29 August 2015 5:14pm – Mandarin and Orange Harvest

As we didn’t get a chance to last weekend, this weekend’s task was to harvest the mandarins and oranges from the yard at our rental (my first permaculture garden) and make more marmalade.

Upon arrival, it was quickly determined that the trees (four in total) could also do with a good prune-and-tidy, so we drove back home, picked up all our pruning gear and drove back.

I volunteered to do “The Thorny One” along the back fence. (The pic below illustrates why it was given this name, but also because I didn’t actually know what it was. I’d originally thought that it was a lemon of some kind, given the degree of thornage, but it had been so neglected when we’d moved in that it was only just coming good when we moved out, so we never got any fruit off it. It turns out that it’s actually an orange. A very thorny one (If you might know what type, please let me know – I’ve never seen anything like it!)).

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You might note also, from the photo, that I don’t wear gloves.

Don’t try this at home, kids :P

After years of gardening, my hands don’t even respond to nettle stings anymore, so I’m fairly sure that I have the gardener’s equivalent of ‘asbestos hands’. And to prove that I wasn’t a complete bleeding mess afterwards, here’s a photo of my hands too. Total damage: two scratches and two spikes (one’s on the top of my thumb that you can’t see in the pic). That was it.

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Unfortunately I forgot to take a ‘before’ photo, but suffice to say, it was just one a big ball of leaves, fruit and thorns before I started, and this is it now:

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This is what I removed:

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And this was the harvest, from the 2 mandarin trees (1 large, 1 small) and 2 oranges (1 large, 1 thorny and small):

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And just as we’d finished tidying up and packing the car, it started to rain. Perfect timing :)

So tomorrow, we’ll be jamming! :D

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