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The Passion Vine

The Passion Vine – June 2015

Post Office Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568

Executive Report By Jann Bonsall The chill is in the air, the dams are full and the passionfruit world is, seemingly very passionate! Much has been happening over the past three months with organising and conducting the PAI General Meeting at Kellys Beach Resort in Bargara and the on-going organisation of the Annual General Meeting and Field Walk to be held at Newrybar, just outside Byron Bay. An overview of the General Meeting in Bargara is on page 12 and information about the activities surrounding and including the AGM and Field Day in August on page10. A conversation with Horticulture Innovation Australia has resulted in a decision that there won’t be an Annual Levy Payers’ Meeting held in conjunction with the AGM and Field Walk this year. The Royal Queensland Show invited Passionfruit Australia to participate in the Rural Discover Day held annually at the RNA Showgrounds in Brisbane. More about that event on page 8. It’s that time of year to renew membership and after four years it’s time to make an incremental increase to fees. Membership fees and lobby fees will each rise $5 to $115 and $25 respectively.

Renewal for grower members will therefore total $154 and new members (which includes a $50 joining fee), processors, nurserymen, agents and associates $198. You only have to consider the increase in the cost of postage to understand the PAI are not into empire building! Cherie Gambley, as the Project Leader of the Overcoming Viruses Project through QDAFF, lodged the Final Report at the end of March and the Summary of that is on page 11. PAI is currently working on the next project, an outline of which will be presented at the AGM along with an update of the DNA Fingerprint Toolkit (current report on page 9.) Jenny Margetts from P2P Business Solutions has been undertaking a Supply Chain project for the passionfruit industry over the past months and in this edition on pages 1316 you will see a report on the outcomes. There is also an article announcing the winners of the 5 Wish Cards that were on offer for those of you who contributed data (page 16).

Newsletter of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated

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June 2015 The marketing program continues to deliver excellent results! Industry has three new recipes from Sammy and Bella and positive responses from the major retailers. More information about the retailers in News Bites, the marketing report on page 19. AND one of the new fabulous recipes on page 18. While this edition is off at the printers there is a major Agvet (Chemical) Prioritisation Workshop being undertaken in Canberra. This project has been in train since 2014 and culminates in agriculture having two days to sit at the table in collaboration with Research Development Corporations (RDCs), representatives of the wide industry groups and chemical registrants discussing priorities nominated by each industry in degrees of priority. There is government funding available for the outcomes of this workshop and PAI will advise the outcomes as soon as they are available. In the meantime, on page 7 there is a chemical registration and permit table outlining those available to the passionfruit industry. This is not a complete list but provides an outline, particularly of registrations. So, the most important things to remember are:  Renew your membership so (Continued on page 3)

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Passionfruit Australia Incorporated Executive Committee President

Vice President

Ian Constable "Nunderry" 260 Boyds Lane Dulguigan via Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 6826 M: 0428 181 246 F: 02 6672 6826 E:

Tina McPherson 15 Zinks Road Bundaberg QLD 4670 P: 07 4159 3001 M: 0428 415 930 F: 07 4155 6744 E:

President Vine Committee


Jim Gordon PO Box 119 Yandina QLD 4561 P: 07 5446 7536 M: 0403 185 961 F: 07 5446 7524 E:

Peter Griffiths 408 Dahl's Road Calavos QLD 4670 T/F: 07 4159 7394 M: 0429 656 922 E:



William Wise 131 Cranneys Rd North Tumbulgum NSW 2490 P: 02 6676 6099 M: 0435 177 461 E:

Sean Russell (JE Tippers) PO Box 27, Brisbane Markets QLD 4006 P: 07 3379 1041 M: 0418 158 331 F: 07 3379 4817 E:



Tom Carey “Wilgra” Terania Creek Road The Channon NSW 2484 P: 02 6688 6510 M: 0407 710 009 E:

Nick Hornery N & N Hornery 73 Watsons Lane Newrybar NSW 2479 P: 02 6687 1405 F: 02 6687 1830 M: 0432 183 085 E:


