Saturday, June 1, 2013

lemon seeds and missing trees

 i grew up on a plot of land that housed my family, my grandparents, and my great grandparents. it was any child's dream. cookies and hugs from gramma at any desired time. games of skip-bo and charade's at great-gramma's. trampoline, tree house, swing set. stealing things from grampa's workshop to build forts {i can count 15 forts that we made and manned over the years!}.

then there were the trees. pomegranate. pecan. peach. almond. chinaberry {you don't eat those, they're poison, you have chinaberry wars}.

and then... the citrus. lemon. grapefruit. orange. limon {it grew limes and lemons because the lime tree was too close to the lemon. cross-pollination, friends!}.

oh, how i miss sitting under the orange tree and eating and eating and eating. we used the gate latches to get the first hunk of skin off, then peel to our hearts content. the only rule was we had to clean up our peels.

before the frost would come, there would be a mad scramble to pick all the lemons and crate them up. did you know if a citrus tree frosts, all the juices in the fruit go back into the tree to help keep it warm? this results in very dry fruit, and no fresh lemonade.

dad made his bestest grapefruitade on a regular basis, and it is definitely not the same with store bought grapefruits. in fact, i will probably never it make it that way again.

needless to say, i miss my citrus trees.

so i planted some. even if you don't want a full out tree, the little baby lemon sprouts are so cheerful, bright, fresh, and they smell good, too! it's quite simple to start your own little citrus forest.

step 1: get a lemon {or orange or lime or grapefruit, doesn't matter.} and take out all the seeds.

step 2: let the seeds soak in some water for a couple days to a week.

step 3: try to clean off any outside casing by rubbing them. if nothing comes off, you're good. if something does, discard it. don't do this over the sink, the little guys are slippery and like to escape.

step 4: put them in some soil! i filled a mug with all the seeds the lemon had. i wasn't sure how many would germinate. i probably planted 15 seeds, and i have seven baby trees.

step 5: put them in a sunny window, and wait for two weeks. give them water {enough to soak in the soil without drowning them} about every other day.

enjoy your little citrus forest! it certainly brings a smile to my face. i was so excited when sprout after sprout popped up in my soil! having it in my windowsill and not outside made it possible for me to watch the progress every day! happy planting!


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