Thursday, January 1, 2009
First Harvest (updated)
Today, the first of January, I harvested my first blood orange. I have been waiting Years for this moment!
The tree must have bloomed in 2007, and I never realized it until, about early spring (2008), I noticed some green balls on the far side of the tree. Could it be? Why, yes, it could.
In 2008, the tree was covered in blossoms, so there was no way to miss it. I've tended to this tree even more carefully than usual and watched as the fruit continued to grow. Only in the past few weeks have the balls turned from green to orange.
I'm still not sure precisely when to harvest the oranges. I've kept a close watch on the oldest oranges, checking them periodically, and today, one fell into my hand, so I figured it was close to ripe. I also picked a newer one up off the ground and decided to cut it in half as well to test the color and ripeness. I think it's edible, but certainly would have benefited from a longer stay on the tree.
These oranges have a sweet-tart flavor with a hint of raspberry and not as acidic as regular oranges. Once I am able to harvest more than one orange, I plan to make Blood Orange Sorbet from David Lebovitz.
I was already looking forward to 2009, but the anticipation of more blood oranges improves the outlook. (I started the New Year listening to The Goon Show and Stan Freberg. How auspicious a beginning is that?!!)