Orange Tree, Very Tasty

You just might remember when I introduced you to our home-sized orange grove (okay, it’s a tree in a pot). The tree, plus my lifelong connection to the world of oranges, were all thoroughly covered in my posting of June 19 of this year, cleverly titled “Orange Tree, Very Pretty.”

At the time, here’s what the orange tree on our front steps looked like:

Orange tree

I had bought it at a nursery in the spring, when the tree was covered with fragrant white flowers. By the time June had rolled around, the flowers were gone; the branches had been covered with tiny baby oranges; and then most of those had fallen off. However, six oranges remained in place, each about the size of a large walnut.

And here we are a mere four months later, and our little tree has managed to hang on to those six oranges — and raise them to virtual maturity. Here’s how the tree looked a few days ago:

Tree with fruit

Those branches are really feeling the weight.

Here’s a closer look at the tree, showing how the oranges are growing on the branches, and dragging them down with their weight:

Oranges growing

A close-up view of the oranges growing.

If you look closely, you just might see that the orange at the centre and near the top of the photo is hanging on by a thread; it’s so heavy that it’s actually broken the branch on which it’s growing. And that was the orange that I decided to cut away from the tree, to see how it had matured and ripened. Here it is, on our kitchen counter:

Whole orange

You can see tinges of green on the more-or-less orange skin.

The final test was to actually cut it open and then taste it, which is exactly what my wife and I did. Here’s how our home-grown orange looked when it was cut:

Orange halves

The two orange halves look reasonably ripe.

The verdict? Not bad at all. The orange segments were small (the total fruit was about the size of a small onion, not a big orange), but the pieces we ate were juicy — although a bit tart.

Frankly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for the five remaining oranges growing on the front steps. While daytime temperatures in Daglan have been pleasant, the weather is definitely cooling off, and I’m not sure how much more the oranges will ripen. Still, I have to say that I’m pleasantly surprised that we got any fruit at all.

And now it’s time to turn my attention to the flower beds outside. Our marigolds performed brilliantly over the summer, but finally gave up the ghost and have been pulled up. This week I’ll freshen up the soil and plant some pansies. At least, that’s the plan so far.



This entry was posted in Flora and fauna, Life in southwest France, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Orange Tree, Very Tasty

  1. Sam and Jill says:

    Watch out Tropicana!

  2. loren24250 says:

    Since Tropicana is now owned by Pepsico, you may want to short Pepsico stock. I’m just sayin’…

  3. Lesley says:

    Do we ever buy this type of plant for it’s bountiful harvest? No, if it looks great and stays alive for more than a season I’d be greatful.
    When we bought our home in France, as a non gardener, the last thing I thought about was the aspect of the property in relation to plants – it was more to do with where a garden swing could be positioned. Our home benefits from the sun, has some shade, but has the full force of Westerly winds and lashing rain at times. Blossom and fruit need not apply to live here.
    Enjoy a cocktail with orange garnish!

  4. loren24250 says:

    Good idea about how to use my remaining oranges. Thanks Lesley!

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