Sunday, May 24, 2009

Calamari & a slice of lemon

One thing I've grown to love about my garden is letting it randomly dictate the pattern of consumption in our humble abode. The daily menu can sometime be driven completely by what's ripening about that moment my stomach starts to making unreasonably loud requests for some kind of sustenance. Today was such a day.

Observe the fine form of yonder lemon. Admire the way it hangs gracefully from the branch, its pretty blue ribbon blowing in the wind. You can almost taste the juice dripping from its centre (now don't be rude. You certainly won't be able to taste the crunch of the aphid infesting said branch). Its the very same sight which demanded a serve of Calamari for Sunday lunch.

This is a dwarf Meyer lemon, I've had it about two years now. You might not think it common or usual to impulse-buy citrus, but this was the case here... and, ashamedly enough... with most my citrus (one day I shall write of the evils of buying in haste). The short of it is that with nowhere to go, it had to live in the slums of this here city (a 45cm-diameter, 38cm deep pot) - which is not a good place to be living, citizen, when the governor is lazy. Its been slow to grow, but seems to flower and produce new fruit in regular intervals; giving us half-a-dozen or so lemons dispersed through the year. We'll we just don't need them as much as Basil.

Basically, if I was a little more disciplined with regularly serving up le gourmet bovine la poo and a complementary jug of water, it'd be a pretty useful plant for a small space. It's somewhere near the top of my quintessential list of plants-everybody-should-grow. Your (yes, I'm talking to you) balcony is a perfect place to put one.

I have one final thing to say with regards to the demonstrated mesh-bag-with-attractive-blue-ribbon. You need these. They are awesome. Let me describe to you some of their finer qualities. Thus far, none of the local, fuzzy, grey, ring-tailed, below-average-intelligence mammals have been hungry enough to even consider chewing on (or through) such pretty ribbon (or anything attached to it) - whereas they've happily taken un-bagged fruit. Also, they do a fine job of keeping the fruit-fly out. The only two reasons not to use these bags don't apply to lemons - hungry caterpillars tend to eat right through them, and soft-skinned fruit tend to rot in them.

And the time-cost is minimal. I fertilize them when I can; make sure they regularly get Magnesium (to sweeten the fruit), and charge into epic battles with the aphids (as needed), armed to the teeth with white oil.

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