near Victoria Falls in Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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April 4, 2016

Planing a Mexican dinner night? Follow this recipe http://ow.ly/NlFHa and use your fresh avocados to make this delicious guacamole to add to your dinner!

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April 4, 2016

The dragon fruit comes from a cactus plant. The fruit itself can have red or yellow skin and white or red flesh. All varieties have overlaid leaves, similar to an artichoke, and many small, black, edible seeds inside. It has a mildly sweet flavor, like a mix of kiwi and pear. While the fruit’s appearance can be a bit intimidating, it’s easy to eat. Simply slice the fruit open and scoop out the flesh. Only the white (or sometimes pink) part with seeds is edible. The skin is bitter.

The dragon fruit is very healthy, with a high amount of vitamin C. There is an abundance of calcium, iron, and phosphorous as well. It contains no complex carbohydrates which ensures easy breakdown in the body. It has been proven to lower blood sugar levels and blood pressure, strengthen bones and teeth, promote healthy blood and tissue formation, strengthen the immune system, heal bruises and wounds faster, and prevent respiratory problems.

So aside from eating it fresh, what can you do? How about make it into a cool, refreshing cocktail?

INGREDIENTS: yields 3-4 martinis

  • 1 ripe dragon fruit (soft enough to indent skin slightly with your thumb)
  • 1/3 cup vodka
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 2-3 ice cubes
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk (not required)
  • garnishes: dragon fruit wedge, lime slice, or star fruit

PREPARATION: 12 minutes

  1. Scoop all flesh out of dragon fruit.
  2. Place dragon fruit flesh into blender or food processor. Add all other ingredients and blend 20-30 seconds on high speed.
  3. Taste-test for desired strength and sweetness. Add more vodka for strength or more sugar for sweetness. (Note: sweetness will also depend on the ripeness of dragon fruit). If too sweet, add more lime juice. If too strong, add more coconut milk.
  4. Pour into martini glasses and garnish.
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April 4, 2016

Star fruit are not only pretty to look at, but interesting too! Since they can be grown in Florida and Hawaii, they’re pretty easy to come by.

When looking for ripe star fruit, use the same rule as bananas. Ripe star fruit will be mainly bright yellow with tinges of light green. If they have some dark brown along the five ridges, that’s fine. The flesh should still be firm. It’s also okay to buy star fruit when it’s green and wait for it to ripen. When star fruit is over-ripe it turns entirely yellow and gets brown spots all over. Star fruit is usually available July through February.

There are two different varieties found in supermarkets. One is sour while the other is slightly sweet, yet it is virtually impossible to tell the two apart. In general, the tart varieties have narrowly spaced ribs and sweet varieties have thicker, fleshier ribs. However, the tart variety still has some sweetness. The flavor is usually described as a cross between an apple and a grape.

A star fruit, which when cut up will be about 2/3 of a cup, is a great source of Vitamin C, is low fat, and free of sodium and cholesterol. The fruit can be eaten fresh, used as a garnish, or incorporated into salads.

The star fruit has been reported to have a few health benefits as well. It has been used to relieve headaches, hangovers, sore eyes, ringworm, prickly heat, and chickenpox. It is also believed to stimulate the flow of milk in nursing mothers. However, those in chronic renal failure or end stage renal disease should stay away from star fruit. It contains a neurotoxin that can cause fruit intoxication in these patients.

Here's a great recipe for Star Fruit Dessert.

Serves 2-4, Prep Time 8 min, Cook Time 10 min

Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh, ripe star fruit
  • 1 cup orange juice or 2 oranges juiced
  • the fruit of 1 fresh ripe mango
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • up to 1 cup good quality coconut milk
  • optional: handful of fresh pomegranate seeds or cherries
  • optional: whipped cream or vanilla ice cream (as a topping)

Preparation:

