"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

Saturday, 6 August 2011

Forgotten, but not forsaken

On July 13th I wrote about harvesting lemons from my tree - and I posted this photo of all the pips I got from those lemons.  Well I popped them into the fridge, and, with everything else I've been doing, I promptly forgot about them.
Dried out lemon shells
Yesterday I had a fridge clean out, and what did I spy lurking at the bottom of the back of the fridge, but all those half lemon skins with the pips inside.  Sad, dried out and forgotten.
Dried out lemon pips
But not for long.

Are they viable?

I popped them, guiltily and hastily, into a bit of water, left them for a couple of hours, and Voilà - plumped up lemon pips!
Re-hydrated lemon pips?
They have now been planted in some soil - and - quite honestly, if any pop their heads above ground I will be ecstatic - and, if the majority of them do so - "Captain, I think we may have a problem here"... for I don't have enough pots LOL

I'll let you know...

But, have you noticed - when one buys oranges or naartjies (tangerines) these days, they often don't have any pips in them whatsoever.  Is that because the farmers don't want us propagating our own orange / naartjie trees?

'Cos I know how LOL


  1. The seeds have been hybridized out because todays human finds them 'inconvenient' to pull out of things like watermelon, oranges, and bananas. Much like they freak out if there is a bug on their produce. There is a movement of people who feel that this is an abomination of nature to create these sterile fruits and I do think I agree with them.

  2. Bet those seeds grow for you, it's pretty amazing how forgiving some seeds can be. And I agree with Jane on the rest...breeding out the seeds in plants could indeed eventually put us all in a precarious predicament.

  3. I imagine those seeds will grow. They are from a healthy lemon tree. The types of citrus bought in the store are grown specifically to not have any seeds (or very few)so that everyone buying them doesn't have to deal with them (like it is a real pain and takes so much time!!) ha - When I buy organic citrus - it is full of nice seeds. Emily

  4. Dani, any more 99% 0f the limes I buy don't have seeds in them. I've been wondering how in the heck they plant them? I'd love to grow some seedless limes. Seems like I've heard that you can plant naval oranges by planting the naval? Not sure if that's true or not, but that makes me wonder about the limes.

  5. Dani, we have citrus trees pop up in Spring from fruit that has rotted the previous year. This is after sitting on the ground for 12 months through a scorching summer and a frosty winter so you could end up with enough trees for an orchard. Our 'free' trees don't last long or become a problem as the cattle eat them because the parent trees are in the paddocks. They are an alternate vitamin rich feed source during the winter months.

  6. Hurray for you! Since my own Meyers lemon has yet to ripen it's fruit, this is all new to me and so of great interest.

    Seems to me that these days, "they" are working their hardest to feed us only sterile foods. I do think though, a lot of it is as you said, and has to do with keeping people from growing their own, i.e. keeping a guaranteed market!

  7. Well, I'll hold thumbs that they do sprout for you :-)

    The big question for me would then be... would they produce the same fruit as your tree (as any open pollinated plant would) or would you get a throwback to one of the parents of your tree (as a hybrid would produce)?

    Also, not sure what would happen with a grafted tree, most of the fruit trees sold in a nursery or garden center are a specific variety grafted onto a common rootstock. Would this make any difference?

    Anyone out there with knowledge on how this works?

  8. Jane - Too much trouble to remove pips from fruit? What are we humans coming to...?

    Mr H - I think the fact the seeds were in the fridge may be of benefit - sort of like a very cold, extended winter LOL

    Emily - That's why it's better to buy organic, if you are unable to grow it yourself :)

    tffn - never heard of growing oranges by planting the navel. Reckon you'll have to buy your first lime tree, and then propagate from cuttings thereafter.

    Robyn - Maybe you could try replanting your "free tree" and earn some extra income by selling lemon saplings?

    Leigh - Well - it's up to us to cause a hiccup in their plan - for the lemons I sell will not be seedless!

    Mark - I am 85% confident they will sprout. A few years ago my brother took a pip from my lemon tree and grew it to adult size - and it is producing madly :)

    As for your other question about grafted / hybrid origins - sorry - can't help

  9. Dani, only problem with free trees is in a small country village and surrounding area *everyone* has a lemon tree, and usually an orange tree, of some decription!! Which is great :).
    Rootstock that trees are grafted onto is often the 'common' lemon or orange which has a thicker and rougher skin and more seeds. These are the trees we have and after the first few years they will survive drought, minor flooding and big frosts with minimal care. Only drawback is it can take 4-5 years for them to set fruit and birds love them. However in a good season they will outjuice many of the modern varieties and ours are so sweet visitors ask have we put sugar in the juice!

  10. Stichin' time - The free trees as for me LOL

    The tree which I am collecting and growing seeds from is the Eureka - and it also has a thickish, rougher skin, but if fruits year round :)

  11. Hi Dani - My Lime tree is absolutely choc-o-block FULL of blossoms! Going to have a good collection of seed for you one of these days :)

  12. Christine - Bless you - say the word and I'll be there :)


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