Our orange tree is in full blossom and heavy with ripe fruit! From about 10am every day you can hear a constant bzzzz of bees as they pollinate the tree. This goes on until around sunset as they bzzzz off back to their little homes. I think it is really important to make the most of a fruit tree whilst it is in fruition rather than just letting it go to waste. Everybody knows the proverbial phrase of ‘when life gives you lemons, make lemonade’, which to me means that if you are presented with an opportunity then you should take it. In this case we took it literally and decided to cut down a few oranges and make orange juice!
I did think about making some orange marmalade or jam but my folks just wouldn’t use it so there wasn’t much point as that would definitely go to waste (but the process would’ve been fun!) – so orange juice it was! Dad brought around his set of big ladders and propped them up against the orange tree and with some pruning shears he plucks off an orange one by one and threw them onto the netting that covered the swimming pool.
I then used the leaf skimmer to scoop them up and created a pile of them on the wall before transferring them to the outside table.
Poppy had a go with the ladder as well but she couldn’t get very high.
In total we have three orange trees around the garden, which are all full of fruit, but only one of them is edible as the other two are very bitter. We spoke to a Portuguese family about our bitter oranges and they said that we need to beat our fruit trees so that they produce good fruit for the next season. Beating involves taking a brush to them, repetitively hitting/punching/kicking them, throwing things at them, or sawing off random branches. I’m not kidding, this family run a very successful commercial fruit farm and beat their trees regularly. They really weren’t pulling our legs and this probably explains why the guys who pruned our fruit trees were so heavy handed.
We picked 21 oranges in total, which completely filled a 1 litre jug. The process isn’t rocket science: cut in half, squeeze and then use a sieve to get rid of the bits that escape through the holes. We sieved it a couple of times and ended up with lovely smooth orange juice… Mmm!
It is so much more rewarding having to make your own food and drink. Yes, it might take a bit of preparation and not all of us are fortunate enough to have enough space for a veggie patch and/or fruit trees, but if you do then you will end up with something that is far superior in nutrition and taste to what you might buy in the supermarket. It’s so rewarding and I think it’s a key element towards ‘the good life’. Cheers!