Plucking fruit encourages future growth for tree that are producing. What a perfect way to spend a warm, sunny spring afternoon! Our organic citrus trees were barely able to lift the load of their gorgeous fruits.
My toddler Arden was all too happy to help! Our first lesson in picking oranges: use two hands! Our first attempt resulted in snapping the entire branch attached to our oranges, leaving our poor tree worse for the wear. However it sparked some great conversation about growth of plants and how leaves power the tree.
Our short, young trees are perfect for toddler 'wingspan!' She put her whole heart into being a great picker! The fruit were so heavy, however she insisted she carry the basket 'by herself' until it was so full she could barely drag it across the ground.
The beauty of fresh, delicious organic oranges and the tiny hands that appreciate them. What a difference from the market.
Arden loves the bells we have posted throughout the garden and on each of the garden gates. We usually pick one up each time we visit the Mission San Juan Capistrano.
Climbing up to the bar height outdoor table, a more forgiving workspace and too beautiful of a day to spend anywhere else than in the fresh air and sunshine! Easy to clean and plenty of space to work.
With my hands stabilizing the manual citrus juicer, Arden placed each orange half and lowered the lever most of the way. I suggest working very slowly as you juice, after fully lowering the lever wait a few seconds to allow all of the juice to drain (gravity). Explaining the lack of speed to a two year old, who was more than ready for her fresh juice, was the most difficulty we encountered!
We used a smaller bowl, and as it filled to the top we transferred to a glass jar (up cycled, washed spaghetti sauce jar). Intermittently, I wiped down the cone shaped strainer inside the juicer when pulp became lodged into the holes.
Making progress! Five oranges filled a small soup-bowl sized container. The manual juicer has the perfect pressure and maximizes each fruit.
Full to the brim, eager hands of the thirsty!
The juice is especially tart, so I blended it with an equal part of filtered water to lower acidity and make it more palatable.
To the victor go the spoils! Organic, homemade orange juice we feel great about serving our family!