  1. Place the star fruit (3 slices per person) in a pot on the stove. Add orange juice. Stir well and turn heat to high until juice begins to boil. Then turn heat down to medium.
  2. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes or until star fruit has softened enough to easily cut into with a spoon. Occasionally move slices and gently turn them over so they cook equally. Remove any brown seeds that may loosen and surface.
  3. While star fruit is cooking, place the mango fruit in a food processor, mini chopper, or blender. Process or blend until it is smooth and pureed. Set aside.
  4. When the star fruit is nearly done, add the brown sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Add the mango puree, stirring well. Taste-test for sweetness, adding more brown sugar if needed. (Sweetness will depend on ripeness of fruit and juice used). If it is too sweet, add a squeeze of fresh lime juice or more orange juice.
  6. Take out 3 slices per bowl with enough sauce to surround the fruit. Top each bowl with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds or cherry pieces. Drizzle coconut milk over the fruit. Add whipped cream and/or vanilla ice cream and serve!
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April 4, 2016

Description

The passion fruit is a subtropical vine that grows up to 20 feet per year. Although it generally lives only 5-7 years, it becomes extremely tall, clinging to anything for support. The fruit itself is nearly round and about 1.5-3 inches wide. Its skin is smooth and waxy. Different varieties can be deep purple with white specks, to light yellow or pumpkin color. Some hybrids have been made between yellow and purple varieties yielding colors between the two.

Inside the fruit there are membranous sacs containing light orange pulpy juice. There are also hundreds of small, dark brown or black pitted seeds. The passion fruit flavor is musky, guava-like, and ranges from sweet to tart. Yellow passion fruits are usually larger than purple ones, but the pulp of the purple varieties is usually less acidic, richer in flavor, and has more juicy pulp.

The fruit on the vine will turn quickly from green to either deep purple or yellow when ripe. It will then fall to the ground. You can pick the fruits when they change color or gather them from the ground each day. When stored, passion fruits will last in the fridge about 1-2 weeks or on the counter for 1-2 days. It also freezes very well.

How to Eat Them

The first step is to pick a ripe fruit and avoid overly mature ones. Pick ones with wrinkles on the surface that are already deep purple (or yellow depending on the variety). These are the ripest and will be the sweetest. Don’t worry about minor cuts or scrapes on the skin. These are common and unless overwhelming, don’t usually hurt the quality of the fruit.

Another tip, the softer the shell, the more ripe the fruit will be.

You should also shake the passion fruit. If there’s a lot of liquid inside, it means there’s plenty to eat! It doesn’t hurt to smell it either. If you can’t smell anything, it’s probably fairly tasteless compared to others that smell tropical and sweet.

Now that you have your passion fruit, you’re ready to eat it. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seedy pulp. The seeds don’t need to be removed. You can eat the pulp with cream and sugar or use it in fruit salads or beverages (seeds too!). It’s also common to remove the seeds through a cheesecloth or strainer.

The juice you end up with can be sweetened or diluted with water or other juices. It tastes great with orange or pineapple. You can also boil the juice down to a syrup for use in sauce, gelatin desserts, candy, ice cream, sherbet, icing, cake filling, meringue or chiffon pie, or cocktails. The seeded pulp can be made into jelly or combined with pineapple to make jam. Frozen juice can be kept for 1 year in the freezer.

Health Benefits

Passion fruit is a great source of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber. Good fiber can help remove cholesterol and protect the colon. Vitamin C helps the body resist flu like infections and viruses. Also, vitamin A is good for eyesight and maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. It may even help protect us from lung and oral cancers. Potassium is an important component of cells and body fluids that helps regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

Recipe

Yogurt Panna Cotta with Passion Fruit Syrup

Ingredients:

  • 300 mL Pouring Cream
  • 270 mL Natural Yogurt
  • 4 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 3/4 Titanium Strength Gelatine Leaves (approx. 3 3/4 tsp of powdered gelatine) softened in cold water
  • Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
  • PASSION FRUIT SYRUP
  • 4 Passion Fruit, pulp only (or canned)
  • 50 gm Castor (berry) Sugar
  • Juice from 1/2 lime
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • Special equipment: 150-200 ml Dariole or panna cotta moulds

Preparation:

  1. Very lighlty grease the dariole moulds with a little vegetable oil on a paper towel.
  2. Whisk the cream and yogurt together in a large bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Bring honey and vanilla seeds to a simmer in a small saucepan. Squeeze excess water from gelatine and add it to the honey -- stir to dissolve.
  4. Stir honey mixture through the yogurt mixture, then divide among four lightly greased dariole moulds. Refrigerate until set (4-5 hours - or even overnight).
  5. Make the passion fruit syrup. Combine ingredients together in a small saucepan. Simmer over a medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the liquid becomes syrupy. Set aside to cool.
  6. Just before serving, dip bases of panna cotta moulds in warm water for a few seconds, turn out onto serving plates and spoon on the passion fruit syrup. Serve immediately.
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April 4, 2016

