3 June 2007

growing lemons

We lifted the skirt of the Eureka lemon tree yesterday by pruning off all the lower branches. The tree has been growing near the chook house for about ten years now and has always either had fruit on it or been developing flowers. Consequently, as more and more lemons grew on the lower branches, the fruit grew closer and closer to the ground. This year they reached the ground and started to rot.
We knew there would never be a time when this tree would be holding no fruit or flowers so we bit the bullet and pruned off the lower branches - or, as old time organic gardeners would say, we lifted the skirt.

Now we have about 120 lemons sitting on the back verandah. All they need is a week or do in the sun and they'll give us quite a few litres of juice. I plan on making lemon cordial and frozen juice.

Equal amounts of lemon juice to sugar syrup. Juice your lemons first, if you have 3 litres of juice, make 3 litres of sugar syrup.

Sugar syrup is equal quantities of water and white sugar mixed together and boiled till the sugar is dissolved.

When the sugar syrup is cool, mix with the juice. For every litre of cordial, add one teaspoon of citric acid. This is a natural preserving acid that helps the cordial keep well if you're not drinking it fresh. If you have no citric acid, leave it out, but make sure you store the cordial in the fridge.

You can freeze this drink but use plastic bottles if you're freezing it.
Serve the drink by adding lemon cordial to ice water, according to your taste. Add ice and mint leaves.
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