Executive Officer (Secretary / Treasurer )

Tim Johnson 720 Clothiers Creek Rd Murwillumbah NSW 2484 P: 02 6677 7192 M: 0402 128 516 E:

Jann Bonsall PO Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568 P: 07 5485 4402 E:

The Passion Vine – June 2015 (Continued from page 1) Passionfruit Australia can continue to work on your behalf and provide the best outcomes possible in the fields of research & development, marketing and

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It would be fantastic to see growers, agents, nurserymen, processors, associates and researchers all join us in Byron Bay for dinner on Friday 14th August and the AGM,

lunch and Field Walk on Saturday 15th! Just don’t forget to let me know you’re coming! May the weather stay true and provide a passionate winter season for all you growers!


PAI Licensed Nurseries Birdwood Nursery 71 Blackall Range Road Nambour QLD 4560 P: 07 5442 1611 J & V McLeod Campbell’s Road Dungay NSW 2484 P: 02 6672 3503 Widebay Passionvine Nursery 408 Dahls Road Calavos via Bundaberg Q 4670 P: 07 4159 7394

PAI FEES New Grower or Processor Membership fee : $198 incl GST, joining fee and lobby fees Grower or Processor Membership renewal : $154 incl GST and lobby fees. Other classes (Nurseryman, seller, agent or associate) : $198 incl GST and lobby fees. Memberships run with the Fiscal year from July 1st to June 30th each year irrespective of date joined. Membership lapses if not renewed within three months of end of the fiscal year. Plant Royalties are due on propagation or purchase of all PAI varieties Fees are payable to PAI executive officer : $0.35 per plant for PAI members, otherwise $0.70 for all non-members.

Bank account details Passionfruit Australia Incorporated BSB: 124-101 Acc No.: 21655088

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Regional Roundup From the growers...

Wide Bay By Peter Griffiths Hello everyone. In the Bundaberg region the last three months has been relatively uneventful. Still very dry with only a 100mm weather event in early May to settle the dust. We still have 100% water allocation so irrigating is no problem (thanks to the floods replenishing the underground aquifers). Both the Misty and Pandora production have been steady with another flush of Pandora due in early June. Fruit was still setting last week, however this cold snap in early June will probably finish that. That’s all until next time. Thanks.

NNSW Area By Ian Constable Hello everyone, The first cool changes signal the onset of winter in the Tweed Valley. The vines still look nice and green with a good crop hanging. Our old neighbour says we were in for a cold one this year, but he says that every year! We’ve had plenty of rain and all the dams are overflowing. We got one of our dams cleaned out and deepened during the dry spell and now have plenty of irrigation water.

The General Meeting at Bargara was well attended by locals and a few that travelled further. It was good to catch up with the members and some that are going to join, in a very nice location. Jann did a splendid job organising everything and we all enjoyed a great BBQ at Kelly’s Beach Resort after the meeting. Some real time and effort was put in by two attendees trying to develop recipes for Passionfruit Cocktails! Keep up the research lads. It’s always enjoyable to catch up with other growers. I look forward to the AGM held this year in NSW in Byron Bay with a farm tour at the Hornery’s family farm nearby. Hope to see you all there, bye for now. Cheers Ian

SE Queensland By Jim Gordon The last few months have been fairly good to us here on the Sunshine Coast. We've had good rain without so much as to be a nuisance. It's good having a full dam going into the winter. The usual Autumn problems of Septoria spot and green fruit

drop have hit us again. We just don't seem to be able to beat them. On the up side though we've had our best production in years and reasonable prices. From all accounts everyone has had their flushes of fruit but luckily at different times. The first week of June has seen much cooler weather and a lot less fruit but there will still be plenty more over the next two months. At least with the cooler weather the vine and weed spraying are easier to keep on top of. The trial plants here on our farm are all doing well and a couple of them show a bit of promise. I urge anyone with trial plants to keep an eye on any that are showing signs of being useful. We all owe Jann a big thank you for representing our industry at the recent Rural Discovery Day in Brisbane. She spent a full day giving out samples, answering questions and generally giving passionfruit a good wrap to hundreds of school kids. Thanks Jann. We hope you all have a good Winter season and look forward to seeing you at the AGM in August. All the best Jim & Jill Gordon.

