"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Lemon harvest

I wrote about harvesting Eureka lemons from my garden earlier this week.  Eureka lemons are known for their year round production, and, providing they get enough water, and a dose of epsom salts / bicarbonate of soda now and then, they are a very rewarding fruit to grow.
I have previously put lemons in salt, but wasn't enthralled with the result - so I've scrapped that idea.  But, I read what I think is a jolly good idea on NellyMary's blog, and I thought I would share it with you.

Amongst many others, 10 lovely yellow, swollen orbs of fruit hung on my tree just waiting to be picked.  I couldn't resist the burst of sunshine from my garden, after the weeks of overcast and wet weather we've had.
I peeled the lemons with my vegetable peeler and shoved the peels in a bottle.  I topped up the bottle with cheap white vinegar and put the cork in.  That bottle is going to sit in my pantry for a few weeks - to "mature" - allowing the oil / scent of the lemon peels to pervade the vinegar.  Then I will take 50% of the lemon vinegar and add it to 50% water in a spray bottle and use that to wipe down my kitchen counters / bathrooms, etc.  It will surely allow a more pleasant smell to linger than just plain vinegar and water...?
But that's not all - I also harvested roughly 250mls (8 oz) of lemon juice which I have frozen in ice trays.  Now, when a recipe calls for lemon juice, it's quick and easy just to grab what I need out of the freezer.
And, my final confession - I think I am becoming OCD - I cannot let a seed or pip land in my compost pot - I am compelled to save them, which, in the case of the 10 lemons, means I am left with roughly 100 pips.  If I have an 80% success rate, I should have roughly 80 trees peeking their heads above ground in approximately 6- 8 weeks...

All I need now is to find some (100!) seed pots...

Whoever thought that 10 lemons could yield so much.  Almost as good as the 7 fishes and 7 loaves of bread :)
Next time I think I will add the lemon peels to some vodka, tequila or even some cheap brandy - and make us a lemon scented tipple for a cold winters night in front of the fireplace...

Maybe not tequila - we don't drink that.


  1. Thanks for the link..in my blog I say to use water to dilute it..but now I use plain vinegar to dilute it, which is even better....can I publish your citrus bottle on my blog, along with everyone else's?

  2. nellymary - You're welcome - thanks for the use for lemon peels :) I'll try it with and without water - and see which one works best for me.

    Sure - grab the pic and have fun...

  3. good idea on the lemon / vinegar issue. I use several drops of lemon oil in my water vinegar mix, but your way touches my 'green' nerve so will have to give it a whirl thanks

  4. wickets - Making your own "lemon oil" has to be the cheaper option too LOL

  5. I love what you are doing with the lemons and am glad to hear that your trees are producing for you. It sounds like you are going to be quite busy with lemons in the future with all of those tree starts. Hope you are feeling a little better?

  6. Mr H - I'm battling big time with my bronchitis, but I'm on antibiotics now, so that should help.

    Yes - I have a feeling lemons are going to figure v-e-r-y strongly in my future. So many options, so many plans - what to do first? Growing the trees is as good a place as any... LOL

  7. How lucky you are to be able to grow lemons. What a treat.

  8. Jane - I am very grateful that they are doing so well - they need to - I have plans for them LOL

  9. Dani,
    I also read nellymary's post and have something going with orange peels. Thanks for the book tip, I will check that out. ~Amy

  10. amy - Welcome :-)

    Look forward to reading up about your orange journey...

  11. I like the lemon peal tequila idea. ;)

  12. Great ideas - now if my lemon tree would just oblige and grow a little faster...

  13. tffn - LOL - figured that would appeal to someone...

    garden girl - Lemon trees take 3 year to bear fruit.

  14. I want some lemon and lime trees.

  15. Frann - Get some lemon pips, treat them nicely and you'll have trees LOL


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