Posts Tagged ‘citrus’

lemons painting fruits

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my backyard orange tree

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my garden oranges

Navel oranges from my backyard tree.

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backyard fruit tree

The tree needs little maintenance.

yellow grapefruit

The first fruit harvested – always an exciting experience.


When we first bought the small tree, we thought it was a lemon tree.

I planted it in a big pot. But it didn’t do well at all. So I managed to find a space in the backyard and plant it in the ground. Over the years, it grew fast, but nothing, no fruit.

Just I was standing there contemplating if we had here a non-fruit-bearing tree, I noticed a green bud peeking between the leaves.

The bud grew…and grew. I was baffled. Till I figured out that it wasn’t a lemon, but a grapefruit. It turned out to be a yellow grapefruit, sometimes also known as white grapefruit. The flesh has a translucent white color, and it has a brisk-sour taste. The first fruit harvested recently measures about 6 inches in both width and length.

And it looks like the tree has found its rhythm, after revealing its mystery. There are at least five more fruits and buds on its branches, waiting for the sun and for time to ripen them.

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artistic produce label

citrus fruitWe’ve just gone through the peak months for some orange varieties in California. I’ve enjoyed a variety of the fruit including the delectable tangelo. But, of course, the ones that I enjoy the most are the home-grown ones gifted by neighbors and friends.

My orange tress have started to bloom, and I just love the exquisite scent of the orang blossom flowers. I think it’s becoming one of my favorite fragrances.

I’m also captivated by the vintage labels and advertising of the Californian citrus industry: a colorful window into the state’s history. It is interesting to learn that it began in the late 19th century with the arrival of the railroad in Southern California. Farmers were then able to ship their produce throughout the country. To identify and advertise their produce, colorful crate labels were created and attached to the wooden crates.

The era of crate labels ended in the 1950s when growers started to use cardboard boxes.

Here are some that were displayed in an exhibition in Los Angeles.

vintage orange label

vintage citrus label

Read more about the history of citrus in Orange County, California at: https://buildingbridgesworld.wordpress.com/2010/04/13/musings-in-april-citrus-county/

For a pic of the orange harvest from my garden, please see: https://buildingbridgesworld.wordpress.com/2011/03/19/citrus-harvest/

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California oranges

It's a great feeling to pluck the oranges from my backyard.

It’s been a good harvest: from my two orange trees. The California Navel orange and the Valencia orange trees yielded enough fruits to share with friends and family.

The general consensus from those who sampled them is that the oranges have a right blend of sweet and sour notes. It is indeed a good feeling to nurture something from the earth.

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Wonderful flavors, colors and scents...what is there not to like about citrus.

Orange County in California today is probably most known for its famous ‘product’ Disneyland. Looking back into history, the orange fruit was its most famous product and gave the county its name.

The orange, other citrus crops and avocados were crucial to the early economy of the county. Although Orange County is now mainly suburban, many non-profit associations and cities preserve and honor its agricultural heritage.

Last weekend, the city of La Habra held its first Spring Citrus Fair. Chatting with an organizer of the festival, I learnt some interesting facts about the city which I later read at this website: (http://www.orangecounty.net/cities/LaHabra_history.html ):

“This area had a near perfect climate and soil for citrus production, and La Habra fruit became well known… In 1913-14 the large Sunkist packing houses were built. At one time, La Habra Citrus Association controlled more citrus acreage that any other in the state.”

La Habra is also the birthplace of the Hass avocado, the most popular Californian avocado.

Although the fair was lacking in a display of citrus trees, there were several interesting citrus displays in the garden area. The Master Gardeners Of Orange County, a group of trained volunteers who provide assistance and information about gardening in Orange County, were there to give advice on any aspect of growing citrus.

I spoke to Robert, a very knowledgeable gentleman who gave a lot of information. I grew a small navel orange tree in my backyard about three or four years ago, and I think it’s doing rather well. It produced two fruits last year, which I must say were very good, and it looks set to produce a bigger crop this year.

According to Robert, that is about right as an orange tree takes three to four years to bear fruits. His knowledge of feeding and watering orange trees was also very useful.

Like many people, I love the citrus for its taste and lovely colors. But equally, or maybe more, I love the fresh, uplifting scent that perfumes the air when I slice through a lemon or orange.

A touch of nostalgia...to market we will go. The fair also featured rides, food and entertainment.

Another nolstalgic, vendor-style display.

Another nostalgic display... vendor-style.

A display of rare and unusual avocados by the California Rare Fruit Growers. The family that grows each fruit registers their name so that if the avocado becomes commercially successful, it will be attributed to them.

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