When life gives you lemons…

When I loaded the last story I found on my camera a load of photos that I had taken in anticipation of a full and exciting blog and then promptly forgot all about them.  So I feel it is only right to give these photos their fifteen minutes of fame!

Nothing tastes better than fresh
Nothing tastes better than fresh

The first and carefully staged photo is when I made the most incredible lemon honey.  A friend dropped off some lemons which we were extremely grateful for as in the five years we have been living here I have never had any success with citrus trees.  Our climate is perfect for lemons and oranges and grapefruit and there are backyards everywhere I go mocking me with their heaving golden bounty – mostly being left to fall on the ground – so much is their abundance.  My tree is very possibly smaller than when I planted it and it kind of cowers when we come near.  So while a gift of lemons is possibly rubbing salt in the wounds of my inadequacy – they are still welcomed into my kitchen.

So I had all these lemons – more than we could use – particularly as no one had a cold or even as much as a sniffle and the chickens had started laying again and we have gone from no eggs to 3 a day.  We had gotten into the habit of eking out the insipid shop bought eggs that claimed to be free range, only to end up with fresh – if not a little muddy – eggs coming out our ears!  So I decided to put the two together and made the most incredible spread for my toast in the morning.  I only got three jars, but as the eggs were still warm from the chicken when I made the lemon honey, it turned out to be a deep rich yellow colour, that came as a bit of a shock because all the lemon honey I’d ever seen before was a paler yellow.

One of these things is not like the other...
One of these things is not like the other…

Another thing clambering for my attention is my attempt to grow kumara (sweet potato) slips.  Every year I say I’ll never grow them again because they tend to go off too fast to prepare them for storage – I haven’t got that figured out yet.  But then this year I got lured into trying to grow the slips myself from actual kumara.  So I bought a red one and a gold one from the supermarket, popped toothpicks in the side and hovered them in a jar just below the surface of the water.  The red one went nuts and put out lots of roots and has now started to put on leaves.  But the gold one has done nothing.  I even moved the toothpicks and turned it upside down, just in case I had it in the wrong way round – but still nothing.  I wonder if it has been treated with something to stop it sprouting while in storage.  Oh well – I’ll just have to rely on my red one for a huge harvest.

While I'm ok with getting food from the dirt to eat - something feels weird about putting perfectly good food into dirt!
While I’m ok with getting food from the dirt to eat – something feels weird about putting perfectly good food into dirt!

I also decided to plant ginger.  So it was back to the supermarket to look for the knobbliest bit.  Then I mixed up a rich soil mix and filled a bucket (with holes in the bottom) to most of the way up and placed my piece of ginger in the centre and covered it with about  5cm or 2 inches of soil, popped it in the greenhouse and hoped for the best…  well I’ve got nothing to lose.

The remaining photos were just a whole load of gratuitous spring like pictures that I couldn’t help but record for posterity!

Come again soon – everything will be different – but still be the same.

Sarah the Gardener  : o )

14 thoughts on “When life gives you lemons…

    1. Hi Claire. I always seem to look into the pantry or down the aisles of the supermarket with an “hmmm I wonder…” glint in my eye. I can’t seem to help myself and end up trying all sorts of crazy things!
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  1. We, too, enjoy the bounty of cast off lemons. I’ve tried twice at containerized lemons–both froze and died. Yet, in town, only 9 miles away, lemons and oranges are standard yard fare. As renters, I’m not willing to put in the energy to make another stab at lemon growing, but we happily enjoy the bounty of others. To take advantage of the excess we squeeze and freeze–in single serving amounts in ice cube trays. We drink toddies in the evenings, essentially hot lemonade, sometimes spiked with a little Irish. I’m inspired to try sweet potatoes again.

    1. Hi there. Now that is an awesome idea for the lemons – putting them in ice cube trays – they will come in handy to cool things down on the hot summer days I am anticipating, as well as warming on a cold winter night. As we are technically still in winter – it decided to remind us which season is still in charge and we had quite a cold night last night. A toddy would have been perfect.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  2. In some ways I envy you your spring blossom and and sprin plans as we’re heading in the opposite direction! Having said that, after a very busy summer all round, part of me can’t wait to batten down the hatches and enjoy a slower pace of life! Happy planning!

    1. Hi Christine. Its funny the way life is, I having been getting bored with the slower pace of life and am restless for the busyness of summer! You always seem to get just as much as you can handle and then it’s “all change.”
      Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. I am with you regarding the citrus…we have 2 mandarin trees but the possums either absail from the branches and break them or alternately spend their nights defoliating them. I am going to have a go at growing kumara. I even have a purple one with a white centre…wonder if I have any success? We got buckets of lemons and made “skeeter pee” wine. 20 litres of it bubbling away in the spare room along with a gallon of orange wine. Christmas might be a blur this year! 😉 Lovely photos today as well 🙂

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