Posts Tagged ‘compost’

Salted oranges

Posted: March 1, 2011 in backyard, food, garden
Tags: , , , ,

I got about 30 oranges on my tree in the backyard this year. It is my understanding that it is about the 6th or 7th year that one actually starts to get fruit from a citrus tree. I think I am now at that point. Last year I got three oranges, and they were sweet and delicious.  The years before I had none.

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Like, I said I got 30 this year, but they are not very sweet. The have a hint of sweetness, but a bitter after taste. According to  internet research I can (hopefully) get a better crop next year by doing the following:

  • Fertilize the tree.  Fertilize this summer and again in November or October when the tree first starts producing the fruit. Fish can be used as a fertilizer. You bury the fish by the tree. Maybe I can catch a fish in the canal for this purpose?
  • Prune the tree.  The tree has never been pruned, it is best to not prune the first five or six years, so now is the time.  This will lead to less energy being spread out too thin.   When pruning remember, the best compost below a tree is debris  from that tree.  

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So the fruit is not super sweet, but I don’t want the oranges to go straight to the compost, (on a side note the internet gives mixed opinions if oranges are good in a compost pile) so I tried too experiments. 

The first is salted oranges, which is a twist from the salted lemon recipe over at stitchandboots.

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Salted oranges

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I used kosher salt. 
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The process is to cram the oranges with salt, squish them into a jar, and then let them sit for four weeks.  So I will let you know a month from know how they turned out.

The second experiment was to make Orange Jam, using this video for instructions, but the marmalade was not so good.  I think it is more my fault than the recipes, because I did not really measure anything and think I put way too little sugar in and way too much of the orange peels in.  However, my thinking was after the apocalypse one might not have access to a lot of sugar, and also the etiquette would be to waste nothing, so I used a ton of the peels.   I also just added some spices that I randomly had in my spice cabinet that I thought would make sense, which was cloves and all spice.

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Jam ingredients

Using the “jam” tonight to marinate some chicken.

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Holy Cow, over on facebook, my friend Melinda gave me two great suggestions .

Northern AZ seed trust, good for ordering seeds and maybe I should take their July class, or is it more than I need at this point?

City of Phoenix composter that I can get for only 5 bucks.

I decided against corn for now because it sounds tough to grow,  I went with several types of squash to experiment and because squash is supposedly the easiest .  Based on past experience I need easy.  I went with two kinds of beans, because beans are the classic southwest stable, and then with a tomatillo, because that is the southwest’s version of a tomato.

From the Northern Seed trust I got the following.

Qty Name SKU Price Total
1 SQUASH, WINTER – Baby Blue Hubbard (3 g.) (20 seeds) 39106 $2.07 $2.07
1 33904 $2.07 $2.07
1 33306 $2.07 $2.07
1 BEANS – Titus’ Magic (1/2 oz.) (30 seeds) 30E08 $2.95 $2.95
1 TOMATILLO – Grande Rio Verde (1/10 g.) (30 seeds) 39301 $1.95 $1.95
1 30310 $2.07 $2.07
   
SubTotal : $13.18
Shipping and Handling Fee : $9.04
 
Total: $22