Here it is again, summer time! Looking to stay healthy and look healthy? Look no further! Avocados are a good source of dietary fiber (for digestion and absorption of nutrients), vitamin K, vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Avocados can be eaten raw or cooked, and can be added in to any recipes from omelets to creamy avocado pasta sauce. It is a pear-shaped fruit with a rough leathery skin, smooth oily edible flesh, and a large stone. An Avocado comes for a tropical evergreen tree. The avocado plant is native to Central America and widely cultivated elsewhere.

How do you get one to your back yard or even in your house?

Avocado Plant

It's simple! Avocado growing indoors is fun and easy. They can be grown as a household plant or grown in a container . Either way, growing an avocado plant requires patience and light, lots of light. Because of the sensitivity of the plant it is easily damaged it the temperature is too cold.

Either way, growing an avocado plant requires patience and light, lots of light. Because of the sensitivity of the plant it is easily damaged if the temperature is too cold. PlantOGram does offer cold hardy avocado fruits for those with not so green thumbs. Because when it comes to the avocado there are a lot of do's!

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April 4, 2016

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will celebrate their 20th Anniversary and 16th Annual ART FOR LIFE Hamptons Benefit Event on Saturday, July 18th. The event will be hosted by Soledad O'Brien with a performance from Bell Bive Devoe and music by DJ M.O.S. The Rush foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Danny Simmons, Russell Simmons, and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, is built on the celebration of the creative energy of inner city youth, honored for their success of work that betters their communities. ART FOR LIFE also provides New York City kids with the exposure to different art forms and supports artists that are emerging on the scene by giving them exhibition opportunities. This year's featured ART FOR LIFE artist is Wangechi Mutu; a Kenyan born artist who has created her work in New York for almost twenty years.

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"Sniffing" by Wangechi Mutu

This "Roaring Twenties" cocktail themed event will be attended by over 800 elite guests such as Emily & Harold Ford Jr., Tommy & Dee Hilfiger and Angella Forbes for Forbes Public Relations. Sponsors for the event include Bombay Sapphire, Hamptons Magazine and Merrill Lynch. Honorees of the event are Dave Chappelle, Ava DuVernay and Michaela & Simon de Puray. An auction will take place that includes art work by Wangechi Mutu and fruit trees by Plant O Gram. Also, those in attendance will receive gift bags that include items from each sponsor of the event and gift cards from PlantOGram, that were made especially for the ART FOR LIFE Benefit Event guests.

[caption id="attachment_708" align="alignnone" width="338"]Gift Cards Being used for Russell Simmons RUSH PHILANTHROPIC ARTS FOUNDATION'S Actual Gift Cards Being Used For Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation[/caption]

“Art saves lives, it is that simple. Rush Philanthropic believes that if you give young people the opportunity to practice and appreciate art — whether poetry, music, dance, or the visual arts — then you will see lives transformed as young people learn to value their own unique voices and visions. It is this type of impact we aspire to see happen and that your support will make possible,” said in a statement released by the organization.

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April 4, 2016

CharityBuzz finally goes live with this years items to be auctioned at Russell Simmons' ART FOR LIFE 20th Anniversary event gala. Plant O Gram will be auctioning off two items at the event: a "Fruit of The Gods" Mini Exotic Orchard and an "Exotic Lost World" Mini Exotic Orchard.

"Fruits of The Gods"

This Orchard collection contains some of the rarest fruit varieties from around the world from the elusive Jambolan Tree, refereed to in ancient Vedic Scriptures as the fruit that were consumed by the GODS to the world renowned Kesar Mango the most expensive mango variety in the world.

mangogodfruitKesar Mango- "queen of mangoes" is widely grown in the Gujarat state of India. It has a unique, sweet taste. The Kesar is characterized by its golden color with green overtones.

