Harvesting the Winter Garden

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Lemons-Harvesting the Winter Garden-www.gildedbloom.com #gardening #citrus

Spring is just around the corner now which means I have been harvesting the winter garden and preserving our citrus fruit to use throughout the summer.  We have a short winter here with a few months of bitter cold, then in February spring begins with the orchards blooming and the most spellbinding scent of blossoms in the air.  This is my cue to get busy and finish removing fruit from our trees, cutting the first herbs of the season, and harvesting the broccoli and salad greens before they go to seed or flower. 

Harvesting the Winter Garden- www.gildedbloom.com #gardening

This is also my first year growing broccoli in pots and we've had a few lovely little heads but a full harvest will clearly require more room.  The salad greens are happy as ever in their containers and continue to thrive through the cool spring weather.  Much to my surprise, our Greek oregano survived the frost and has come back beautifully, doubling in size! We're also growing spearmint, rosemary and several pots of Italian parsley.    

In the citrus garden we have Meyer Lemons, Lisbon Lemons, Bearss Limes, Blood Oranges, Tangerines, Navel Oranges and miniature Calamondin Oranges.   The trees begin fruiting around November and we usually cut the fruit as we use it. Then right before the trees start to flower, I remove the excess and juice it to freeze for summer.  The taste of a sliced lime in a glass of water is so refreshing and although this Bearss variety looks like a lemon, it tastes like a lime! 

Lime Water- Harvesting the Winter Garden- www.gildedbloom.com #gardening

This winter we had a bounty of blood oranges for the first time and the dark red juice has a unique berry-like flavor.  

Blood Oranges- Harvesting the Winter Garden- www.gildedbloom.com #gardening

The baby Calamondin oranges stay on the tree almost year round and are ornamental.  I like to use them in arrangements and often as a vase filler.  Removing the fruit in the winter keeps the tree healthy and the fruit fresh and pretty.

Calamondin Oranges- Harvesting the Winter Garden- www.gildedbloom.com #gardening

Here is a small vase of Calamondins and parsley I cut for display in the kitchen today.  The fresh oranges smell so good and perk up the kitchen counter with the scent of citrus and herbs.

Citrus Bouquet- Harvesting the Winter Garden- www.gildedbloom.com #gardening

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