Friday, June 17, 2011

The Citrus Report: Late Spring 2011

The Second-- or is it the Third?-- Grapefruit Harvest of the Season, June 2011.
With only a few days left in Spring, I thought I should file what I believe will be the final citrus report for the season.  Although I've lived in Southern California for almost twenty years, I haven't still figured out the citrus season so who knows... there may be another Citrus Report yet to come.  Our citrus trees are still producing fruit in the third week of June, which is a great mystery to me.  We've carefully harvested the grapefruit and lemon trees several times already and much to our surprise, our delightful little trees continue to bear fruit.

There are also lots of oranges to be had, but we haven't been as vigilant about picking the oranges because they're SOOOO sour.  (Nobody but my youngest daughter will eat them in their natural state!)  I keep telling myself that I'm going to use them to make chocolate-covered candied orange peel (one of my favorite candies), but that just hasn't happened yet.  I think I'm still a bit discouraged from my marmalade mishap earlier in the season.
Our orange tree, still loaded with overripe oranges, June 2011.


I'm also discouraged by my inability to produce a stunning photograph of any of our citrus trees.  These poor little trees are crowded between power lines and other large trees (including several of the neighbors' avocado trees) and I never seem to get the lighting just right, but I slogging along.  Here's the latest of my lemon photos.  Sigh.
The inside of our lemon tree, June 2011.

Loqats in late May, 2011.
That's about it for our citrus crop, but I would be remiss if I didn't also mention our stone-fruit trees.  Our loquat trees aren't doing quite as well as they did last year, when our backyard was COVERED with loquats, each partially eaten by birds and squirrels.  Our harvest this year began in mid April so I assumed I'd be raking up bucketfuls of loquats in the backyard by now, but so far it hasn't happened.  I suspect this year has been too wet for them.

The Mystery Tree, however, has loved all the rain we've been getting and I have been cleaning up quite a few half-eaten fruits that I suspect are Green Gage Plums.  I made a delicious cobbler from the recently and although it was a bit sour on it's own, it was amazing with a little blob of Bryer's Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Mystery Fruit saved from the greedy squirrels, 2011.

Our entire avocado harvest for Spring, 2011.
I know I should probably end my report here, but I can't resist adding one last item to our harvest list.  This spring we harvested a single  avocado from a far-reaching branch of our neighbor's tree.  Luckily, trees don't care about property lines and one branch of the griant tree gracefully grew back into our backyard.  We carefully picked the avocado and hovered over it as it ripened in our fruit bowl.  When it reached it's perfect state of ripeness we made a large bowl of guacamole and gobbled it up in a single evening.  It was delicious.