Letters to the Editor Don’t forget to send your letters to the Editor to or post to PO Box 321, Pomona, Queensland 4568

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For information regarding administration issues for Passionfruit Australia Incorporated please contact: Jann Bonsall, PO Box 321 Pomona QLD 4568

Ph: 07 5485 4402 Email: admin@ For variety and plantings issues please contact your local Executive Member as listed on page 2. Other enquiries can be made through Queensland DAFF on their call centre number 132523 All contributions concerning the industry are most welcome.

The Passion Vine is edited by Jann Bonsall and Jenny Drew The advice and opinions in the articles published in The Passion Vine are essentially those of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor. The advice given is at the readers own risk, and no responsibility is accepted for the accuracy of the material presented. Inclusion of an advertisement in this publication does not necessarily imply endorsement of the product, company or service by Passionfruit Australia Incorporated or the Editor.


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News Bites Retail PAI representatives and Elisa King (HIA Marketing Manager – Passionfruit) met with Produce Category Managers from the major retailers during May to present the Passionfruit marketing campaign and discuss issues that were particular to the passionfruit supply chain. The outcomes of the discussions were very positive particularly in respect to the industry marketing program. This is a planned first step in developing an ongoing dialogue and stronger relationships with the industry’s supply chain partners, so that we can work together to deliver better outcomes for all. About My Region ABARES has produced a series of individual profiles of the agricultural, forestry and fisheries industries in your region. Based on the regional boundaries set by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, each regional profile presents an overview of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors in the region and the recent financial performance of the broadacre and, where relevant, dairy and vegetable industries. http:// publications/aboutmyregion QDAFF web site The Australian passionfruit industry has about 130 commercial growers producing 3800 t of fresh fruit a year worth around $12 million at the farm gate. A further 500 t of fruit a year with a farm gate value of around $500,000, is sold for processing into pulp to be used in juices, yoghurt, ice cream and other products.

Queensland farmers in the Sunshine Coast, Wide Bay, Atherton Tablelands and the coastal wet tropics, as far north as the Daintree, account for 75% of production. Northern New South Wales is the other main area of production. Farms range in size from 2-15 ha. Federal budget: Backpackers lose taxfree threshold - ABC Rural Anyone on a working holiday visa will have to pay tax from their first dollar earned, rather than their first $18,200 of earnings being tax-free. At the moment, a working holiday maker can be treated as a resident for tax purposes if they are in the country for more than six months. While implementing the new tax will cost the Tax Office around $5.1 million, the Federal Government expects the measure will save the budget $540 million over the next four years. The measure comes amid concerns backpackers were being exploited, both in conditions and pay. The ABC's Four Corners program recently revealed underpayment, exploitation and terrible working conditions for migrant workers on farms and in a range of industries, including food processing. Following the program, the Federal Government promised to review the rules around the 417 visa, known as the working holiday visa. Horticulture industry representatives had suggested a green card system where

workers' tax file numbers, superannuation details and visa conditions were able to be verified by potential employees. Despite the imposition of tax on working holiday visa incomes, it is unclear what the measure will do to deter rogue employers who are using workers outside the tax system. Working holiday visas have existed since 2005 to try to address acute shortages of workers in agriculture. While the visa was established to service the horticulture industry, in recent years it has expanded to include agriculture more generally, as well as mining and construction. Agriculture is the main user of the scheme, with around 90 per cent of visas being agricultural in nature. As part of its commitment to new initiatives under the employment portfolio, the Federal Government has announced a $6.8 billion "employment services model", known as "jobactive", to begin in July. The government says regional areas suffer entrenched levels of high unemployment and that the new model will improve those statistics by offering "flexibility, funding and support" for regional employers and job seekers. The Harvest Labour Services and the National Harvest Labour Information Service will combine to work with growers in horticulture. Growcom welcomes new CEO Pat Hannan Pat Hannan brings a wealth of experience to his role as new Chief

