Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Eat a Kumquat

Most citrus fruit is really easy to eat. Even grapefruit is a cinch if you know what to do.
The task I'm going to explain though is eating a kumquat. The problems eating a kumquat are that it's small and there are a lot of seeds in it. You can eat the peel and have a more bitter experience or you can easily remove the seeds and peel.

First you cut around the outside of the kumquat most of the way into the center.

Second, twist the two halves apart. This takes some practice since you might not have cut it quite right.

Third, remove the seeds and plant them if you want to. They will grow an a wide variety of locations or even indoors.

Fourth, Scoop out the inside with a teaspoon. The peel isn't very thick so go slowly and work your way around and down the peel. You might have to pull it out a little once it reaches the bottom but it should be easy to remove.

After you have peeled your kumquat you can dry the peel and use it in your potpourri. It has a wonderful mix of citrus oils and is quite fragrant.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pruning the Lemon Tree

This winter it has gotten very cold. I decided early on that I wasn't going to bring the lemon tree in this year, sink or swim as they say. As you might know, lemon trees are evergreens and don't usually loose their leaves. Apparently they loose them if it gets too cold so as to protect the branches and the rest of the tree from freezing to death.
I took this opportunity to trim up the branches so they weren't competing so much. They had gotten pretty tangled. This also gives a good look at the thorns it has. Up the right side is a good view of some that are over two inches long.

This gave me a great idea. Cats have been sleeping and lounging in my vegetable bed. Someone told me that if you lay bamboo or other poky sticks across the area that cats won't want to lie in it anymore. I had my doubts but it seems to work pretty well with citrus trimmings. I went out there today and it looked like a cat tried to move them out of the way but without success. I pushed some of the thorns into the ground to anchor them.
I know my indoor cats don't like the thorns and so far the outside strays don't either.