"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, 26 July 2014

Long term planning

Anyone who grows their own produce knows that sometimes one has to be very patient. Very, very patient.

Well, this particular garden project started back in April 2010.

Growing lemons.  And growing them from pips.

I never knew that anyone could grow lemon trees from lemon pips until my sister-in-law showed me a heavily laden lemon tree in their garden which she says she grew from a lemon pip harvested from our town house lemon tree.

I had to give it a go, and ended up planting 30 small lemon trees which I had managed to grow from pips.

It has been a long wait.  With plenty of whoolly fruit fly infestations.  And many sleepless nights wondering if the trees we had planted were getting enough water, especially as they were all on their own - this was still when we were living in town, and only came out to our smallholding every 4 - 6 weeks.
Aaaaah!  What is this.
Finally, after 4 long years - a lemon bud has
appeared on one of my lemon trees:)
But, finally, a month ago I was rewarded.

The first sign that there was life appeared in the form of a small bud.
The instant reward of a lemon flower is it's
incredible smell
Talk about excitement.  I was beside myself!!  When the first flower opened I was beside myself.  In going to fetch RMan to come and see I think I cleared the distance from the lemon orchard and the house in 30 seconds.  Whooping excitedly all the way LOL
The perfection of the little lemon which has sprouted from that flower makes me want to weep.
The buds sometimes try to conceal themselves
but my eager eye managed to find them
I pity those who have never felt the sense of achievement which can be obtained from growing something yourself from what would normally be thrown into the rubbish or onto the compost heap.  There is nothing, absolutely nothing, which compares - no expensive must-have-latest-version gadget, no fancy house in the "right" neighbourhood, no material possession you could purchase, no job promotion.  Nothing.

It is such a simple joy.  And such a simple achievement.  And so immensely rewarding.

All it took was care - and patience.
An ambitious cutting
growing buds before it
has produced a single leaf
When I gave the lemon tress a pruning at the end of last summer I shoved the cuttings into some growth hormone, and placed each one into a pot of soil.  This eager little cutting in the photo above decided that it wanted to produce flowers before it had grown a single leaf!!!  Naturally, the flowers didn't last, but at least the sign of life and the promise is there... :)


Sol said...

wow lemon trees that is something! I can only dream of such things

Barb. said...

Oh wow for you, I feel your much deserved pleasure. Four years from seed to fruit is not very long at all. Are they like the parent plant, do they have thorns, how many seedlings survived...so many questions. haha. Good on you, some never even try so will never know the joy.


Dani said...

Sol - It was something I only dreamt about - until now LOL

Dani said...

Barb - It may not seem very long, but, trust me, it is. I was concerned, bacause since they "took" I have read that they aren't prolific fruit bearers. Now that they have finally started bearing I can find out if that is correct or not.

Barb, I would guestimate that 75 - 85% of the seedlings survived, and yes - they have (mother) thorns!!

I have also grown apple trees from pips, but they haven't started bearing yet... ;)

Vicki said...

Oh, how exciting! The simple pleasures are the best, aren't they. I was lucky enough to grow up with a Dad who planted all manner of seeds just see what would happen. Some grew - some didn't. We had orange trees and pear trees and once, a peach tree. In our cold climate, they were just house plants, but the fun of watching them grow was wonderful. Good for you! I will look forward to seeing how your lemon trees do in bearing fruit.

Dani said...

Vicki - good for your dad! Nothing ventured, nothing gained :)

Yup - I will share the harvest from our lemons trees with you all :)

Sue said...

Hooray! I am indeed happy for you. What a joy, to bring something to life like that..
Best of luck on future crops from them. What a treat to be able to grow those.

Kev Alviti said...

I'd love to grow lemons but I need to wait until I can put a up another greenhouse to keep them in - another long term project!
Somehow it feels even better when you've grown it from a seed or a cutting!

Shrimpton and Perfect said...

How very exciting to have grown lemon bushes from seed. I have been feeling excited about growing my own Birch trees from seed we were given at a Buckingham Palace event. I'm hoping to get a few trees started now so that when we move in the next year or so they should be ready to plant out.

Fingers crossed that all of our 'babies' survive.

Jean x

Harry Flashman said...

I've never grown a tree from a pip. I did plant fruit trees here as saplings, that I got at the nursery. But they didn't make it. My father had a lemon tree he planted as a seedling. It grew to be a full sized tree and my mother used to go get lemons off of it to make lemonade for us.

1st Man said...

How exciting isn't it? A fig is the only thing I've grown from seed and ti's such a long process of waiting (but worth the wait). The fruit trees we've planted have been small saplings and sometimes I feel like that's cheating, ha.

Dani said...

Sue - Thanks :) Now that they have shown me that they are capable, I am expecting big things from them LOL

Dani said...

Kev - Oh, yes, it certainly feels wonderful that the experiment is proving successful :) Would you grow a lemon tree in a pot in your greenhouse?

Dani said...

Jean - My fingers are crossed for you :)

Dani said...

Harry - That's exactly one of the things I want to do - make lemonade from homegrown lemons LOL

Dani said...

1st Man - No, don't feel like you're cheating. We have also planted nursery bought grape vines and apple, apricot, plum and pear trees. The aim is to be self-sufficient - however one achieves that ;)

1st Man said...

True, very true! Thanks for the reminder!! :-)

kymber said...

oh Dani - i understand the sense of pride and accomplishment in your voice (writing)! it took time, care and patience and you did it! if the grid goes down or the world falls apart - you are completely set up with your solar system AND you can grow lemons from pips - how awesome is that??? ever since i was a child, i would take seeds from various fruit and try to plant them - but because of our short growing seasons and being in the northern hemisphere - i would grow a little seedling type thing and then they would die off. we are planning a sunroom addition onto our kitchen this fall/ next spring...and we plan to make it a proper heated year-round sunroom. that's when i'll take all of my carefully saved avocado pits, lemon and lime pits and whole pile of other stuff and try to get them to grow. we have a lot of sun here even in the winter, and if the room is heated i just might be able to grow some exotic seeds. 4 yrs is a long time - and it isn't. with enough love and patience - we can do anything. as you keep demonstrating to all of us over and over again. you are like a beacon or a lighthouse, always there to show us the way in. thanks for your 4yrs of trying. but even more importantly, thanks for always trying, doing and then sharing. you have no idea how much i have learned from you.

your friend,

Dani said...

Ah kymber - I received your comment to my phone just before I went to bed. Your comment filled my dozing time with warm fuzzies - thank you so much my friend. But, I cannot take all the credit - I have learned so much from other bloggers out there who have taken the time to share of themselves, their knowledge and their wisdom - you included :)

kymber - I know jambaloney is going to make you the best sunrrom ever and you're going to show us how it's done in Canada :) I, personally, can't wait...

Quinn said...

Congratulations! Very exciting indeed :)
And in case I haven;t mentioned it in another post (and I may have, because I think it every time)...I love your new banner snap! What a gorgeous landscape you inhabit, Dani.

Dani said...

Quinn - Thank you. You are the only one who has noticed that it has been changed. I cannot take any credit for it - it is 100% due to this planet, and to the good Lord who created it and everything about it :)