The Passion Vine – June 2015 Executive Officer of Growcom. Pat has more than 40 years of work experience in senior roles in the public and private sectors, as well as extensive consulting experience within Australia and overseas across a range of disciplines. His experience includes employment within both the State and Commonwealth primary industries departments and consulting assignments with private companies working in the horticulture industry and not-forprofit sector. Pat was heavily

involved in the establishment of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) and the North Australian Quarantine Strategy. Pat has spent most of the past seven years focusing on helping Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people develop employment and economic capacity and identify business opportunities. He has worked closely with colleagues to develop programs with a focus on reducing imprisonment and recidivism rates amongst

Page 7 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Pat’s key strengths lie in strategic leadership and business management/development with a critical focus on building and managing relationships with key stakeholders, both internal and external. “I am enthusiastic about working with the team at Growcom and pursuing the challenges associated with securing Growcom’s future,” Mr Hannan said.


Permits and registrations for passionfruit

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SCU Progress report on DNA fingerprinting project By Peter Bundock

The jointly funded PAI – Southern Cross University project which aims to develop a DNA fingerprinting platform is progressing nicely. To date the following have been achieved:  DNA from 20 Australian passionfruit varieties has been extracted, purified and quantified. 

Thirteen DNA markers described in the scientific literature by Brazilian researchers have been analysed for each of the twenty varieties. Two of these markers showed differences between varieties of Passiflora edulis (the species grown commercially for fruit production). This makes a start on obtaining unique fingerprints for each P. edulis variety. DNA from Toms Special – has been sequenced on a Next Generation Sequencing instrument. This has produced 5 Giga bases (5 billion bases) of DNA sequence, albeit in small pieces – (~240 bases in length). We will use this to discover new markers for fingerprinting. From the Toms Special DNA a large number of potential DNA markers has

been identified. In fact more than 9,000! From these the 66 most likely sequences were selected for DNA primer design for amplification to assess as potential markers. 

A spreadsheet listing all the key Australian passionfruit varieties, their parentage (where known) and their attributes, has been generated with the help of PAI. This will provide useful information to the breeding program into the future. We have established that DNA can be readily extracted from the skin of passion fruit. Useful for assigning variety to police PBR!

The DNA fingerprinting is aimed to provide a unique DNA ‘combination’ for each passionfruit variety. How can this information be used? The most obvious application would be to police plant breeders rights (PBR) if PBR for new passionfruit varieties was obtained in the future. However, markers developed for fingerprinting can also be implemented in managing a breeding program to provide information to breeders. Markers

can be used for identification when there are uncertainties – it helps to know what you have or have not got in a breeding program. Markers can also be used to estimate which varieties are most genetically similar and which are likely to be most distant, which can suggest the best crosses to make. They can also be used to examine genetic diversity – to estimate how much genetic variation is present in a set of passionfruit plants. This information can be used to help maintain diversity in a breeding collection or a ‘landrace’ such as Pandora. It can also be used to work out just what is going on at a genetic level, for example to determine if individual plants have resulted from inbreeding (something that requires management in a breeding program) and to assign parentage where this is partly known. As an aside, as part of the analysis to find potential DNA markers from an assembly of the Toms Special DNA sequence, we have estimated the size of the Passionfruit genome (Passiflora edulis) to be around 1.37 Giga. This is close to the 1.5 Giga bases estimated by other methods, which is around half the size of the human genome.

