Oranges ready for juicing

The orange harvest is a blessing at this time of year. We’ve been making refreshing and delicious OJ and drinking it throughout the day. The weather recently has been beautiful — blue skies and sunshine!   The calendar says “winter” but it feels like summer!

Temperatures are a bit cooler today, but come the weekend, temps are expected to be nearing 90 degrees! I hope I am not making too many of you jealous because we really don’t know how long this pleasant weather will last. It could end up being a mild winter which would be a drastic contrast to the deluge last winter. Pasadena had the most rainfall on record (nearly 60 inches compared to the normal 20″ ). Last year, at this time, it was pouring rain — the garden certainly could use a deep, soaking rain right about now.

With the middle of the backyard in disarray and the retirement of our homemade self-watering pots, we aren’t expected to reach the 6,000 plus mark of harvested produce this year. The last few months have been disruptive to our planting and harvesting schedule — starting with our trip to New Orleans and now all this construction.   But come Spring we expect the backyard to be better and more productive!

Justin sits on his throne

All Hail Conquering Hero

While working in the yard, Jules noticed that the one of the piles of concrete looked like a throne. He told Justin to sit on it, then handed him a sledge hammer and dubbed him the “King of ‘Crete.”  This honor was bestowed on Justin for his valiant efforts in defeating the behemoth monster, an unsightly eyesore, that inhabited the backyard. Justin in his coronation speech said he would like to thank his motley crew and he is grateful for the help from his friend Jack. Mr. Jack Hammer, that is.

Amazing that I even got this photo since Justin is camera shy – thanks for being a good sport.

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  1. Joshua says:

    A great thing to do with oranges is instead of juicing them, blend them! Just cut out the meat from the skin, put in a blender, and just barely blend it so that the pulp is chopped up but not smooth. It’s a little tiny bit chunkier than just juice, or the pulpy juice from the store, but it tastes as great, and you aren’t throwing away all that nutritious pulp! It’s really a shame to throw out that highly nutritious part of the orange. Just don’t blend it completely smooth or the juice may turn bitter. It’s the way I always drink my oranges (and when I say ‘my’ I mean the ones I buy from the organic market because obviously I’m not growing a lot of citrus in the upper midwest!).

  2. Florence says:

    Whoever does the photos has some real talent–the Kitten and Heater photo and the bowl of oranges and a few others have been just lovely. Have you eveer considered doing a PTF calendar?

  3. Anais says:

    Thanks for the comments Florence – glad you enjoy the photos.

    I am the one that takes most of the photos; however, my father has an eye for things (in his early years he like to take photos) and I inherited his talent.

    It would be nice one day to have our own calendar. I know there’s sites like but I am not sure if they offer eco-friendly printing. I’ll have to check.

  4. Anais says:

    Thanks for the tip about the oranges. We do have a hand-cranked blender and we could try your method.

  5. Joshua says:

    What hand crank blender do you guys have? I’ve only seen the Vortex on outdoor equipment sites. Any others?

  6. anais says:

    Yep, the Amish catalog ‘Lehamn’s’ has a typical size blender

    This is the model we have.

  7. Joshua says:

    Thanks! Unfortunately, they must not be offering it anymore though…

  8. Anais says:


    That’s too bad. I wonder why they aren’t selling it anymore.