In the continuing saga of my life providing too few lemons or too many lemons, I find myself facing the latter dilemma. It’s a definite improvement.
But still, I have a LOT of lemons and I’m out of practice. A few years ago now the bloke took to my lemon tree with the pruning shears, much enthusiasm and not much knowledge. When I came out to check on his progress, I found him standing proudly by what was left of my once lush and bountiful citrus. It was a sad looking foot-long stump in the ground with nary a leaf nor a lemon to be seen.
I was thrust unwillingly and completely unprepared into the cut-throat capitalistic world of lemons at a price and the price was ten dollars a kilo. It was outrageous and frankly, UnAustralian.
In the years that followed I have survived on my wits. I considered lemons allowed to hang over sidewalks by careless gardeners fair game. I leaned on family and friends with lemon trees. I snaffled more than my fair share when a charitable soul left lemons in a box on their verge or brought a bag into work. FOR FREE. Fools, they know not what it’s like out there where lemons are traded for souls and first borns.
I tried salvaging my butchered lemon, well let’s call it a “tree” out of compassion. And I planted another one because you can never be too sure.
And success! It’s been a long dry wait, but finally my new lemon tree has born fruit. Has it ever. So many, the tree buckled under the weight and drooped alarmingly to the side. We’ve tied it up with an old pair of tights and I’ve gently pruned some of the more lemony bits of tree back to manageably lemony. Obviously the bloke won’t be going anywhere near it with anything sharper than his wife’s resentful gaze.
I’m juicing a few for later use, and freezing them in ice trays. I’ll preserve some & also having a go at making an environmentally friendly cleaner. I’m on the hunt for more ideas.
The cleaner, which I’m quite excited by, involves peeling the lemons, avoiding as much pith as possible which is a bit fiddly. Then soaking the peel in a glass jar with white vinegar for a few weeks. Keeping it as pith free as possible is apparently important because otherwise the mix is sticky. Hoping it works.
Lemon Cleaner method
Peel 8 – 10 lemons, avoiding the pith. (could obviously do more but once you start avoiding the pith you’ll thank me for keeping your enthusiasm in check. It’s painful.)
Cover with vinegar in a glass jar, and let sit for two or three weeks.
Sieve into a spray bottle, with 50 per-cent lemon mix and 50 per-cent water.
Spray with chemical free abandon.
I will update when it’s done. Meanwhile I’ll continue to hunt out more options to squeeze the very most out of my crop.