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Overcoming passionfruit viruses - Final Report Project Number PF11004 By Cherie Gambley, Jay Anderson, Kathy Crew, Andrew Manners, Jan Dean, Lindy Coates, Paul Campbell, Julia Cremer, Denis Persley and John Thomas

Summary Viruses have long been a limiting factor to passionfruit production. This project aimed to progress research outcomes from HIA projects PF04001 and PF07001 to improve management of viral diseases of passionfruit. This included field surveys for virus (es), virus characterization, production of virus-free plants and advancement of breeding lines with virus resistance/tolerance. Results of surveys indicated that potyviruses, particularly, Passionfruit woodiness virus (PWV) and Passiflora virus Y (PaVY) remain the most significant cause of viral diseases in passionfruit in NSW and QLD. A severe strain of PWV was characterized during the study and confirmed to be widespread in north Queensland including Mareeba, Cape Tribulation, Julattan and Proserpine. To control viruses in commercial plantings the use of spatial separation and/or barrier plantings between existing established crop plants and newly planted virus-free material is recommended to minimize re-infection. It is also recommended to destroy wild Passiflora and legumes grown nearby, to control other sources of virus. The use of insecticides to control virus vectors is not

recommended, as it typically enhances disease spread through agitation of the insects. After considerable effort to micro-graft virus-free tips from Misty Gem and Sweetheart plants, three viable plants were produced and are maintained in an insect-proof glasshouse. An improved diagnostic assay for virus detection was developed and would be highly applicable for cost-effective screening of virus-free planting material. It is recommended that industry investigate the feasibility of developing a virus-free planting scheme. Breeding activities to advance previous work were highly successful with multiple progeny generated with resistance to Fusarium oxysporum f.sp passiflorae (Fop). It is highly likely a proportion of these progeny will have dual resistance to Fop and viruses. The material could be used to develop new rootstock lines as the Fop resistance is at least one single, dominant gene, thus relatively easy to establish as a fixed-line and thus suitable for seed propagation. Alternatively or additionally, the material could be backcrossed with existing commercial lines to produce a fruit line which is Fop resistant.

This would negate the need to use rootstocks. An important outcome from the breeding work was the discovery of virus infections in parental lines, previously thought to be virus resistant. Instead, the lines are virus tolerant, as infection occurs without development of severe disease. Further research is needed to better understand this tolerance prior to undergoing additional breeding activities with this material. Experiments aimed at better understanding anthracnose of passionfruit were unsuccessful. This was due to high levels of natural infection in the field. These high levels are concerning and further investigation of the importance of this disease for industry may be warranted. During February 2015, an industry workshop was conducted to discuss directions for future breeding activities. A list of desirable directions for future breeding for the passionfruit industry was developed at the workshop. These included further breeding for pathogen resistance, including both virus, and advancing lines with fusarium resistance to negate the need for rootstocks.

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Looking at the Passionfruit Supply Chain Note : This work is part of HIA project PF 13006 and being undertaken by Jenny Margetts, P2P Business Solutions. It has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia Limited using the Australian passionfruit industry levy and funds from the Australian Government.

Since late last year Passionfruit Australia has been working with an industry consultant to look at improving industry data and addressing supply chain issues across the industry. The lack of transparency and accurate information flowing to and between all sectors of the passionfruit supply chain is generally seen as limiting the understanding of factors which have an impact on industry planning and grower returns / profitability. Hence the work that has been undertaken is seeking to address these limitations by:



Quantifying the production and distribution profile of the industry (i.e. varieties, volumes and quality) from grower to retailer Identifying supply chain issues which adversely impact the development of the industry and make recommendations about how these may be addressed to achieve better outcomes for the industry.

It is hoped that the information generated about the production and market profile of the

industry will benefit growers by providing a better understanding of the supply chain and market dynamics of the industry to assist with decisions about production and marketing. The information generated will also be available to industry leaders and service providers to assist with decisions related to marketing and R&D investment on behalf of industry. Levy figures indicate good growth within the sector with increases in volumes entering the fresh market from 2011/12 to 2013/14. In both 2012/13 and 2013/14 processing fruit was about 240 tonnes per annum (5-6% of total production).

Graph 1 : Indication of passionfruit production 2011/12-2013/14 (fresh and processing) based on levy receipts

The Passion Vine – June 2015 As you would be aware a production survey of all growers was undertaken in late 2014 to ascertain varieties grown, production area, seasonality of crop, 2013/2014 production volumes and major issues impacting profitability of their production enterprise. We had approximately 45% of production respond to the survey which was a good first effort.