"Exotic lost World"

This Orchard collection contains plants that are mostly obscure to the western world. Including the exotic Jaboticaba fruit tree from deep within the Amazon rain-forest, to the intoxicating Michelia Alba flower whose sweet, entrancing aroma is know to linger around holy grounds throughout Asia.

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Michelia- found in southern China; it has a large, delicate white flower. The scent is used extensively in aroma therapy products as well as Joy perfumery. 

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will celebrate their 20th Anniversary and 16th Annual ART FOR LIFE Hamptons Benefit Event on Saturday, July 18th. The event will be hosted by Soledad O'Brien with a performance from Bell Bive Devoe and music by DJ M.O.S. The Rush foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Danny Simmons, Russell Simmons, and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, is built on the celebration of the creative energy of inner city youth, honored for their success of work that betters their communities. ART FOR LIFE also provides New York City kids with the exposure to different art forms and supports artists that are emerging on the scene by giving them exhibition opportunities. Plant O Gram is honored to be apart of such an amazing event!

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April 4, 2016

CharityBuzz finally goes live with this years items to be auctioned at Russell Simmons' ART FOR LIFE 20th Anniversary event gala. Plant O Gram will be auctioning off two items at the event: a "Fruit of The Gods" Mini Exotic Orchard and an "Exotic Lost World" Mini Exotic Orchard.

"Fruits of The Gods"

This Orchard collection contains some of the rarest fruit varieties from around the world from the elusive Jambolan Tree, refereed to in ancient Vedic Scriptures as the fruit that were consumed by the GODS to the world renowned Kesar Mango the most expensive mango variety in the world.

mangogodfruitKesar Mango- "queen of mangoes" is widely grown in the Gujarat state of India. It has a unique, sweet taste. The Kesar is characterized by its golden color with green overtones.

"Exotic lost World"

This Orchard collection contains plants that are mostly obscure to the western world. Including the exotic Jaboticaba fruit tree from deep within the Amazon rain-forest, to the intoxicating Michelia Alba flower whose sweet, entrancing aroma is know to linger around holy grounds throughout Asia.

320px-white_champaca_april_2009

Michelia- found in southern China; it has a large, delicate white flower. The scent is used extensively in aroma therapy products as well as Joy perfumery. 

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will celebrate their 20th Anniversary and 16th Annual ART FOR LIFE Hamptons Benefit Event on Saturday, July 18th. The event will be hosted by Soledad O'Brien with a performance from Bell Bive Devoe and music by DJ M.O.S. The Rush foundation, which was founded in 1995 by Danny Simmons, Russell Simmons, and Joseph "Rev Run" Simmons, is built on the celebration of the creative energy of inner city youth, honored for their success of work that betters their communities. ART FOR LIFE also provides New York City kids with the exposure to different art forms and supports artists that are emerging on the scene by giving them exhibition opportunities. Plant O Gram is honored to be apart of such an amazing event!

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April 4, 2016

LogoImageWindermere, FL – July 16, 2015 – PlantOGram is going to be officially auctioning off a mini exotic orchard for Russell Simmons’ philanthropic auction, held by Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation on July 18th. Starting at 6pm with cocktails, the theme of the event is Roaring Twenties Festive. It will feature many artists a special performance by Bel Biv Devoe.

Some VIPs that will be in attendance are Tommy and Dee Hilfiger, John Legend and Chrissy Teigen, Miss Universe Paulina Vega, Angela Forbes of Forbes Public Relations, Emily Ford and Harold Ford Jr., Deepak Chopra, and Gayle King.

PlantOGram will be providing the gift cards for Russell Simmons’ gift bags. They will also provide two lots to his Auction on Charity Buzz. One is a “Fruit of the Gods” mini exotic orchard estimated to be worth $900, and the other is an “Exotic Lost World” mini exotic orchard estimated to be a $750 value.

PlantOGram is a fully licensed and insured nursery, and they now have the addition of their online store. PlantOGram stocks one of the largest selections of rare fruit trees from all areas of the world. They are now shipping worldwide, with plenty of trees capable of surviving any weather conditions. Information regarding which trees can survive various conditions can be found on the PlantOGram website.

Contact:

Mitesh P. Popat

info@plantogram.com

P.O. Box 1173

Windermere FL, 34786

Ph: 407-749-0007

Fax: 877-329-8384

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