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Hello Sunshine

December 16th, 2014

With the shortest day of the year fast approaching, citrus season comes just in time to add a little sunshine do our days. Late last week I received a box of delicious organic citrus from G & S Groves in Texas. This week I’ll be ordering a box of Meyer lemons from Lemon Ladies.
grapefruit 1
Blood oranges will be ordered in a few months, along with boxes of lemons and limes as well. As local as I try to eat, I will never be without citrus in my fridge or pantry! Thankfully my small lemon tree is starting to produce quite nicely so I’ll need to order a little less this year.
My favorite citrus is grapefruit, with limes coming in a very close second and Mr Chiots loves oranges the most. This time of year I can never get enough of the tart zingy fruits, there’s just something about that flavor when the air is so cold outside my window. It really does bring a bit of sunshine into my day. I’ll be ordering another box shortly because I’m pretty sure my first box will be gone in a heartbeat!

What’s your favorite type of citrus?

Pucker Up

March 6th, 2014

I’ve finally figured out how to achieve citrus success. Last fall I read To Eat: A Country Life while traveling. In the book Joe and Wayne talked about growing citrus trees in Vermont. They said that citrus has issues with scale if kept in a place warmer than they like, i.e. – pretty much any home in the winter.
Pucker up
My citrus trees always resided in a cold location, but I guess it wasn’t cold enough. This winter I decided to put them in the basement in front of the double doors we have that lead outside. The doors are drafty and hare large south facing windows in them. Turns out, it’s the perfect location for citrus. Right now they get light from the windows and light from the big new grow light, so they’re glowing green thanks to that light!
Pucker up 2
I have one lemon that’s ready to harvest and a good crop of small lemons that will be ready next year. It’s quite exciting to finally see these trees producing fruit. If you remember, I purchased them in 2010 during my visit to Monticello.
Dwarf Citrus Outside 1
I love citrus and am happy to be able to grow a little bit of my own. Now that I’ve figured out the key to successful citrus growing, I’m going to be getting a few more trees. Now to decide what to use our single lemon for…

…how would you use such a prize fruit?

Fresh and Seasonal

February 26th, 2013

One of the things I really miss is all the fresh seasonal tropical fruit from my childhood. It’s hard to come by a really good mango in Ohio and Maine. Though you can occasionally find a passable piece of fruit, they’re just not the same as the ones plucked right from the tree.
Tropical Fruit 2
Tropical Fruit 1
While we were in Colombia, I was able to enjoy lots of delicious seasonal fruit. We enjoyed watermelon, mango, pineapple, guanabana, mandarin oranges, oranges, mangoes, limes, pomarosas and star fruit.
Tropical Fruit 3
Tropical Fruit 4
I also enjoyed seeing all the trees blooming. This star fruit tree, or carambola as I know it, was blooming and fruiting at the same time. When I was a kid, I didn’t notice the blooms or the foliage, I was mostly interested in the fruit.  Now, as a gardener, I can appreciate those aspects of these fruit trees.  Growing up, mangoes were my favorite tropical fruit, I have very fond memories of eat green ones with salt and plucking ripe one from the tree.

Do you have any fruit that you remember from you childhood?

Bloom Where You’re Planted

January 3rd, 2013

Remember those tiny citrus trees I got when I went to Monticello way back in 2010? Last fall the little lime tree bloomed like crazy, but none of the blooms set fruit. That’s not really uncommon for the first bloom of a fruit tree. Now it’s blooming again.
lemon trees blooming 3
There are only a handful of blooms and it’s inside in our office. I also noticed the other day that the variegated lemon is blooming as well. It resides in our bedroom window.
lemon trees blooming 1
lemon trees blooming 2
The smell of these blooms is way too much for me, so I’ll be moving the tree out into the landing for a while. It probably won’t set fruit, but I’m excited because these beautiful trees are finally reaching maturity. I’m fairly certain that next fall/winter I will have finally see fruit!

Do you have any houseplants that produce fruit/food?

A Sunny Delivery

December 15th, 2011

I grew up in South America in a tropical climate, that means I grew up eating wonderfully delicious in season citrus. Even though most of my food comes from my local area, I take advantage of living in this day and age by enjoying a variety of fresh citrus each year. Last year I ordered one box of organic grapefruit from G & S Groves and they were so good, I decided to join their fruit of the month club this year (I even wrote it on my calendar last year).

Last week I received my first delivery, Rio Red Grapefruit. I’m a HUGE fan of grapefruit, I like them all, even the sour white ones. I’ll have no trouble putting away the 36 lbs of grapefruit and the 36 lbs of oranges which are supposed to arrive next week.

I usually just eat grapefruit like most people eat oranges, in sections, but every now and then I bake them or put them on salads. If you’ve never had baked grapefruit I’d highly recommend it. It’s the perfect way to enjoy them on cold winter morning, they’re juicy, sweet and oh so good! I’ll be posting my recipe for baked grapefruit over on the Your Day blog tomorrow if you’re interested.

Do you like citrus? What’s your favorite kind?

Reading & Watching

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.