We are now undertaking the production survey for 2014/15 and have included a new survey with this newsletter. Our aim is to achieve a response of at least 80% of production, so we encourage you to complete the survey and return it in the self-addressed envelope.

Page 14 At the same time, a weekly collection of sales data from major wholesalers in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne markets over a 13 week period to develop a profile of each major market was conducted. A snapshot of data from this exercise is shown below. It is estimated that this data represents between 70 -80% of volume going through the market, so is a good indication of trends in the market.

Graph 2: (Above) Market throughput by month for PURPLE varieties for each of the major central markets (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) for February 2015, March 2015 and April 2015. It is estimated these figures represent 70-80% of total supply. Graph 3: (Opposite page, above right ) Market throughput by month for PANAMA varieties for each of the major central markets (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) for February 2015, March 2015 and April 2015. It is estimated these figures represent 70-80% of total supply. Graph 4: Opposite page below right) Breakdown of purples and Panama supply for each market (Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne) for February April 2015. It is estimated these figures represent 70-80% of total supply.

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The Passion Vine – June 2015 In addition, consultation was also undertaken with growers, wholesalers, retailers and the industry’s major processor to gain a better understanding of the nature of supply chains in the industry, supply chain issues which limited the growth of the category and the supporting resources available to the supply chain sectors. The major issues continue to be INCONSISTENT SUPPLY, QUALITY and

INCONSISTENT SIZING. The recommendations from the work undertaken is that the industry should continue to collect and update production and sales data so that we have good industry information over time to underpin decision making at all levels in the industry. We now have the tools to do this in a more efficient way, however we will need you (all growers) to

Page 16 update your production data on an annual basis. Additionally a range of further recommendations to address supply chain issues at an industry level have been made by the consultant which will be considered and reported in the next Passion Vine. A full report on this project will be available in the coming months.

Increased national minimum award wage Donna Mogg - Growcom The national minimum wage award will increase by 2.5 per cent and will apply from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2015. Employees on the national minimum wage will see their base wage increase to $656.90 per week or $17.29 per hour. The weekly rate is based on a 38 hour week for a full-time employee. This is a $16 increase per week or 0.42 cents per hour. The minimum wages in modern awards will also increase by 2.5 per cent from the first full pay period starting on or after 1 July 2015. The increase will only apply to employees who receive their pay rates from the national minimum wage, a modern award or, sometimes, through a registered agreement. Growcom will provide an updated Wages Summary Sheet once the full award adjustments have been made. If you are operating on a workplace agreement, contact the Growcom IR Team on 07 3620 3844 and we will assist to amend the rates in your agreement.

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Managing established pests and diseases discussion paper Horticulture Now - Growcom The Department of Agriculture is inviting comments on a paper which discusses new ideas to manage established weeds, pests and diseases that have a significant impact at a national level. The paper, Modernising Australia’s approach to managing established pests and diseases of national significance outlines a proposed way for governments and stakeholders to work together more effectively. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Rona Mellor, said the government is looking at how to better manage established pests

and diseases that have an impact at a national level by working collectively and drawing on the knowledge and experience of industry and landholders.

investment priorities and principles that may be adopted.

This work is a key initiative under the Intergovernmental Agreement on Biosecurity which identifies the need for a strategic, risk-based approach to managing the impact of established pests and diseases.

Ms Mellor said feedback on the discussion paper would be considered in the development of the first national framework for managing established pests and diseases of national significance.

The discussion paper, endorsed by the National Biosecurity Committee, seeks to clarify the roles and responsibilities of governments, and outlines

Photos : Above left : spider mites; Above right : passion vine mite

The discussion paper is now open for public comment.

The consultation process will run until 31 July 2015. The discussion paper, and information on how to make a submission, is available on the Department of Agriculture website

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The Passion Vine June 2015  
The Passion Vine June 2015