lemons

Limoncello

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Earlier this year we had a glut of lemons, so I decided to make Limoncello as an experiment. I don’t remember where I found the recipe (it was many months ago when this experiment took place!) but it went something like this:

Ingredients

  • 5 lemons
  • 1 bottle of vodka
  • 200g sugar

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Method

  1. Zest the lemons. Mix the lemon zest with the vodka.
  2. Add a little bit of lemon juice.
  3. Close the lid and store it for 2 weeks.

Two weeks later

  1. In a saucepan, dissolve the sugar over low heat in 160ml of water.
  2. When the syrup is cool, add it to the vodka.
  3. If you want to, you can strain the Limoncello to remove some or all of the lemon zest.
  4. Store for another 4 weeks to allow the flavours to mature (hence why I’m only drinking it now!).

This limoncello is delizioso! It’s best served from the freezer and/or over ice, and a great way to use up some of your excess lemon crop.

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Tree planting map for the food forest

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Rough map of the food forest tree planting

For your interest, and to help us keep track of things, this is what we’ve planted so far in the food forest:

  1. Fuji apple
  2. Cox’s Orange Pippin apple
  3. Granny Smith apple
  4. Sommerset Red Streak apple
  5. Golden Delicious apple
  6. Jonathon apple
  7. Kingston Black apple
  8. Sugar Loaf Pippin apple
  9. Maiden’s Blush apple
  10. cumquat
  11. Meyer lemon
  12. dwarf Kaffir lime
  13. Wurtz avocado
  14. dwarf Washington Navel orange

Not a bad collection to get us started! I’ll keep this page up to date, as we fight back the weeds and fill in the gaps…

Street food comes to Lewisham

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The first sign goes out on the nature strip, more to come
The first sign goes out on the nature strip, more to come

We’ve been steadily planting out on the nature strip. First the bay tree that moved with us from the old unit. Then a kaffir lime, and two dwarf lemon trees. Finally a lemon-scented tea tree.

Yes, this is guerilla gardening, but not just for our own selfish benefit. From the outset, the aim has been to put out plants that can be harvested by the locals as they wander by (perhaps the lemons break this rule).

So this afternoon, the first “street food” sign went out onto the nature strip. We hope to start a local movement, copying what has been done on Myrtle St in Chippendale. Now we see whether it’s harvested to death, or gently pruned…

Lemons into the nature strip

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Two dwarf meyer lemons, in excellent shape and ready for the nature strip
Two dwarf meyer lemons, in excellent shape and ready for the nature strip

A few weeks ago I ordered two dwarf myer lemons from Perry’s Fruit and Nut Nursery in SA. These are your typical Australian backyward lemon, but on “Flying Dragon” roostock, which according to the nursery is the only “true” dwarfing stock.

This morning both lemons went into the nature strip, in front of our house. Give them a year, and they should be producing prolific fruit all year round (fingers crossed!). Of course, many (most?) of the lemons will be picked by passer-byers, but that’s OK. Particularly if it distracts them from raiding our front garden veges…

Lemons, limes and oranges

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Orange, lime, orange and lemon
Orange, lime, orange and lemon

The last major task for the front garden this season was getting in the citrus trees.

Two weekends ago, I started by marking out a garden bed 5.5m x 1.2m, and then dug that down to a depth of a foot-and-a-half (a back-breaking job!). I then constructed a treated pine frame to build the bed up.

I hadn’t quite done the numbers first, and discovered that I’d need an extra 2 tonnes of soil, or thereabouts. So another call to the bulk supplier, and a lot of shovel work later, and the bed was full.

The local Bunnings had a reasonable range of fruit trees, and this is what we ended up putting in:

  • Orange, Lane’s Late Navel (full size)
  • Lime,Tahitian (full size)
  • Orange, Valencia (dwarf)
  • Lemon, Meyer (dwarf)

Now to wait a season (or two) for a full crop…