Permaculture in Action

Monday, October 1, 2012


Last year, as part of Transition Towns, we asked locals to let us know if they had more citrus growing in their backyards than they could handle, The idea was that we would collect the fruit and distribute it throughout the community so that it wouldn't go to waste. It was a wonderful opportunity and we embraced it with gusto, but gee it was hard work and it took us away from important work on the farm. We had decided that we probably wouldn't go out of our way to do it again (there's only so much one couple can do after all). But we had a call from one couple from last year who were desperate to have their fruit not go to waste. They have just one tree in their backyard, a valencia orange and it was covered......

  So we took our ladder and boxes and set to work

This is what we got the first day.....

We put some of the fruit in our CSA boxes and squeezed the rest (or at least Mark's bother and sister in law did as they happened to be visiting at the time). We went back the next week and picked just as many, put some in boxes and Des and Bernie squeezed the rest Thank goodness for the inlaws, it was a big job. We have about 20 litres of juice in the freezer...thank you Des and Bernie.

Now we're not big juice drinkers here, but have been using it to soak our freshly rolled oats. We add a little honey to the juice, pop in the oats while we do our early morning chores and then pop them on a tray under the griller for a few minutes til their nicely toasted.

To this we add some dried fruit and coconut...

We serve this with home made yoghurt and it's simply delicious.
The juice is a great alternative to have with the oats since our house cow dried up recently, and we are short on milk. Speaking of which I was able to get 12 litres of short dated organic milk for $1 a litre the other day. I used 4 litres to make yoghurt which made 8 jars at 50 cents a jar and the rest we made into paneer.  The yoghurt is one of the best I've made and will last for quite a while in the fridge, The paneer we fried up and made 3 meals from it. Very cheap meals.


  1. Ooh that muesli sounds yummy. Must try that one Kate.


  2. Last year I asked someone if I could take some lemons off their overladen tree. Not only did he say yes, he showed me an orange, grapefruit and peach that were covered in fruit and told me to take as many as I could use! I didn't even know them. Isn't it lovely when people share. They were delighted to have someone using the fruit.

  3. And that is how community is supposed to be! If only everyone grew just one fruit tree like that. The oats look great, might make that for breakfast tomorrow. Thanks for the recipe Kate.

  4. Hey Kate, those oranges look wonderful what a haul.
    I can imagine how delicious that fresh OJ is and I'm sure you appreciated your juicing helpers too.
    The muesli looks great ........
    Have just been given a bag of limes must look for some jam recipes.

  5. You often see fruit trees overladen in back yards and it falls on the ground. It is lovely you were able to harvest this one. I understand why you couldn't do all the trees though..... but perhaps you have inspired people to talk to their neighbour and ask if they can pick some .

  6. If you need helpers, Kate, Catherine and I would gladly help out - we see so much fruit go to waste driving around Maitland! We do a bit of 'urban forraging', but can only access what is on public land - we've thought about just asking people, but I get a bit worried about the reception we would receive - might just bite the bullet! It would be great to drop boxes off at Maitland Community Centre and Maitland Family support and other such agencies who work with the members of the community in most need and less able to access good quality fresh fruit and veg.

    Anyway - please let us know if ever we can be of assistance :)


    1. Hi Mel, it was part of TT last year and really nothing has been happening with TT this year but we could certainly resurrect the citrus drive next year with a little extra help. So thanks for the offer.

  7. Oh wow- that is one productive tree! We do a similar thing with our neighbours. His mum has 2 similar orange trees and if she doesn't offload the fruit then the cockatoos descend and make a complete mess. I generally juice them and make cordial, but that is a great idea - I'll definitely use that in future.