Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Ugli Fruit

I'm going to have to go back to get more until I get some viable seeds but it was still well worth the cost. The flavor is a mix between an orange and a slight taste of lemon.
It is indeed ugly but there is plenty of juice in it.

There is a little space in the middle and it has good color to it.

The seeds weren't mature yet in this fruit but there should be plenty of seeds on one of them eventually. The seeds are about the same size as other citrus fruit usually but all I found was these little guys.

I'm going to have to go back to get more until I get some seeds but it was well worth the experience. The flavor is a mix

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Inside Citrus Time

Winter is fast approaching and the time has come to bring all of the tropical plants inside. This includes the plumeria, kaffir lime tree, which has outgrown the plant hutch, and the lemon tree which is becoming a real tree and, don't be too harsh, still needs a new pot.
I plan to section off an area for the plants soon, bigger than the hutch, to keep the cats from eating all the leaves. They don't really eat the leaves but the chew them up and spit them out in gooey messes on the floor.

Not a Touch of Citrus

Among the wide variety of citrus taste in the non-citrus world one surprising source was chocolate. I'm not talking about the chocolate orange which has flavors added to it but just the natural flavor that can be brought out of certain cocoa beans.
The variety of flavors that can come from the bean itself can be quite amazing depending on where the plant is grown and what variety it is.
I went on a cruise earlier this month where my wife lectured on a number of topics including chocolate and we were able to go to a farm that raised cacao plants as well as coffee, bananas, sugar and citrus.
The samples we tasted there were wonderful. My new favorite taste is the white pulp from the cacao pod that surrounds the beans. It's like a sweet pineapple flavor.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Kaffir Lime Tree Update

So far the little tree hasn't gotten a whole lot bigger but it's still growing. It's hiding between the plumeria and the lantana.
This winter it's coming inside and sitting in the study unil the last frost. Then I'm going to get it a brand new pot, wither 5 or 10 gallon, for it to spread it's roots and have a chance to really thrive.
The next plant I want to get is a couple buddah's hands. Since seeds from these are rare I'm going to have to find a way to get them live. Living in Texas that's going to be hard because of the import ban on many plants from other states. The Triffid Ranch is my first place to look. They did a post about cooking it once, I think recently, but I havn't had a chance to call them up and ask.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lemon Resiliance

This is what I think about when I imagine lemon trees, leaves pushing up into the sun while defending themselves with spiky stems.

Unfortunately they can't bear the winters here in the metroplex so they get wintered inside. This makes the leaves a little less tolarant to the heat they can experience in the hot summers.
I hadn't watered the lemon tree in about a week and the leaves started to curl. You can see some of the leaves have brown spots on them which happened when it got put back out for the first time this summer. The leaves curled more easily and the undersides burned in the sun.
Doing much better now.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Lemon and Kaffir Lime Trees

If you look at the Gardener's Watch blog ( you can see this little tree from it's beginnings. It was the only one out of three in this same pot that sprouted. Now it's thigh high. You can see several places where I have already taken som leaves to use in cooking. I prefer the shredded method. The leaves aren't that tough especially when they've cooked down a little. I believe I will need to get another one started soon though if I want any fruit. I'm not sure if it will cross with the other citrus in the area very well but it might. It would be nice to be able to propagate them though without having to find more seeds or plants.

My oldest, a lemon tree, sits in the back yard at the moment near the onion bed. It needs a little more sun and water than it has been getting so I might have to move it up front where the kaffir lime sits. There are other citrus plants in the area in other yards so there shouldn't be any problem with fruiting once it starts to flower.
I'll probably need to repot it soon so it has more room to grow. I hope to keep it 6-8 feet tall unless I get around to building a large greenhouse. Then who knows how big it may get.

Being a Citraphile

My love of citrus started in my teens when my Stepdad would take a lemon and eat it with a little salt. After I grew up and got married I continued with my planting obsession and took my first lemon seed from a wedge served to me with my glass of water.
That seed sprouted and grew into a little tree. It lasted three years until I tried to get it to acclimate to the climate on the balcony while living in an apartment. After that I realized that it was relatively easy to sprout citrus seeds. Now I have one lemon tree, about 8 years old, 1 kaffir lime tree in it's first year and a struggling little key lime tree that I really need to put in a bigger pot. There were several others but I left them out and they got snowed on.
I need to plant more varieties but just haven't gotten around to it yet. Buda's hand it one of the more exotic varieties that I have recently found is supposed to be good candied, Iron Chef episode.
I figure it's about time to dedicate an entire blog to the growing of citrus and the love of using it in cooking.